Taming the clutter (and piles)

Kitchen table

It’s never this clean.

Piles are my downfall.

I’m really bad about them. Truly. Piles of mail, shoes, errant candy plucked from my purse — things that have homes, maybe, but somehow wind up on the coffee table or kitchen counter or in a mass near the door.

Living at home until I was 28, I grew quite used to piling up my things in one edge or other of my bedroom — not because I didn’t have free reign of the house but, you know, it was my parents’ house. I spread beyond the four corners of my own space sometimes, but for the most part? Everything was there. There in my childhood bedroom.

If it sounds crazy for a woman in her late twenties to have all her worldly goods in one cramped space, it sort of was. Looking back on it now, I’m not sure how I managed to cram so much stuff in there. If you’re thinking this gave me an appreciation for minimalism and making do with less, well . . . it’s a beautiful thought! But no. No. Though not a pack rat, I do like my things.

Too much, sometimes.

As I’ve been feeling under the weather recently, Spence has been caring for me — and the house has suffered. I mean, it’s not a pig sty, but let’s just say it’s not “company ready” — a condition I aim to be in about 80 percent of the time. I don’t want to be the type of person that panics if friends and family say they’re dropping by, you know? I just want to relax, say “The door is always open!” and actually mean it.

It’s a goal, anyway.

I felt better today. Really better. Rested, alert, awake — for the first time in ages. If I play my cards right, I usually have an extra 15 minutes in the morning between getting showered, dressed, etc. and actually having to run out the door. I usually reserve that time for mindlessly watching television, reading emails or, occasionally, flipping absently through a magazine. Rarely is it used for anything productive.

Today, I felt the burn.

In less than 15 minutes, I raced through projects that had been bugging me for days, weeks: a pile of mail on the kitchen counter; a mountain of clean clothing that needed to be hung in the closet; a disastrous heap of shoes I’d shucked near the door.

It’s nothing momentous. Nothing auspicious. But it felt so good to have the energy — and the presence of mind — to want to do something, and when I was finished? Well. I marched off to work with a light, uncluttered heart.

Though I’ll be the first one to admit I’m prone to laziness, I’m really trying to focus on how good it felt to get a few simple, nagging things accomplished and use that momentum to carry me forward into other parts of the house. Every day. My husband is great about many things — and does just as much, if not more, around our place — but, you know . . . there are certain aspects of clutter I’m more likely to notice than he is.

Marriage. Two people makin’ it work.

Hoping this continues, I can hold myself together — and only good things are afoot.

And if nothing else, well . . . the piles are gone. For today.

(Also, look: I wrote a blog post! A truly productive morning, indeed. Hi!)

A change would do me good

Notice things looking a little . . . different around here? If you’re in a feed reader, perhaps not — but click through and check out the new digs!

I’ve been wanting to spruce write meg! up for the last few months, but the idea of changing themes and recoding portions of the site seemed overwhelming. By chance, though, I came across a layout I really loved on WordPress — Hemingway Rewritten, aptly — and fell in love. I could see the delightful possibilities.

Why the spruce? Well, the last incarnation of write meg! came in November 2010 — three and a half years ago. Since then, I’ve gotten heavily into photography and wanted to showcase larger images . . . and the last layout wasn’t conducive to that.

With everything changing so much in my non-digital life (packing up the condo, moving to the new house, changing offices last year), it felt appropriate to extend my “redecorating” to my online home, too. Plus, it’s midway through the year — a time to consider resolutions, maybe how our time is working or not working for us. It’s a simple thing, a blog layout, but I feel better for having stepped into a new realm.

And new things can be fun! Scary, yes, but also refreshing. I love the simplicity of this larger layout as well as the great white space — and heck, the font is bigger! (Better for aging eyes. You do know I’ll be 29 next month? I set everything to 125% at work. No joke.)

It’ll take a bit to customize everything to my liking, but that’s the fun of it. Just as I’m pushing to get through the drudgery of physically moving all our worldly goods, the hard part of changing here is done. Everything else is just delightful decorating.

Happy Friday, friends! We’ll be painting and continuing our quest to get the new house move-in ready before June comes to a close on Saturday, then celebrating Dad on Sunday.

Hoping for a cool breeze . . . and plenty of strong coffee! See you Monday.