Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Private or Public Clutterer

Do you like to keep your clutter in plain sight or are you the type that hides it? We can only fall into two categories. Granted their extremes with either.

The plain sight clutterer tends to be more
of an organizer, a visual person, methodical and/or perfectionist. It may sound like quite a generalization, but from my experience observing plain sight clutterers, they see the piles as well laid out plans. If you look in their drawers, closets and cabinets, they are well put together. Clothes in their place, space saving devices to keep items in order and sometimes objects are sorted by color or size. It's the perfectionism in these people that keeps them from tackling the piles in the house because it's work to sort and locate the exact location for each item that needs to be put away. It's time consuming and today, no one has time.

On the other hand, the closet clutterer te
nds to be more focused on presentation, appearances, image and/or control. The house is immaculate with no papers on tables, sometimes no small appliances on the counter and certainly minimal knick knacks to be dusted. BUT, don't open that closet!!!! Out will come out all the hidden secrets. The doors won't shut again and junk will ooze out the bottom of the door. Take for example one of the last scenes of the movie 'Cheaper by the Dozen' where they are prepping the house for a celebrity visitor. Mrs. Baker comes home after a long trip and is looking for her clothing from the cleaners. The house is immaculate, but yet as she opens the closet for her clothes, everything from toys to garden tools falls out in an avalanche across the room. This is a perfect example of a closet clutterer.

There are extremes too where more professi
onal help is needed. An extremely cluttered home (closets and out) are a sign of a deeply ill person. The show 'Hoarders' exposes them and in each case, the homeowner is deeply troubled emotionally. The inability to clean a house is only a manifestation of a very consuming illness.

Keeping items in their place is a daunting prospect for most of us, but for the troubled individual it is virtually impossible. This post is not about them. Professional counseling should be pursued immediately.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum where both closet and public viewing areas are perfectly sterile and clean. No dust, no papers, no chaos anywhere. Some would say that it's a desired end. To me, it's a sign of a person void of emotional attachments. There are no items of sentimental value kept because nothing is considered to be of sentimental value. Sterility is the word that comes to mind when thinking of
these types of house keepers. They lack passion, drama and have a severe lack of connection to things for fear that it may remind them of a painful past. They too may need some professional counseling.

What I'm talking about most here is how the rest of us generally keep house. I enjoy going to other people's homes to see how they tame the clutter. I then analyze the type of personality they have and see if it fits within the spectrum I created above. It's a check point to see how well I compare with the rest of the world. Do they clean up like me? Do they clutter like me?

Speaking of me, I tend to be the plain sight clutterer. I put things away in spurts. I tackle a pile, with a large garbage bag by my side and then put the rest away where it belongs before moving on. In my house, everything has to have a place. It doesn't get to that place, until I have time to put it there. If there's a pile, I'm the one that has to tack
le it, because I'm visual and I have to know where those items went if I am to ever find them again. I'm not easily overwhelmed, but I do have to be in cleaning mode so I can tackle more than one area at a time like I like to do.

Which type of clutterer are you?
Can you handle it? or do you need professional help?
Can I open your closets? or will I just find what i'm looking for by merely looking around?