I wanted to work on my WIP today. We’ve had a public holiday and it seemed the ideal opportunity to get back into my novel after a few weeks of neglect. But, as it turned out, there was something else I had to do first.
When my life gets crazy and starts to spin out of control, as it has done for the past few months, I have this tendency to shove stuff into piles ‘to deal with later’. Cases of wine… correspondence to be shredded… clippings from magazines… instruction booklets… bills… new car insurance policies… receipts… even, as I discovered, Christmas presents neatly in a carry bag since Christmas Day.
Kipple. The detritus of life. Much of it stuff I need — or think I need — but it’s too difficult at the time to think what to do with it, so it gets shoved onto a pile. And, after a while, the piles are so out of control that I cease worrying whether stuff is getting shoved onto the right pile. Because I know I’m going to have to go through them all anyway. So the mess starts multiplying exponentially, and, well… I think you can probably see where I’m going with this.
(Think Harry, Ron and Hermione in Bellatrix’s vault at Gringott’s Bank when they’re going after the Helga Hufflepuff horcrux in the final book/movie. You know the scene when treasures multiply like popcorn? Yep.)
Unfortunately, all this mayhem takes place in my study (the one room safe from visitors), and there comes a point when I can no longer be in there.
I reached this tipping point today.
The floor was so cluttered with empty boxes and extra side-tables that getting into the cupboards was impossible. The main table was piled high with wine and boxes of junk. My desk, computer and keyboard were obscured by piles of paper.
Very. Bad. Feng Shui.
Time, oh yes definitely time, for a periodic purge. I seriously should have taken a photo.
So now the floor of my study is visible and vacuumed. And my desk is clear and devoid of dust. At last, I can think and dream and plot and perhaps even weave some tales.
I should confess, however, that I have really only shifted the problem. After a few hours of shuffling stuff around, my living room is now the custodian of the wine (which needs labelling before I put it away) and the shredding. (And the old DVD player I need to get rid of… and the broken chair with hot pink gym ball…) And I have a couple of boxes filled with junk I still need to sort through. The kitchen table has stuff on it as well.
But my study is clear — at least for a little while.
Why is it, do you think, that it feels so hard to get decluttered for good? I know that unless I devote about a week to sorting through everything and physically getting stuff OUT of my very small house, it will all be mayhem again all too soon. This is a very familiar cycle.
So now tell me whether this is a familiar scenario for you guys! Do you need a neat and tidy workspace to be productive — or was this all one huge day of procrastination on my part? And please do share any decluttering and organisation tips. I need them!