Actually, I guess it would be more accurate to say that there are many times when I am confronted yet again with the fact that storage solutions don’t solve clutter. One of those times was yesterday. I stood in front of my bookcase and, very critically, started removing books. There was an encyclopaedia of secret societies that, though a handsome book, I hadn’t looked at even once. There was an academic work from 1976 about the history of the cult of Dionysos from its beginnings on Crete to late antiquity under the Roman Empire, which I could not even remember buying (and I must have bought that myself, because who would give such a thing?). There was a children’s book that I, upon opening and rereading some bits, remembered not even liking then so what was I doing with it now?
In the end, I removed enough books to the ‘Donate box’ on the landing to clear a 70 cm piece of shelving. I also identified some further books I haven’t read yet but that, after reading, may turn out not to be worth keeping. I was pleased with myself.
And yet, by the end of the day, there wasn’t an empty centimetre in my bookcase.
First I took some books that were lying horizontally on top of other books and put them in the empty space. Then I took some books lying around and tidied those away. Then I took the books that were on the bottom shelf of my wardrobe and put them with their fellows in the proper bookcase. Bit by bit, my new shelf space disappeared – and it doesn’t feel like I got anything for it in return.
That’s the problem with clutter: A lot of it is invisible. It’s behind closed doors, in boxes under the bed, or stacked very carefully in such a way that you don’t realize how much of it there is. So getting rid of things – which is the correct thing to do to combat clutter! – can feel like it’s not accomplishing anything at all. If I were to get a new book, I’d still have no place to put it. Even that new shelf space at the bottom of my wardrobe disappeared in a flash, taken up by one pair of shoes.
This is the hard and ugly truth about decluttering: You either go all out, get rid of as much as you can until it hurts, and then are incredibly vigilant about letting things back in to your house; or you will be at it for a long, long time. Currently I’m in the latter category, but I’m beginning to think maybe the former is the way to go.
P.S. I finished the tea cozy, but can't post about it yet, and am making good progress with the Sprite Stitch Mega Swap, but can't post about that either. I see a flaw in the combination 'blog about crafting' and 'craft things that are a secret'.