Decluttering with Astrid (15)

This week: Doubt sets in.

So, after 15 weeks of me writing about decluttering, you will naturally want to know how things are in my house at the moment. The same goes for my colleagues. Which makes me a little nervous, because writing about something is somewhat different to actually doing it. You see, even though I have done a lot of tidying up, the mess still seems to be coming at an alarming rate. And with that, comes doubt too. Like doubt number one: Is an empty house really that nice?

I may not always say this, but a chaotic home shows that it’s lived in, and that it’s full of happiness. Because mess is caused by children that play; dogs that bounce around; cats that shed their hair; parties that are held; Lego bricks that are scattered all over the floor; and mementos that nestle in your cupboards and on your shelves. A messy house shouts: “There’s a happy group of people living here! And if nothing’s being moved around, then there’s no life in the place”

The other doubt concerns creativity. After all, doesn’t chaos give birth to so much beauty? We actually featured a story about the beauty of disorder in a past issue of Flow. And I once read a lovely point of view on the matter in a column by author Maartje Wortel, whose grandfather believed that people who live in empty, tidy houses apparently have nothing exciting to do.

Decluttering smacks a bit of housekeeping, too. And, as my mother would be the first to agree, I’m not very good at that. I seem to be missing that “cleaning” gene a bit. I take my hat off to those who understand when and how to use a chamois on the windows, but I myself have no idea. And when it comes to a closet full of crisp linens, all beautifully folded into neat little piles… well, I’m green with envy as I can never do it.

In short, here we are in week 15 and the doubt has set in again. Fortunately, I’m still able to (only just!) blame the Christmas holidays, during which it’s almost obligatory to live in a disorganized mess. As there’s still no solution to Christmas trees that drop their pines, too many parties taking place, and refrigerators stuffed with food.

Astrid is, together with Irene, the founder of Flow Magazine. She lives together with her partner and has two kids. Every Tuesday she writes about the sense and nonsense of decluttering.

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