Back in 2016 I wrote a column about Marie Kondo’s The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up. It was a huge trend, and everyone was throwing things away that didn’t give them joy. In that column I admitted I am a slob and Marie Kondo’s extreme methods were really not for me. Two years later and nothing has changed, I am still a slob, but let’s take that a step further: I have always been a slob. I was a messy kid, I had a messy locker at school, messy dorm room at university, and currently a very messy office. One of the really big problems is I don’t care that much; there are so many other, better things I could be doing. I am perfectly happy living with my mess. I sleep soundly with dishes in the sink (or in the fridge, which is where I hide them), clean laundry left on the sofa, and piles of things everywhere. I will even take it another step and tell you it really ticks me off when I am forced to clean! I get unbelievable angry and resentful when people come over and I have to clean for them. Even if I have invited you over, I will secretly resent you for making me clean. You better be bringing me food and you better compliment my effort, even if my house is nowhere near as neat as your house!
As of August I have been in my apartment for 9 years and it is time for me to do some sprucing up. My poor apartment needs a fresh coat of paint and new floor. But before any of those things can be done, you guessed it -I need to clean! There is no sense in moving things from room to room that really should be moved out the door! So how am I going to get my apartment ready? Apparently I am a masochist, and love to torture myself with other people’s neat, well decorated homes. One of my favorite home and décor sites for inspiration is Apartment Therapy, “...a leading source of design inspiration and tips for real people looking for real-life decor solutions through a fascinating look into how people from around the country live at home.” (https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/about) I am re-reading Apartment Therapy: the eight-step home cure by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan (the founder of Apartment Therapy). Although this book is a little old now, I think it still has some good ideas, including a home quiz to help you understand what you want from your living space. The website is very up to date and full of tips, tricks and inspiration. I am currently subscribed to September Sweep, I get a daily email with a task, for example: Identify your Monster zone, Sentimental decluttering, and Planning for a yearlong purge. The emails give you doable tasks that will hopefully help you get your house under control and make your life easier. (Full disclosure, I always sign up for these and I read every article, I just never do any of them! Although I did once use their tip for cleaning my shower head with a Ziploc bag!)
One of my latest discoveries is Dana K. White. Her blog is called A Slob Comes Clean and I am also currently reading her book How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with your houses’ dirty little secrets. I can identify with Dana, as I too have been messy all my life, and harbour secret fantasies of a clean house without actually putting in any effort to make said fantasies a reality. Dana says things I really don’t want to hear, like people with clean homes clean their home every day. Housecleaning is never-ending and, in a nutshell, that is my problem with house cleaning. I don’t want to do it every day. I don’t want to admit that my mother is right - if I did a little bit every day my house would be cleaner. Another strike against Dana, her first chapter talks about doing the dishes, which honestly is the chore I despise the most. I am going to keep reading her book (her second book is called Decluttering at the the Speed of Life) and listening to her podcast because a lot of what Dana is saying is common sense. She isn’t saying crazy things about thanking my shampoo and emptying my purse every day! I am hoping Dana will rub off and I too will begin to de-slobify my life. (I would like to state for the record, my Mom is a very good housekeeper and her dishes are done every day. Also, my Mom didn’t not force me to put this in my article.)
For more books about cleaning and organizing, check out our website www.cumberlandpubliclibraries.ca.
Chantelle Taylor is the deputy chief librarian for the Cumberland Public Libraries.