Friday, July 22, 2016

7 reasons not to waste time cleaning up clutter

Are you consistently at war with clutter? It is a formidable enemy, isn't it? One who vanquishes you simply by its existence? But then one should love one's enemy, or at least try to. So here I am - giving you a few reasons. Perhaps there will be a happy ending to this war.

1. You save time: Well obviously. No? Look at this - I, a non cleaner, end up spending about 2 hours everyday cleaning, dusting, putting away stuff and I’m discounting the sweeping, mopping done by the maid. That’s 14 hours a week, 728 hours a year, almost one full month. I could go on a nice long vacation in that time. I cannot even begin to calculate the criminal waste the OCDed indulge in.
2. Clutter makes life easy: I remember once my mum came visiting and while I was away at work she cleared up my room. Next morning when I put my hand under the pile of books which in turn was buried under a pile of clothes, I couldn’t find my earrings. That's exactly where I’d left them last night, I remembered well. But mum had put them away in a neat little box, probably. Why oh why would anyone so complicate their lives? It’s way more comfortable to have things lying around so you can reach out for them when you need them. One of my very dear and very evolved uncles says he’d crawl out of bed leaving the ‘tunnel’ under the covers intact so he could crawl right back in after a hard day at work. Brilliant, I say!

3. Clutter allows for a delicious element of surprise: Now suppose I forget where I left my earrings, yeah the ones under the pile of books, under the clothes. And then one day I pull out a book I want to read and out tumble my favourite pair of earrings. What happiness!! Don’t tell me you’ve never whooped for joy when you found that 500 rupee note tucked away in an old bag.

And here's an 8th reason. I'm not the only one who thinks clutter is good.

4. A cluttered house teaches better body balance: Since you’ll be hopping, skipping and jumping through piles of toys and clothes and books to get across a room, you’d better have good body balance. Somedays I have successfully manoeuvred my way through Barbies, skipping ropes, bottles of glue, hula hoops, sketch pens and superhero action figures while holding aloft a tray with milk glasses and mugs of tea. Oooh I’m good! Do I see a raised judgemental eyebrow? Where’s your spirit of adventure, hunh? If you do trip a few times, well you can only get better.

5. A cluttered house sharpens your senses: Can you spot your pista green cardigan in a pile of a hundred clothes? Well I can. See? That’s what I mean. It takes years of practice to heighten your senses to this level of perfection. Also it teaches you to cut yourself off from your surroundings and focus on the task at hand. And that is a gift, I tell you.

6. Clutter speaks of a gentle heart: How flint-hearted are people who throw away stuff the moment they stop needing it! Downright mean, I say. I still have the kids’ baby sketches and their pre-primary text books as also my clothes from the ‘thin’ era, half finished cosmetics I will never use again and mis-matched earrings and yeah even single socks. I keep them all.

7. You get to know your real friends: There are people who love you for you and then there are the judgemental lot who first check if your house is all spic and span and THEN decide to befriend you. Keep your house cluttered and you drive away fake friends.


That’s it then. Do come on over to our place but give us fair warning and we promise to clear out a place for you on the sofa. We’ll even remind you to dust that half eaten biscuit off your backside when you leave. We’re pretty hospitable like that.

Edited to add: The author takes no responsibility for injuries, physical or social, that might occur if this piece is taken seriously. 

41 comments:

  1. That was so much fun to read Tulika! At least there is someone who feels what I feel. I like cleaning my room in the morning.. a bit of dusting here and there and I'm good with that! But if you talk about organizing the wardrobes and cleaning them all the time.. I find it a sheer waste of time! They will anyway end up becoming a mess! And clutter makes life so easy!!! Taking out things from their places and then keeping them back.. isn't it a task? Keeping them here and there seems so easy, right? :P

    Loved your post!

    Cheers
    Geets

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    1. I am forever struggling with clearing up too. This was only to make myself feel a little better.

