Archive for the 'De-cluttering' Category

Decluttering Nightmare

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

The day began with high hopes. I had the day off. Since I am self-employed I shouldn’t be overly excited when I don’t have work, but I was excited nonetheless. I made arrangements to meet another self-employed friend to finally see the film Never Let Me Go. I was excited to see a movie featuring angst, British schoolgirl tweed and itchy sweaters. Perhaps it would inspire me sartorially and help me say goodbye to my summer sundresses for a couple of seasons.

Unfortunately I misread the theatre times and our matinee dreams were dashed. Instead we drank coffee, lots of it, until I hit a caffeine wall. I took my jittery self home, determined to do a massive de-clutter of my massive clutter.

I am now surrounded by terrifying mounds that have tripped me multiple times and I am worried that The Sweetie will not find my broken body among the piles of hoarded rubble. I am staring at a bag of enormous nuts and bolts, belonging to what, I don’t know. I am smelling mildewy piles of fabric that I had been saving for the craft projects I never do, and something is making me extremely itchy. I am hesitant to throw out a large cardboard box that I have been saving to build a house for the cat because I think he is bored and depressed and needs a more stimulating environment.

I am vacillating between panic, despair and defeat. The only thing I can do is wait for The Sweetie to come home with tonic water and limes. I have placed an order for a gin and tonic and will try to clear a path to the freezer for easy access to the ice cube tray.

Attitude and Cash at BMV

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Really, you surly hipster employee at the BMV Bookstore in your American Apparel outfit, do you hate me and my books that much? Is it that taxing to rifle through a few of my books and cd’s and decide what might be acceptable in your store? I’m sorry I tore you away from the extremely stimulating task of pricing dvd’s. I get it that you are tremendously bored with me, as you made abundantly clear from your sighs and eye rolls, but being bored doesn’t instantly make you interesting. In fact, your attitude is boring. You’re boring. I have encountered much more interesting people than you who still manage to be nice and make eye contact and have a slight inflection to their voice and offer a thank you or a you’re welcome or a see you around or even a grimace. If you are that bored, slumped in your seat like Gollum at the BMV buying desk, maybe you should call in sick, smoke some cigarettes and write some angst ridden poetry or something. Don’t take it out on a poor girl like me who just wants to sell some unwanted books and put a few coins towards her beach vacation fund and make Peter Walsh the decluttering expert proud. How dare you make me feel like an old curmudgeon shaking my cane and complaining about kids today having no respect or manners. You awful little hipster. You know what? I took some of that money you dropped on the desk in return for my books and I treated myself and The Sweetie to a delightful lunch at Sushi on Bloor. We enjoyed every scrumptious delightful bite. It was on you, you silly surly buying desk troll, and it was dee-licious.


Foxy Fox Bracelet

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I am a walking contradiction. I am aware that declaring myself a declutterer and taking a Zen Buddhist meditation course conflicts with shopping online and amassing more stuff. One would think that I’d be slightly ashamed and cool it just a little, but I am weak. So far, I’ve only attended two meditation classes so I still have a way to go on my path to enlightenment. My Peter Walsh decluttering book is buried somewhere on my night table beneath magazines, a couple of books and piles of torn out recipes. I have lost a little of the decluttering fever.

A woman gets tempted every now and then. Especially when faced with this foxy fox bracelet from Fey Handmade.


I couldn’t resist. I found the site the other day on Bliss when I was procrastinating rather than decluttering. I saw the fox bracelet and became obsessed. There it was in my mind’s eye, haunting me. How could I resist such a delightful woodland creature? I thought about it while at my mediation course and felt extra guilty. How could I be thinking of jewellery at a Zen Buddhist temple of all places? I thought about it even though I had decided that as a woman reaching some semblance of maturity I should quit it with the animal motifs and become a little more sophisticated. I thought about it while I gathered up my piles of clutter. I couldn’t stop thinking of that little fox with his sprightly tail.

