I Have Seen The Clutter Monster, And It Is Me

originally in Abilene Families

Just as every home has a monster in the dryer that eats the socks, my family has a clutter multiplying monster. Maybe it’s the same monster, because dirty socks seem to show up in the mix quite frequently.

I am amazed at how a candy wrapper that falls to the floor can suddenly grow a companion pair of dirty socks. Soon a dirty dish and glass will join the mess as if the harmony of the clutter beckoned them. Left alone for more than a few hours, yesterday’s paper finds its way to the party.

Before the sun has set, an episode of “Hoarders” is being filmed in my living room.

I take full responsibility for allowing the clutter multiplying monster to have his way with my home. I can be absorbed in something -- writing this column in my head, perhaps -- and can step over and around and through clutter and never see it... until the doorbell rings. Then I break a sweat and start yelling for the kids to pick up all of that junk that I never saw until that minute... like my shoes, my purse, and my laptop.

We have a dog, which brings a whole new level of clutter into the home. She is too old for the little toys and bones that used to get littered about the floor, just waiting for a bare foot to find the soggy material on a midnight trip to the bathroom.

Now she simply reclines about my house depositing her hair all over the house. If I get to come back as an animal in the afterlife, I want to be her.

I simply don’t understand how one animal can leave so much hair all over my house and still have any left on her body. We don’t have dust bunnies at our house. We have dust puppies, many of them resembling Chewbacca from Star Wars. It’s a constant battle to eradicate those little creatures before they form their own nation, demanding representation in the UN.

Then there is my purse. I really shouldn’t be trusted to carry a purse, but I’ve never lost a child permanently so they let me have one. ‘Cause, you know, heaven knows I don’t have enough clutter lying around my house. Now I need some to sling over my shoulder and tote with me in case I am ever without.

Receipts, stray gum and breath mints, broken pens and gum wrappers are all normal clutter for a purse, but there is the kid clutter, depending on the age of the child. It could be a lint covered pacifier, a baggie of crushed goldfish crackers, a superhero action figure (minus an arm, making it not-so-super), or happy meal toys.

There might be movie ticket stubs, the stub to a football game where the child caught a touchdown pass, rubber bands for braces the child no longer has, a program from a band concert, a taekwondo belt, glasses missing a lens, a mouthpiece for an instrument, a broken earring (possibly my own, but likely not), medications dating back to the Reagan presidency, and a collection of hair accessories.

I drag my purse clutter-container to my car, yet another haven for clutter in my life. At least this is a portable clutter. One must be prepared for everything and have chairs and blankets for the soccer field in the trunk and a tissue box floating in the car.

How quickly the clutter multiplying monster grows those few items into a pile of jackets, floating straw wrappers, and stacks of school papers crammed between seats. I do enjoy a good West Texas car clean out: open doors on either side and let everything blow out. Frowned upon by the pollution police, of course, but where were they when we were all drowning in pollution inside my own vehicle?

I would love to say that this clutter comes with the youth in my house and will be gone in a vapor just like the wet footprints down the hall after the shower. Sadly, I am aware that much of the clutter is mine from simply not paying attention to what piles up. It has occurred to me that perhaps I just may be the Clutter Multiplying Monster.


Lisa Laree said...

Really?? You, too?

And I can't bring myself to make the kids stay on top of THEIR clutter...because so much of mine is lying about.

I feel even worse because I *know* what to do about it and...I don't do it...


Roxanne said...

Tried to comment yesterday to say that this is one of your BEST pieces ever. . .writing is EXCELLENT. And it made me laugh. And it is also me.

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