Life in the Time of COVID: Decluttering

This is not my kitchen, but you get the idea.
It isn’t easy being stuck at home most of the day. Unfortunately, during the current pandemic, that is precisely what many of us have been forced to do.

We can only hope that we are neat freaks who always keep everything in order. If not, we could end up looking at our home environment and thinking, “This place looks like it accumulated every item known to mankind then got hit by a tornado.”

Two things become abundantly clear. It is time to straighten things out and time to declutter, not necessarily in that order.

As with Socrates of old, this project consists of a series of dialogues between Myself and Common Sense.

COMMON SENSE: Do you need that ottoman in the middle of the floor? You bump into it every time you squeeze past it.

MYSELF: There’s stuff inside it. It’s a storage ottoman.

COMMON SENSE: Do you want the stuff that’s inside it?

MYSELF: (After taking a look inside the ottoman) Not really. I haven’t used any of this in at least five years.

COMMON SENSE and MYSELF: Get rid of it!

I take the ottoman out and consign it to that great furniture warehouse in the sky.

I now have a big empty spot in the middle of the floor where the ottoman used to be. This is great. I had forgotten that you could walk in a living room if you had the space. New horizons in home decorating are suddenly opening up to me.

The kitchen provides a spectacular example of clutter gone amok.

COMMON SENSE: You have cans and boxes of food in your cupboard that have been there since the year of the flood. Why don’t you check them for expiration dates, get rid of those past their use-by dates, and donate the rest to a soup kitchen?

MYSELF: But what if we are hit by a hurricane, a tornado, and a tsunami, and all I have to eat is what I have in my cupboard? Don’t I need all those cans of food?

COMMON SENSE: No. Especially not the ones that are past their expiration dates!

MYSELF: But it’s so much work to go through all the stuff in my cupboards!

COMMON SENSE: You’ll be okay. You won’t even fall over the stepladder if you’re careful. And oh, do you need a blender and a George Forman grill that you have never used? Aren’t they just taking up space?

It’s useless to argue. I open the cupboards and get to work, at the same time putting up a notice about giving a blender and a George Forman grill to whoever will give them a good home.

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