Sunday, 25 January 2009
I absolutely hate housework. I also hate being disorganised. This means that I am constantly in a state of tension between the two incompatible facets of my personality. I achieve a sort of cognitive dissonance by being supremely organised at work (I am almost pathological about keeping surfaces in my classroom clear of clutter, and my desk in the faculty office is only allowed to get up to a half-term's worth of disorder before I am compelled to have a "filing session" after school) and being very untidy at home.
I am lucky enough to live in a two-bedroom flat, and one of the bedrooms started off as an office. This was fine while my computer was in there... I had to be able to keep it relatively tidy in order to access the internet without being confronted with lots of mess and disorder. The problems began when I got a new computer with broadband. The broadband connection was in the living room, and I made the mistake of not getting rid of the old computer immediately, so there was little incentive to get connections sorted out and the computer relegated to the office...
I was also blogging for recreation, and so didn't want it to be in the office, which was for "work" stuff. At least, that's how I rationalised my inertia. I'm good at that.
Then I had a period off work, and was feeling a bit stressed, and I had a lot of extra work-related items which could no longer be kept at school, so they got dumped in the office, instead of being sorted out properly. I wanted things to be tidy and organised, though, so I solved the problem by putting everything in bags and leaving the bags in the spare room.
I then found that there was no room in the spare room (the door would barely open) and so things lay around in piles in the living room, and the bedroom. Soon, Sylvester found that his favourite spot on the sofa was covered in books and files.
Bit by bit, the disorder got to me, and, eventually, I started to tackle the piles of books. I only seemed to have the energy during holiday periods, so it was pretty slow going, and no sooner did I get one pile of stuff sorted than another pile seemed to appear in a new spot. The spare room was, however, still a no-go area. Finally, I realised that the tidy piles of stuff in the living room would remain forever, periodically getting messy and being tidied again, (like a modern-day labour of Sisyphus) unless I sorted the spare room and turned it back into an office.
Drastic action was called for. Luckily, a friend of mine has a particular penchant for tidying up other people's houses - she says that it is an antidote to sharing a flat with someone else who is very messy: this, apparently, makes tidying her own house very unrewarding (and somewhat depressing.) I have to confess to being unable to see the logic which results in the tidying bug being worked out on someone else's house, but, as she was offering to help me, I wasn't going to argue the point.
We spent the whole of Saturday afternoon and evening clearing, cleaning, sorting and rearranging. By 9:30pm we had filled several bags' worth of items to be disposed of via the Council's re-use and recycling centre. I disposed of the bags this afternoon, after Mass. Somehow I managed to fit it all in the car...
I don't yet have a tidy flat, but the piles of books and files are all needed and all I have to do is decide exactly where I want to put them. I can also walk into the spare room without breaking any limbs.
And Sylvester has his sofa back.