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  2. This is very funny but the complete opposite to the way I live -- I NEVER clean except to dust or vacuum a few minutes couple times a week. My house is immaculate and orderly at any given time. That's why I wrote the book on how to never have to clean -- you jut don't make it dirty. Pretty simple, HONEST.

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    1. Ah Carol - I've tried telling myself that but things just seem to pile up and then there are the kids to completely mess up whatever I start.

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  3. I have been a cleanliness freak all my life but have changed pace ad slowed down considerably after becoming a parent. Though now I don't get paranoid about keeping the house spick and span, I do clean up at first opportunity. For me leading a de-cluttered life is at the mental level. If I'm working in a cluttered place my mind feels cluttered and when I work in a tidy place, my mind feels a positive connect. This also applies to my kitchen bench where I often spend hours creating new recipes, but keeping the bench clean ranks high for me.

    That's a wonderful thought-provoking list that made me see the time I spend cleaning up into perspective :)

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    1. Ha ha My Era this was meant to be in a lighter vein - I have no intention of stopping anyone from cleaning - it's basic hygiene, isn't it?

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  4. This is one to be printed and shared!! Need to show it to my hubby!! --- Virgo!! Need I say more? Well, I am a Virgo too but can't bother to clean and love having everything within my arms reach!! :D

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    1. Ooh Virgos! Mercifully I have none of them around.

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  5. I have not been fussy about having surroundings free from clutter all my life until these days. I want all things tidied up and kept away and I have a helping hand in son who listens to me (how long will he listen, I am not thinking about that) when I ask him to tidy up his stuff before sitting down for dinner. But don't ask me about the drawers and cupboards. They have been screaming out at me since long to change their newspaper linings, to have a look into and sort out the important papers file, to lock the gold bangles which are currently lying with the discarded stuff. But I do like the advice to how to shoo away fake friends. This one I follow when out of laziness I miss going to the salon for quite a long time and then I tell myself 'ye sharir ki sundarta to mithya hai'. Thus who likes the 'real me' will continue to like me irrespective of the savanna grasslands on my body.

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    1. Your son is a gem, a rare one at that. Getting into those cupboards and drawers - that's a real challenge. 'Mithya' ha ha.. heard that word after a long long time.

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  6. Hehe This was such a fun read. I fight a regular battle with clutter. Frankly, l am not one who starts cleaning the moment l get some spare time. 😉

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    1. Me neither but with kids it becomes such a necessity. I was barely aware of clutter till they came along.

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  7. ha ha ha..now, now, what can I say? You know I was this person who managed book shelves and the wardrobe in a permanent debris state. I'd still manage to find journals, ties, scarves by diving into the rubble and scavenging for the said item. But, this was not without a lot of heartache for me and my poor mom. After marriage I don't know what overcome me, but I'm this cleanliness freak just short of OCD. Not saying my house is always in order but definitely I clear up at the first possible opportunity :-)

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    1. I know that bit about you :-). No don't keep your house dirty please but just take it a little easy is all I'll say.

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    2. True, Tulika. I completely agree about taking it easy. After all the backlashes I got in my childhood, today my mom and sis advise me to take it easy. Ironies of life! Maybe I just needed to sway to both extremes to get my act in balance. A bit of a shake up ;-)

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  8. this was a total fun read!! earrings under pillows, I do that, and that's where I expect to find them! and I agree, finding things in a clutter is so much easier!! you rocked this one babes! loved it!

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    1. Haan how could I forget that under-the-pillow place. With the kids I find all kinds of things from lip-balms to dinosaur models.

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  9. Just. . . Tulika! ;) As a cleanliness 'borderline' freak, this is completely unacceptable. It's the reason for every war at home between me and other family members. Come to think of it, I now know why. Hmph. Fun read, for sure. ;)

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    1. Ha ha I thought of you and how appalled you'd be. My mum's the same - so much that we'd be petrified when the weekend drew near because we knew we'd be put to work :-). And for all her hard work this is what I turned out like.

