My youngest, Audra, made me laugh recently by saying that a friend had gotten a new wardrobe from IKEA but preferred to continue using “the floordrobe.”
Personally, I hate the floor. How does so much stuff wind up there? I have four animals, and they each seem to shed their bodies’ weight in fur every week. I don’t have any carpet to trap the fur, and that’s a good thing, but it also means that I have the tumbling tumbleweeds of hair every time we open the windows and a breeze gets going. Yuck. I hate a hairy floor.
I also hate to walk barefoot and have stuff stick to the bottom of my feet. I suppose if I had carpet, the hair and dirty things would sink into the fibers, but that’s not such a pretty picture either. I have only wood and tile flooring and a single 8×10 rug. I’ve told Dan that when the vacuum cleaner dies, I’m going to get rid of the rug rather than buy another vacuum. The rug is the only thing I use it for.
But more thanÂ hair and dirt, which are supposed to get on the floor, how do so many other things end up there as well? Looking around, I see two boxes of uniforms that I got down from the attic and have yet to return, a plastic Easter egg (the cat was playing with it), a dog booty (thrown off by the dog and left there for several days), a wash cloth (why?), a bow from a package (what gift? when?), and an insulated bag that’s supposed to be in the back of my van.
All that on the floor in the living room and kitchen, and I don’t even use my floor as a floordrobe! What if those items (which I notice primarily belong to animals….hmm, there could be a lesson here) were joined by clothes, books, magazines, old newspapers, stacks of mail, CDs, shoes, toys, and a pile of laundry to be folded?Â How about bags of never-opened bags from the store, craft projects, extra pillows, a life-size paper mache giraffe? Some people’s house look like this. Mine has. Yours might.
I once worked with a man named Scott. Scott’s desk was a foot high in papers from right to left, front to back. Worse, he used his floor as an extension: his floor was literally covered with stacks of papers. No one could enter without playing tip toe. I did that for a while, but then I got so irritated with his mess that I just stomped straight over anything on the floor. I figured if he didn’t care enough to keep it off the floor, I didn’t care enough to avoid stepping on it. Probably not what he would have preferred, but it worked for the two of us. But think about it: He had papers so “valuable” that he had to keep them out and available, but it was okay that I walked on them. What does that say about their true value?
The floor is only for a few things: a bit of dust, a drift of pet hair, your feet, the furniture, some lamps. You should be able to walk freely through your home without worrying that you might step or crash into something. It shouldn’t be used as a storage room, trash can, dresser or closet. It’s not your storage unit, and it’s not a library. Get it decluttered if you can’t even see it.
Do you have a floordrobe, or have you overcome one?
Today’s Mini Mission
Aside from all the picking up and wasted storage space, indulging your children with too many toys teaches them the habit of excess and can alsoÂ stifle their imagination. Have your children choose three toys each to donate to charity this week.
Eco Tip For The Day
Clothes remain new looking for longer when laundered with care. Wash lights with lights, colours with colours and dark with dark. Now that my household is down to just two I wash our lights with our sheets to save on wash loads. The spare bed sheets are red so when needed I wash them with red or even black clothes.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow