Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
Black hole – In astronomy- an object so massive that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitation. In modern usage – a place where things get lost; a place or thing into which objects disappear and are not expected to be seen again.
Do you have a black hole in your house? I bet you do. Maybe it’s the kitchen or dining room table, the chair in your bedroom, your desk, or the bench by the front door. It’s the place in your home that attracts everything that comes into your house and once there is difficult, if not impossible, to re-home.
I have a friend who believes that every single counter or shelf in a house is a black hole, waiting to happen. His ideal house (so he thinks) includes no horizontal surfaces. I guess he’s going to store his underwear in a pile on the floor. For the rest of us, we have counters and shelves and probably appreciate their utility, even if we don’t always appreciate their tendency to attract clutter.
We have a bench by the front door that is the first line of defence against clutter. It stays remarkably clear, holding only the girls’ backpacks and string instruments. I think it doesn’t get cluttered because once the backpacks and instruments are on the bench, there’s not even room for a dust bunny to hide.
But what makes it past the bench to the island in the kitchen, well cue the scary music. We have a big island, a beautiful island, a cluttered island. When I wrote this post it contained the following items, only a few of which actually belong on it: folder, ball of yarn, small pile of papers, clean wine glass that belongs to my Mom, jar of cat treats, watch with broken wrist band, bowl of fruit, bowl of decorative little pumpkins, spray bottle of water (neatly labeled “hair drawer”), two bags of Halloween candy, hair brush, diabetes kit, laptop and power cord (in use), 3 prizes from Halloween party, 4 pieces of mail received today, a bracelet. Yikes! (Note: This column was written in October. The Halloween stuff isn’t still there in February; there’s new clutter instead.)
At our house, we combat the black hole that is the kitchen island by re-homing objects once or twice a week. I quickly pile everything up according to owner and in a scramble, it’s all whisked away, although I would prefer it didn’t land on the island in the first place.
How can we avoid black holes? The bench seems to offer one clue. If the surface is just the right size for our purposes, then extra doesn’t have a place to hide. But since our goals and desires change frequently, and we can’t buy a new piece of furniture to exactly accommodate each change, right-sizing is probably not a realistic solution to most clutter problems. However, if a new furniture purchase is in your future, consider your needs when selecting the new table or shelf. Bigger may not be better.
My friend Julia suggests putting a large plant or other object on the problematic surface. I think this would only work if the black hole was small enough to be mostly covered by the plant; otherwise, I fear you’d just be adding a plant to all your other clutter. But if your black hole is a small one, a large decorative item might help.
I think the solution with the greatest likelihood of success is this one: A place for everything and everything in its place. You walk in and drop the mail, your purse, keys, and sunglasses on the table because that’s their home, even if you don’t want it to be. Find another home. Get a key hook for the door, reassign your purse to your bedroom and put your sunglasses inside. The mail needs a place on your desk. When you shop, put your purchases away, promptly. If they don’t have a home, should you have bought them? If yes, then make a home. Now, before the table becomes their home.
Still feeling the pull of the black hole? Desperate times call for desperate measures: Can you cover the table with a cloth or crumpled newspapers – anything to remind yourself “Danger! Black Hole Ahead!” Perhaps you could lay the table on its side until the gravitational force dies out? If the black hole is a chair, can you get rid of it or move it to another room until your break your black hole habit? And if the black hole is a table in the dining room that you don’t use except to store clutter, is this the best use for this room? Maybe you should get rid of the table all together and add something to the room that you really will use and enjoy. It’s your house. Just because the real estate brochure said it was a dining room doesn’t mean you have to use it that way.
Where is your black hole, and how will you be fixing it?
Written by:- Cindy Bogard
Today’s decluttered Item
And the items just keep on coming. This socket set is excess to our needs and was sold on ebay for $10.50.
5 Things I am grateful for today
- Google Calendar – Life can get very organised with this little internet tool.
- I am finally getting ahead with my blog posts – hopefully I will need to scramble less in future and not make so many typos etc.
- That none of my readers point out my bad spelling, typos, grammar, and bad sentence structure – Thank you lovely readers.
- That I am not employed outdoors – The temperature reached 43°C today that is 109.4°F my friends. Youch!
- T-Bone roast for dinner – This is a T-Bone steak cut at about 2 inches thick and roasted for one hour on 200°C with potatoes, sweat potato, pumpkin, carrot and onion in the same pan. Yum! How outrageous Sunday dinner on Tuesday night. 😆