Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Is Tidiness My Thing?

Creative clutter is better than idle neatness.
 Author Unknown

Sometimes when I can't solve what I want to solve, I tackle something minor. Like my sock drawer.

I'd like to say these are all the socks in my sock drawer, but they aren't.
Falling in line with all the stores that display storage containers front and center after the holidays, it seems a good time to get a handle on my own home. The past six months I've been intent on the quest to finish a book I started writing twelve years ago.  The essentials were met -- a safe kitchen and bathroom, clean bed sheets and clothing, dinner made at night. Other than that? Nada.

My household work took a seat behind the bus. Then came Christmas. With the arrival of January and Christmas tucked back into its bins and hidden upstairs, I eye the plainness left in that tidy wake. I like it. 

I do like a tidy house, a place for everything. I like that because I need the space for all my unfinished projects. The current puzzle. The watercolor painting I totally don't know how to paint. The outside plants hiding from the cold weather. The pile of stuff that needs gluing. And a few hundred more things that make our house our home.

Last week I read a book by Marie Kondo entitled the life-changing magic of tidying up. I breezed through the reading of the decluttering method with ease. I absorbed the process of taking my things into my arms to feel if they bring me joy. If no joy emits, banishment becomes the item's fate.

I get it. I understand that having 15 potholders is not something that's neither necessary or joyful. Nor is a twelve year supply of my favorite body lotion.

The writer suggests a format to decluttering. Clothes, books, then the rest of your crap. My clothes I culled a few years ago when we renovated our rotted out bathroom/closet area, but my books? No, I'm not going to put them in the middle of the living room (for gathering them throughout the rooms of my home would require days.) Even though my Books To Be Read shelf has only 25 books, I have read all the rest. I can't tell you how often I refer to them. Or pull them out as my granddaughter grows.

I concede I have some books I can let go, like the tidiness one I just read. But in passing that book on, I take note of Ms Kondo's suggestions. I no longer have 15 potholders, but I still have a mess of a sock drawer.
I love socks. Every day when I reach in to pull out a pair I rummage around seeking the right choice to fit my day.  All my other drawers are organized and, recently, sorted and donated (to get that 2017 tax savings.) But the sock drawer? It has a flashing warning sign on it for it requires a holding down of contents to get it closed. Besides, you can't donate old socks.

Inside that drawer are socks for winter play and summer play. Socks for black shoes and black pants. Socks for brown shoes and brown pants. Socks that are fuzzy. Socks that are thin. Socks to go over socks for when my feet get cold in winter. Socks that kept my mother's feet warm in winter.

I have socks for Christmas. Socks with my favorite paintings by Renoir, Matisse, Degas and Vermeer. I have 24 pair of socks from my husband -- last year's Christmas gift. Two pair of socks a month via the mail.

Do I need this many socks? Of course not. Do I want this many socks? Yes. For my daily sock choice is not always due to weather or my outfit. It's more often based on mood. Some days I feel whimsical. Some days blah. Some days artsy, or conversely utilitarian. Once in a while I want to wear pink. Sometimes I want plain black. And some days, I want to remember my mom and pull on her warm socks and feel comforted.

The maestro organizer Kondo has a different idea for sock drawers. This morning as I stuffed the clean socks from a load of laundry into the drawer, I decided maybe she had a point. I tossed my socks on top of the dresser and after holding each pair in my hands to decide if it brought me joy (or if I would ever wear it again), I folded the chosen in the formatted manner described in the book. I placed them in the drawer as ordered. Quartered and visible so I can see exactly which one I might want. And, yes, it is still chocked full.

Not another pair can fit in my neat little lines, unless I do a double stack. Yes, I could have made my rows a little neater. But I didn't. And it looks neat to me.

Now, I ask you. What chance in hell do you think this drawer has of looking like this in a month? A week? After next wash day when all I want to do is stuff my socks in my sock drawer and get on with something that truly does bring me joy?

Cheers to the art of tidying. Happy New Year Everybody.


Related Posts with Thumbnails