Perhaps I will never find freedom and enlightenment. Perhaps I will never be clutter free. Perhaps I am a shallow person with a strange obsession with animals who is a bit too introverted and prefers animals over people most of the time. Perhaps I am impulsive and indulgent and a spendthrift. Perhaps it is all of these things, but the lovely fox bracelet will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine.

More on My Pickle Loot Bags

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The Sweetie tried to have a rational conversation with me about my beloved new pickle loot bags.

“You know that some people might not feel the magic of the pickle loot bags.”

“What on earth do you mean? They’re brilliant. Look at them. The pickle is like a pickle version of Mr.Peanut without the monocle. Look how eager he is to share his pickles. He ’s so proud of them! How could someone not appreciate him? ”


“Some people will just think the pickle bags are crazy.”

“You’re telling me a person wouldn’t be thrilled to received a pickle party favour? Come on! You’re leaving a party and the hostess says “wait a minute, here you go,” and hands you a pickle loot bag with a pickle in it? You’re telling me you wouldn’t thrilled?”

“That’s what I’m telling you. I’d be disturbed. And I’d think that the hostess is slightly crazy.”


“Don’t get me wrong. There are some people who will love your pickle loot bags just as much as you do. There are some people who will be disturbed but will love them because they are from you and there are some people who will never understand and just think you’re bananas. Not everyone dreams of pickle loot bags or wants to come to the unveiling of your gnome terrarium or gaze admiringly at your cupcakes adorned with creepy woodland scenes. Some people will just think that you are creepy.”

“Well those people will never get a pickle loot bag then. They won’t deserve one.”

Decluttering With Peter Walsh

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


I am late in discovering Peter Walsh but I am making up for lost time. He is rapidly changing my life and causing me to lose a lot of sleep.

Peter Walsh is an organizing expert and frequent guest on Oprah. I heard his name bandied about at the last girlie swap I attended. Many of the participants were extremely disciplined about not taking home more than they were unloading. I was too frenzied to care about this guru who was casting  such a strange spell on my swapping friends. Instead I was frantically shoving everyone’s castoffs into my bags, wild in my desperation to amass more stuff that I don’t need.

A couple of  months ago while enjoying delicious vegetarian poutine at Utopia on College Street I became fascinated by a woman sitting next to me devouring a book and scribbling madly in her journal. I glimpsed the book’s cover - It’s All too Much, by Peter Walsh. We began chatting about her clutter and how the book was helping her tackle it. I was too busy being judgmental and snide for her advice to strike a chord, thinking that if she really wanted to tackle her clutter problem, shouldn’t she stop buying more books? I could see The Sweetie in my peripheral vision nodding emphatically but ignored him too. The clutter has been a source of irritation for The Long Suffering Sweetie for ages. He is all about simplicity and clean lines and minimalism. If  he had it his way he would put a giant dumpster on the driveway and dump most of the contents of our place into it.

I suppose I just wasn’t ready. Years ago I wasn’t ready to quit smoking despite countless photos of black lungs and my mother’s pleas. The timing had to be right and something needed to click for me to quit. Likewise, until now I wasn’t fully ready to admit that I am buried in crap. I have exploding drawers and a booby-trapped closet crammed with objects poised to tumble on my head. Perhaps I do have a clutter problem after all.

When the student is ready the teacher will come. I finally bought It’s All Too Much and am now the full-on grasshopper to Peter Walsh’s minimalist teachings. He quotes William Morris who said you should not have anything in your house unless it is either beautiful or functional. If I were to follow that criteria more than half of my possessions would be gone. I have declutter fever. I can’t sleep at night because I am thinking of what I should purge. I can’t hear The Sweetie when he is speaking because I am busy looking over his shoulder at what I should throw out.

I will be the minimalist of all minimalists. The rooms will echo from their emptiness. My few remaining clothes will sway in my barren closet, lonely for clothing playmates. I will be almost creepy in my quest for stark hollow emptiness. I am beyond thrilled and more than a little obsessed. It has become a sickness but what a sweet sweet liberating affliction it is.