Monday, June 14, 2010


If you walked into my house, you would think I was obsessively tidy. You would be wrong. There are pockets of chaos in my life—mostly to do with the written word. Too many books, too many articles torn out of magazines, too many recipes clipped or printed from the internet… Periodically I have to go through and sort, file and purge so that I can breathe again.

I have a lot of stuff. Every kitchen drawer and cabinet—except the one above the fridge, now that I think about it—is stuffed. I use most of my kitchen items regularly. But I realized recently that I even hang on to stuff I don’t like and don’t have a need for.

An example? Tarragon, an herb. I can’t stand the stuff. But brilliant me kept it in an overcrowded spice cabinet until I forgot how much I hated it, and last week I ruined some chicken salad (new recipe) with it.

So the tarragon is gone now, and the sesame seeds and thyme sit a little closer together in the turntable. (Shut up. It’s not obsessive to alphabetize spices. It’s practical.) And I am eyeing a few other things in my house that are no longer needed and I don’t even like. No, John, I’m not talking about you.

My brain gets cluttered, too. I’m an emotional person and have many loved ones in my life. Sometimes I get caught up in their pain and chaos, and I worry too much. So then I need to sort, file and purge. And breathe.

The next time you walk into my house you probably won’t notice a difference, but underneath I may have made a bit of a difference. In my house clutter, too.
What about you? Are you a clutterer? Ready to purge?


  1. I think we must be sisters. And I don't like tarragon either.

  2. Isn't that what Scarlett O'Hara said? "Tara - Gone!"
    Hey! Come on! It's not that bad!

  3. When I moved from a house to a condo three years ago I did a major de-clutter. I got rid of a lot of kitchen things, clothes and most especially, books. Now I find myself looking for the things I threw away and the books I sold to a used book store. I'm not a hoarder, but it's all too easy for me to get rid of stuff. A friend once told me that I'm a zen minimalist. She said I needed more stuff. But I like some empty space in my house so I can breathe.

  4. My problem is in my office. I do ok in the kitchen, generally. In fact, I've gotten to where I ask myself, "Can I do that with an item I already have in the kitchen?" before I purchase some "time saving device". I also ask, "Now, just where do you plan to store THAT?" That works fine in the kitchen, and even somewhat in my bedroom closet, but it doesn't seem to work in my office! I can never keep my desk clean. It's a good thing Sam and I have seperate rooms for our computers. He couldn't live in mine!

  5. I knew there was a reason I like you. I alphabetize DVDs, CDs, and books. My clothes are organized by color and style. I do have those hidden pockets, though. Not as many as I did before we moved last November. It was such a relief to get rid of some of the clutter that crawled into the cupboard!