If I lived a catalogue life

As the Vix Household gene pool has a lot of OCD: Hoarder Division chromosomes swimming around in it, we like to scare ourselves straight every so often.

After spending a chunk of the holiday weekend watching 4 hours of hardcore decluttering shows in a near-row, I’ve decided scared-straight-once-removed is a far superior way to experience homes that have too much crap in them. Turns out it’s just as motivating to sit on my butt ogling piled-up boxes, papers, and unspeakable junk as it is to visit an OH MY GOD GET ME GASOLINE AND MATCHES abode!

And it’s so much less stressful.

The downside of acquiring such externally-driven motivation is that one has to act quickly before it flees. While Mr Vix returned to his basement clear-out project, I decided to plow through all my “I’ll recycle this after I read/cook/re-enact it” towers and to take on my overflowing, horridly dusty bedroom bookshelf.

[Because really, the odds that a future houseguest couldn’t get along without a borrowed copy of Scruples 2 are pretty slim.]

It’s all very freeing, once one gets over the guilt of thinking:

If I were a better person, I’d save all these things which could help me be a better person.”

Unfortunately, some dreams die harder than others. Granted every single book is now dust-free and uncrowded…

Mr Vix's childhood sock monkey + non-compulsively-collected pottery top a random variety of tomes

but I’ve been meaning to do something arty with my accessories forever, and I’m no closer to a solution than before. In fact, I’m probably farther away given that I no longer have this tearsheet to shame—er INSPIRE—me into changing the status quo:

Coming to terms with the fact that my accessories and I aren't "goin' there"

A “quo” which involves eco-friendly but pedestrian boxes.

Semi-accepting that the non-crown jewels are staying here

If only disposing of a sliver of paper didn’t trigger an endlessly-looping set of rhetorical questions:

If I lived a catalogue life, would a sock monkey guard my jewels?

If I lived a catalogue life, would Mr Vix have an addiction to tools?

Guess it’s good to know that for every self-defeating crazy I escort out of my life, there’s an equal and opposite crazy ready to take its place. Normally I’d be at least somewhat tempted to have a good wail about that—but with ole Sock Monkey’s newly glittering eyes just DARING me to fall apart, I’m determined to hold steady. Too bad I didn’t unearth my stiff upper lip from beneath a mound of past-their-sell-date magazines….

Perhaps I'll reframe this as "my little corner of delight" vs my accessory-station failure

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4 Responses

  1. dear vix, reading your blog late at night is a ‘ticklish issue’: I had to laugh out so loud, Mr Paula + neighbours might be pretty disturbed.

    What an excentric sock monkey you have.

    Did you know there acutally is a person out there, living a catalogue life:
    http://busybeesisblogging.blogspot.com/

    You probably know the love you have for a room when you first step into it the first time, and you see all the space. Who wants to unpack dozens of boxes only to cram all the shelves when there is space.
    Why do we collect theatre-programmes for 3 years, never read them, and throw them away in the end, undusted.
    Unpacking the boxes after the renovation-project leads to de-cluttering / phase 2.
    And a strange mix of books at my nightstand: “The Blindfold”, “Electronic Culture” and “Healing through your feet”. Their last chance to be read. If only monkeys would read while we are outside. and tell us stories while we are asleep … Good night! (11.15pm CET)

  2. PS:
    I don’t think this is the solution.
    http://www.joyfulabode.com/2007/09/04/solving-the-jewelry-storage-problem/

    they even sort of scare me, the first solution reminds me of a medieval dungeon:
    http://www.ikeafans.com/forums/ikea-hacker/9197-jewelry-storage-display-racks.html

    PPS: I did not get this line:
    scared-straight-once-removed
    the meaning ?

  3. Dear Paula —

    So much to digest with your wonderful comments!

    Let me start backwards with the easy one, even if it makes me try to unravel my less-than-linear thought process.

    “Scared Straight” was a 1978 US documentary that took at-risk teens inside a notorious state prison, where convicts tried to (and apparently did!) “scare them straight” by showing them where they were headed if they continued their anti-social ways. The genre spawned many a child, with “Faces of Meth” being one of the most recent!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scared_Straight!

    Sooooo: Normally when Mr Vix and I go into a house that has a lot of disarray, we are highly motivated to do an intense decluttering when we return home. But now with the “Hoarders” / “Clean Sweep” reality TV programs, we can stay home and be “scared-straight-once-removed!”

  4. Paula —

    No, I did not know about the Catalogue-Worthy Blogger; can I admit I’m frightened by so much perfection? Beautiful imagery, though.

    Onto other matters! You are too kind…you and I may be the only ones laughing, but it’s good to know that across a continent and an ocean we have found someone who shares our perversity-lite!

    Though I think after such a huge change—gone from home and then a return to so much difference—you may be a bit slap-happy (or punch-drunk ) aka much more giddy/silly than you would be otherwise, ha.

    And yes: it’s amazing how big rooms are with nothing in them. When the bathroom once again had walls and a floor I just wanted to keep it as-is…so peaceful…but back the toilet went. And then the sink, etc.

    Biographers and inquisitive heirs benefit from a person’s accumulation, I suppose, but we mere mortals tend to drown in it.

    Re the jewelry storage: — YES to the dungeon visual! I like the curtain-clip solution better, but there’s still a lot going on for me.

    I’ve accepted I don’t like the hanging options…they make the most sense, but are too busy for my eyes. Picky + lazy is a bad combination for me to be, ha!

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