The Mind Boggles

Posted: April 21, 2009 in Uncategorized


Here we are on vacation. Washing the apartment from top to bottom before we can start painting. At least once we’re painting, it’ll actually show.


On the good side, while emptying out rooms I’ve been throwing stuff away. It’s positively mind boggling how much junk can accumulate over the years. How the hell does that happen? Why the hell do we keep stuff “in case”?

In case never ever happens ferchrissake!

And I can’t help but wonder if those magazine people really exist. You know the ones in Real Simple and all those design mags and who live totally without clutter or junk? Are they real or are they cyborgs?

Are humans hardwired to accumulate clutter? If not damn my genes.

And if we are, it becomes obvious that evolution doesn’t always get it right.

And on this philosophical insight, I must get back to my cleaning…

  1. geewits says:

    As with most things, “collecting stuff” comes in every form. Some people keep way too much and yes, there are those that accumulate very little. I’m probably a tad over average, but I used to keep almost everything. Thanks goodness I lived in a very small apartment for 3 years. That is one thing that will teach you to pare down. Good luck with this. It’s a lot of work now, but you will love everything when you are finished. And take a few wine breaks.

  2. I’m not sure you understand the proper definition of the word, “vacation.”Vacation (v-ay-cay-shun) (n.): leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure; “we get two weeks of vacation every summer”; antonym: PAINTING HOUSES.

  3. furiousBall says:

    what’s a vacation?

  4. raino says:

    good luck with the cleaning! i certainly have never been too successful at not accumulating shit BUT i am getting better as i age – you have to get ruthless as you get older – that’s my moto.

  5. Jazz says:

    Geewits – I think that’s one of my problems. I don’t moved anymore. I used to move at least once a year – it keeps the clutter down. I’ve lived here 20 years. 20 freaking years of accumulation!Jonah – OH!!! that’s how it works then? Damn. I blame it on my menopausal brain. I always used to know what a vacation was.Furball – It’s that thing Jonah described. Where can I find one?Raino – actually I’m happy to be able to do this. And I intend to keep paring down once the painting is done. All this stuff is weighing me down. Last night I was actually thinking, what if I die tomorrow. Someone is going to have to go through all this crap!

  6. Big Brother says:

    Lil sister didn’t you know that it’s a corollary of Murphie’s law, “No matter how big the space where you live, you will fill it with junk within a very short space of time.” So next year at this time your apartment will once again be filled with junk, different junk, but filled none the less. :o)

  7. Jazz says:


  8. Gaelyn says:

    Collecting “stuff” is in my genes too. And I live in a 27 foot RV. This winter I dug into several little corners and found things I hadn’t seen in 5 years. Time for it to go. Maybe I’m part packrat?What a way to spend vacation, painting?

  9. Voyager says:

    I am one of those cyborgs who would chuck out everything I have not used or worn in more than six months. While B insists on keeping everything. Like 15 year old magazines with interesting articles in case he wants to read them again. Which he never does.Happy painting. Some vacation!V.

  10. pinklea says:

    Like Voyager, I have become ruthless at tossing stuff I haven’t used or worn, but my time limit is a year. I may not vaccuum or dust or clean toilets much, but at least my house is clutter-free. (Well, parts of it are. DD’s office is a pigsty. I close the door a lot.)

  11. Gnightgirl says:

    I “de-clutter” quite often…but my place is small, and starts to feel tight pretty fast when I accumulate too much. Quite often I can clear up tons of space just by consolidating–why do I have 2 half-bottles of spic-n-span?!

  12. lime says:

    ya know, i see a desk space in a magazine with some streamlined desk with no drawers and nothing on top and all i can think is, “yeah the lack of clutter is nice but where do they keep the stapler and address book and pens?”

  13. Maddy says:

    I do like the ‘real simple ‘ magazine although I rarely buy it. It still looks like ‘Home and Gardens’ inside with less frippery and so far from my own abode that it just provides a little escapism.Cheers

  14. Suldog says:

    Every Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving, that is – November) I have family over for a feast. That’s when we clean, from top to bottom. Irf it wasn’t for that holiday, we would be like one of those couples you hear about every so often, the ones who live amongst stacks of newspapers, old books, unopened mail, and other detritus, and who are found dead, after a few months of rotting, underneath a fallen pile of the stuff.

  15. VioletSky says:

    I leave my clutter behind to go to Chapters and read Real Simple (and their ilk) and come home all revved up to make my place look like the magazine spreads.It never actually happens, though. My bed has great covers that fit over my head.

  16. Rachel says:

    I like clutter. because then I can do what I like more–PURGING! Purging accumulated junk is so satisfying.

  17. Susan Tuttle says:

    Just wait and see how great it will feel once you get the clutter out of there — you’re almost there! I tend to be a bit of a clutter bug, but I really do enjoy simplistic, minimalist style. My husband is very much an un-clutter bug which is actually a good thing for our home — he’s a great inspiration, plus having a simple home keeps my mind more clutter free:)

  18. Susan Tuttle says:

    One other thing I forgot to mention — the funny thing about this magazine is that it heralds living the simple life, but advertises a ton of products and gadgets that will help you lead a simpler life. A bit contradictory methinks.

  19. FrankandMary says:

    I'm raiding Ian's comments because I just found his blog & I was so impressed with it. I am anti-clutter all the way. Doesn't mean my house looks pristine, far from it, but I don't keep things I don't want or need, and I don't want or need much. Lots of cat toys, lots of French perfume, lots of books. I'm good. ~Mary

  20. Jazz says:

    F&M – I'm with you on the lots of books thing – though at this point I'm trying to get rid of lots of those too. I have six boxes ready to go… somewhere. Welcome to my blog. I'm a big fan of Ian's too.

  21. Jocelyn says:

    I hate that wall washing step–so non-gratifying!And I laugh at people who subscribe to a magazine as a way of having less. How about one fewer magazines in your life, for starters?

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