I’ve been called a lot of things. Probably the term I’m branded most often is Clean Freak. I’ll admit it. I got the “O” aka "Organization" gene. Those of us who have that unremitting trait are considered an oddity—a mutant peculiarity. But sticks and stones, right? I get so tired of the eye rolling and sideways glances of the lesser endowed, that I’ve become a closet closet-cleaner.
So when the de-clutter-bug bites, who ya gonna call? Let’s just say it’s not the hoarder down the street. For me, clutter is equivalent to toxic waste. When it comes to mugs, shot glasses or refrigerator magnets from who-knows-and-who-cares-where, I can be ruthless. I’m not sentimental. I can throw out a spoon collection, logo ball caps, snow globes or bobble hula girls with nary a twinge of regret. And I don’t feel any sense of sacrilege tossing that wooden tiki god headfirst into the trash.
To me junk is pure chaos. It encumbers not only the shelves, but the soul. And no, I don’t care how much that rubbish cost you, you should have known better. Consider it a lesson when the weight of all that unnecessary crap is lifted off your shoulders. You’d be surprised by the heft of a simple T-shirt or old birthday card! Ahhh, the sweet breath of sovereignty!
Keeping all your trinkets is like over-paying twice: First when you buy it, and then again in the form of rent for the space it occupies. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t like things barren and sterile. Okay, maybe I do like things barren and sterile. The point is that stuff should pay for its place in either function or beauty.
Something truly beautiful is an investment that pays for itself over and over again. How does the saying go? A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Likewise, Bad taste tastes bad forever!
Because according to the law of entropy, all things in the universe tend toward disorder, having the gene is challenging. It means those of us on the O Team are always on the front lines. We make the battle look easy. Easier than it is.
For example, the other day I was helping clean the house that my son’s family was moving out of. Their eight-year-old daughter watched me for a few minutes before observing, “You love to work, right, Nana?”
“Well, I’m a hard worker. “ I reply.
“But… it’s really really easy for you!” she insists.
That’s typical stereotyping of a Clean Freak. We get the stink-eye for being overly vigilant in our own homes, and no credit for using our talents elsewhere, because it’s easy for us. Nobody really understands genius.
Maybe true genius is keeping paraphernalia around in case you might need it someday. Or maybe eventually it all could be valuable?