Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Bang Effect

Clearing the house of clutter is difficult for everyone. It's dirty, physical work. Many emotions are brought up as the items are sorted. Petty disagreements can arise over what is 'trash' or 'treasure'.

But there's much more to it than just clearing the clutter. After all the trash is gone, after all the useful things are back in their proper place, the housework still isn't done. Housework never ends. Things we use must return to their places, trash must be emptied, dust and dirt must be removed.

All over the Blogsphere this month are posts about clearing clutter. But I haven't seen much about what I call 'The Bang' Effect. You've cleaned and thrown out and redecorated. The house looks great. You are making an effort to keep things tidy. Then BANG an area looks exactly as it did before.

If the Bang happens in one particular area of your house no matter how often you clean then the Universe is trying to tell you something. Think about what that area of the house means to you. If the main entrance stays in disarray then you may have a fear of letting people become close to you. If the bedroom is the worst looking room in the house you could fear your dreams or you could be in a dysfunctional sexual relationship. Closets could mean you are afraid to let your true nature show so you bottle away feelings while putting on a brave outward face.

What if the reappearing clutter comes from another family member? How do you really feel about that person? If one of your children continually makes a mess of the bathroom do you feel having that child ruined your health or your figure? If your spouse is always hauling junk to the porch, do you think they are not allowing you to relax? These will not be easy questions to ask and the truth may be very painful. But the issue is not really the clutter. The issue is unaddressed feelings weighing on your soul.

What if you feel like you always lose the battle over clutter? The solution then is to ask what you can really live with- at this time. In my family, people rarely concerned themselves with drawers. So when we argue about what we are going to keep, I start cleaning drawers. After the drawers are neat, I will figure out how much of the junk can fit inside. Tools and fittings are a source of contention in my house. My husband doesn't want to replace something we already bought. But if I give him the space or the box to neatly store things, he will carefully organize and store the compendium of metal bits and bobs all mechanics seem to attract like magnets. And he will keep it neat. Clutter is cleared slowly. I can deal with slow progress as long as progress is being made.

I try to give up my own things first. This shows that I am not being greedy nor do I place the blame of the mess on someone else. Usually when my family sees me giving away my old clothes they are much more likely to let go of things that no longer fit them.

This can be extremely difficult to deal with. I don't really have answers because everyone will have a different situation. All I can tell you is ignoring a problem makes it worse.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

This is a very good post with words of wisdom for others to live by. :o)