Monday, May 19, 2008

My Rules of Life---Part Four


HAVE PEOPLE IN AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH.

Sounds like a really silly rule, doesn't it? But this is a life saver for a loner. Particularly a loner who hates housework. I joke that my standards are fairly low, one of the signs on my wall as you walk in says:
"I cleaned the house last week, sorry you missed it."
And a tea towel in the kitchen says:
"Life's far too short for housework".

I heartily agree.

But I never want to be one of those outright eccentric people you read about that has to be eventually shoveled out of their abodes, drowning in five years of newspapers and rat and cat droppings. And I often feel I could be. Like I'm a dog hair away from that. Not that there's anything wrong with what anyone chooses to do with their lives. But living like a reclusive oddball with a collection of garbage bags, cardboard boxes as decor and an excessive number of cats has no appeal for me.

I honestly believe that clutter can kill creativity and originality. A cluttered and messy house can be a reflection of the person living in it. And I get that way occasionally, piling books upon books and files upon files and not putting away the laundry and letting the dishes stack up in the absence of a dishwasher here in the outport. And between looking for missing bits of my life and stroking the same pile of files seeking the errant one, I realise what an awful waste of time clutter is, as my life stagnates around it.

So the only cure for clutter in my book is to have people in. At least once a month. It keeps me on my toes. And between thirty minutes a day to maintain a semblance of order and outsourcing the floor washing and vacuuming, I stay there. And I'm the better person for it.

And the biggest bonus of this, of course, is the vital connection with others and the maintenance of social graces. I love making pots of tea and baking scones.

15 comments:

  1. I think that is a very good rule.

    My motivation for keeping the apartment clean, is that I pretend the queen is coming over for tea and I want everything spic and span.

    But I like the company rule and must try that one out myself, it is good to socialize. I am too much of a loner.

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  2. Yes Irene:
    I find it far too easy to shift into perma-loner mode and it's just not healthy, IMO. We need others to let us know how we're doing, now and again ;^)
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Hello, I came over from Nora's place! You look an interesting lady with an good blog! I was 66 yesterday so that makes us in a similar age bracket!
    I'm not a lover of house work either, but I would get depressed living in a hovel like the ones you describe in your post!
    While I'm here I will have a nose round and hope you don't mind!

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  4. Jenny and I are very hot on clutter, we can't stand piles of unused junk. Our rule is, if we buy something then we also ditch something. Works quite well. I was trying to get my mum to get rid of all the junk in her house for years, to no avail. But now she's decided to sell up and move to a sheltered flat so she's finally got to junk the junk! Hoorah!

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  5. Quentin Crisp said 'After four years, the dust doesn't get any worse'

    Perhaps that explains why he *never* entertained and took such pains to accept every invitation offered to him!

    Know what you mean about the danger of mess becoming a reflection of the contents of ones' own head. I am mostly quite tidy as mess depresses me and we creatives don't need any help on that front!

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  6. Welcome Maggie May and take as long as you want. I know people who live in middle-class squalor and it takes on a life of its own. Vigilance is the key!
    -----------------------------------
    Nick:
    Interestingly enough, that is one of my rules too. Except for books. And magazines. And CDs. And DVDs. And the worst one of all - my stashes of knitting wools.
    I never wanted to be like your mum with others shovelling me out. There's a form of visible to all insanity to it which bothers me. I hope it doesn't affect your mum this way and bless her and her move.
    -----------------------------------
    Laura:
    Yes I agree we so don't need help on the depression front and when I'm surrounded by an orderly environment it is so much easier on me!

    XO
    WWW

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  7. Tea and scones? If I'm ever in your neck of the woods I know where to call.

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  8. Absolutely RJA, and an odd kind of Newfoundland cream which passes for Devon Double and works very well on the scones. You'd be so welcome!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Spot on! Without guests I'd never do the necessary! We have a ten day stint here at 'Hotel' H from tomorrow with daughter2+boyf for five days then stepson1+girlf for five days... then I'm going to put my feet up and I won't care about the mess!

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  10. Oh that sounds like a lot of work, Cris, I hope you get through it OK, of course the thought of the feet up with sustain you!!
    I usually have a lot of revolving door guests here throughout the summer which keeps me on my toes, too.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Yummy tea and homemade scones round at your place sounds ideal. Do you serve yours with fresh cream and homemade jam? Scones are among the best comfort foods ever invented.

    I agree about the once a month entertaining rule, it's a great way of keeping on top of things and renewing the energy in the house.

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  12. Is there any other way to serve them, H? I also make them pseudo-healthier by adding cranberries and seeds and cutting back on the sugar a little.
    I like what you said about renewing the energy - of all concerned I think.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. Entertaining once a month is a great way to keep in touch with friends and to make you cook properly.

    I tell myself that I am emigrating to Australia about every six months and clear out my 'clutter'! If I wouldn't take it to Oz then I really don't need it.

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  14. Ah yes! I have a magnet on my fridge that says, "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life."

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  15. Oh I love that hot tip, GM, moving away to Oz, I am stunned at how quickly my clutter builds up, this will help me!

    Verna:
    Amen to that!

    XO
    WWW

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