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  10. One tight hug to you! I am currently enjoying the "Clutter allows for a delicious element of surprise". I like to keep a neat home but gave up a long time ago simply because I just didn't have the time or energy...and gradually, inclination. I loved your post. I wonder if you've seen a short poem "Dust if you must"? Ah, my mantra now. More exciting things in life to focus on. Thank you for a wonderful read!

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    1. I love that poem, it's beautiful. Seriously, life is too short to spend it cleaning.

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  11. Tulika, I am yet recovering from my OCD tendencies, but this post was hilarious! I almost swallowed my chewing gum laughing at the 'tunnel'!

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    1. Lol! That's a true incident, by the way. He's a truly evolved soul - that uncle of mine.

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  12. hahahaha I could so relate to this. I can find my whole world in the clutter, but arrange it and I will be roaming around distressed and fuming :P I suspect my husband has OCD and his only wish in the world is to transfer this condition to me :P

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    1. That's a nightmare - a clutter lover married to an OCDer.

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  13. Hilarious, Tulika! But sorry to say, I somehow don't belong to this category. .Ufff, I know, that's how some would.exclaim!I like order...things in their rightful place and all that. And if I see stuff lying around , clothes strewn all over, and if I am not in a very good, co-operative mood, then God help the family! :) :)

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    1. I know you - my mom is like this. Well I guess it's good to have her around when things get out of hand.

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  14. Hear hear! Such a fun post Tulika! Although it is dangerously encouraging to non cleaners :P . You see, after two trips in a row my room is strewn with bags and clothes and accessories for more than a week. I clear up my bed every night to sleep leaving everything on the floor. Have decided to clean it up now that I found two cockroaches scurrying through the bags. Anyone who came home had no entry in my room.. :P

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    1. Unfortunate, isn't it? That after a point we have to get down to cleaning up. Sigh! Anyway the clutter is good while it lasts.

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  15. Loved reading this post and the quotation. Funny and kind of relieving. But, just for some time. We need to get into that cleanliness mode quite often :(

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    1. Thanks Tarang. Yes we just have to at some point. Some days the cleaning just overwhelms me.

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  16. Ha! I used to be a cleanliness and orderliness freak. Well, thanks to my 4yo, I've learnt there isnt much point to it all - especially since it's almost like a case of shovelling your pathway when there's a raging snow storm going on. Oh, well. We live and learn :)

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    1. Oh absolutely. I never thought about clutter till the kids came along. Now I have to consciously shut myself from it.

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  17. Ha ha! I never thought about why I do not clean and I am not have an OCD but all these are my reasons now :) Thank you for the enlightenment. Exactly what I needed this morning ;)

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    1. Ha ha you are welcome Paul. I hope you did read the disclaimer.

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  18. Was just reprimanding myself for not clearing up the toys scattered all over the room.Read your post.Thanks!

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    1. Toys are the hardest to clear up. There are so many tiny bits and pieces that half the time I don't know where to put them. I don't even know what has to be thrown and what not.

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  19. This was a such fun read, Tulika. I agree, take it easy. I find myself attracted to cleaning jobs so much. My husband teases me that I becoming more and more like Monica these days. I need to slow down. Thank you for a making me laugh today. :)

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    1. Glad to have made you laugh Vinitha. No no don't become like Monica. The OCDed are very tough to live with.

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  20. Hahaha! I am still smiling at crawling back into the tunnel! And yes, I agree with the surprise element too. But I just cant see clutter and sorting it out takes precedence over everything. I will clean even on an empty stomach. Yes, you can roll your eyes. I know, I am beyond redemption. :D

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    1. Ha ha Shilpa I kind of expected this response from you. It's a bit of a sour-grapes situation for me. Try as I might I cannot keep things spic and span. I can only envy you.

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