by Sylvia A. Winters
I have a lot of bad habits. Who doesn’t? My worst, though, is definitely my seeming inability to pick up a duster or wash the dishes more than once a week.
The only time I really tidy is when someone’s coming round. I let things pile up and up, until a friend suddenly pops up and says ‘Hey, coming to visit tomorrow!’ and I think ‘Oh, fuck…’ Cue me running around with the hoover, wondering how the hell I’ve ended up with a pile of twenty-something crumpled bus tickets on my bedside table. Usually only about half of the house really gets done. The main stuff, you know. Just enough so people can sit down and not grimace and wipe down their seat before they do it.
I often dream of having a picture perfect flat like the ones in magazines, every surface shining clean. I like things tidy. It helps me think better, makes things flow more easily. I don’t want sterile tidy, but I prefer my clutter to be hidden away when it can be, for things to be neat(ish) and out of my way. It’s just… I need all of those things, so why put them away where I’ll have to rummage for them the next day?
It’s gotten to the point where I’ve given up on myself a little. I used to keep all my clothes in a pile on the floor, because I knew if I put them in drawers or the wardrobe I’d just be rummaging for them again the next day. So I got rid of the drawers and bought myself a trunk, so I can leave the lid open and just chuck everything in, keep it off the floor and then when I do actually need to tidy my room I can just close the lid and no one is any the wiser. Probably the best investment I’ve ever made.
I’m also a bit of a hoarder. I not only have most of my university study material, I also still have all my old folders and workbooks from A level (and some from GCSE, even) just in case I need to look something up. I suppose that’s just part of being a writer. Every bit of information might one day come in handy, so how can I throw it out? I’d love to cut down the amount of books I have, because it makes moving house fairly horrendous and once again I’m running out of room on my bookshelves, but it’s just not going to happen.
That said, I had a clear out recently, put loads of stuff into bags for the charity shop, lots of old cuddly toys, clothes I haven’t worn in years. They’ve been at the foot of the stairs for months, because I don’t have a car to actually take them anywhere.
One day, I keep saying to myself, I will be this super organised, neat human being and completely streamline my life.