“Chaos does not mean total disorder. Chaos means a multiplicity of possibilities. Chaos is from the ancient Greek word that means a thing that is birthed from the void. And it was about that which is possible, not about disorder.”
– Jok Church
I’ve been following a blogger who is currently in the process of moving house. I read her accounts of sorting and packing her things with a sense of admiration and dread (that I might have to move house myself one day). You see, my house is chaos. There’s so much stuff, I think it might just be easier to live here until I die and leave it to the kids to worry about.
It’s not like I’m about to appear on an episode of Hoarders Anonymous. Or Hoarders No Longer Anonymous Now They’ve Been Publicly Shamed On National TV. I do clean. And there are significant pieces of flooring you can still walk on. And most of the stuff, while prominent around the house, is in some sort of piled order.
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”
– Carl Jung
There’s the papers. They’re in piles of Yet To Be Sorted, Sorted But Yet To Be Filed, No Longer Wanted But Need To Be Shredded and I’m Not Sure If This Is Important So I Don’t Know What To Do With It And My Head Hurts.
The clothes, which tend to be a moveable feast, find themselves in piles of Yet To Be Folded, Folded But Yet To Be Put Away, Outgrown By One Child To Be Transferred To Next Youngest, Outgrown By All and Repairs Needed. This last one has a tendency to sit there so long it eventually gets moved over to the Outgrown By All pile. Still unmended.
Books. Yet To Be Read, Read But I Don’t Know If I Want To Keep It, Outgrown By Kids But Too Good To Give Away, Might Be Useful For Emergency Teaching and I Don’t Know Where The Hell That Book Came From What Am I Supposed To Do With It.
Terribly Important Magazines like National Geographic and New Internationalist that make it seem Anti-Intellectual to just toss them away but they take up So Much Room.
The Projects In Process piles. Some of those have been there so long they’d qualify for Heritage Protection. I think I could probably give up on the half-finished size four knitted jumper for the now-seventeen-year-old.
But the toughest piles are the Ultimately Useless But Full Of Sentimental Value ones. I don’t even know where to start on those. Birthday cards, kids’ artwork, awards, thankyou gifts. Sometimes I think life might be easier if I were Hard-Hearted and Unsentimental.
Perhaps I just need to tackle the problem one step at a time. Start with the shredder, or the mending.
Or, I could go and have another cup of coffee and read some of the newspapers piling up on my dining table…
“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
Postscript: In the typical perverse nature of the universe, writing this post actually inspired me to go clean up and I have, subsequently, eliminated several piles (including the Repairs Needed pile in time for my youngest to wear one pair of shorts from a pile of ten items). Perhaps I should start a new blog called “365 Days of Blogging to a Clean House”…