Yes the rumours are true. I’m back and blogging once a month for Zeit My Geist. And what BETTER way to begin than by discussing something which affects us all. Something controversial. Something cutting edge. Something terrifying.
This morning was something of a watershed moment for me. I was trying to find stuff. Extension lead? Found it. It was in my man bag. Random, thought the me. Phone charger? Where would you expect to find it. Of course, in the fridge. Not good. The Bag For Life I was planning to use on my Aldi trip. Oh hell. It’s in The Cupboard. The Kitchen Cupboard of Doom.
Those of a nervous disposition, organised types, or anyone with an OCD about tidiness please look away now. The following contains scenes which may upset some people.
This my friends, is The Kitchen Cupboard of Doom. It’s where I hurriedly put things that don’t seem to have a home immediately but WILL have a home very soon, I promise. Items I’ve used and swear I’ll sort out a home for when I have the time. Which’ll probably be tomorrow, or the day after. Or next week.
Hideous isn’t it?
It contains shopping bags, crisps, as you can see and all manner of desperately tidied away detritus. Hidden behind the cool bag is the dustbuster, four paintbrushes, sawdust for the long dead hamster, a pair of shorts and secateurs. What you can’t see hidden is other things which have been dumped, put away, ‘tidied up’ or just lost. The lost city of Atlantis, Lord Lucan and Ewan McGregor’s career will all probably turn up once I get my arse into gear.
Which, at that watershed moment, I decided was then. Well, in a bit. Once I’d made some coffee.
I’m usually a well-organised chap. When my children were tiny and we’d go out for the day I’d pack a bag so we had everything we needed, and usually some things we didn’t. The bag was an object lesson in meticulousity. Nappies were in their appropriate sections, along with wipes and cream. Powdered formula was dosed out and in containers. Flexible spoons were with the food. Snacks were in another section. Suncream, sunglasses, sunhats and probably the actual SUN were in another section, so much did we take out with us from time to time. Books and toys were in another compartment which I’d labelled, in my head, the Entertainment section… you get the drift.
There was a place for everything and everything had it’s place.
How things have changed.
The Cupboard of Doom shamed me. I went to the bathroom and took a long look at myself in the mirror. I’d become a lazy, slovenly, slattern of a man. I also noticed an errant nasal hair poking out for all the world to see, so obviously personal grooming was also an issue.
I vowed to deal with it. The cupboard, obviously, because tweezing HURTS. Why procrastinate any longer? Recently I’ve started to get annoyed at myself for getting annoyed at myself for not being able to find things I “tidy away”. Deal with the cupboard of DOOM Spencer. This is your final warning.
And after 30 minutes this was what I had.
An object lesson in organisationalness and colour coded awesomeballs.
I found hammers and wrenches which now sit in toolboxes. I found fabric which I’d put in bags so I could use them as dusters one day, which are now recycled, because I don’t need them, and now some person in a war-torn country can use them as dusters. Sadly I couldn’t find Ewan McGregor’s career but that’s okay, that’s WELL lost. The crisps are no longer there because I ate them and very nice they were too.
Oh, and I got that nasal hair while I was at it. Tweezed that bad boy out with a pair of thin-nosed pliers I found. BOOM!
I’m rather proud of myself.
Can you tell?
I know I’m not the only person who has adopted this haphazard method of tidying. I know, men and women alike are all prone to moments of ‘I’ll just put that there and find a home for it later’-ness (NB: But men are the worst. Honestly, we’re really crap. If a man says “I’ll tidy that up” once he’s done, ask him where he’s put it and what he’s done with it because, chances are, he’ll forget within the hour and then you’re all in trouble). However, if we want our kids to pick up after themselves and tidy stuff away without being shouted at to do so, we MUST lead from the front, in the somewhat ridiculous hope that they might follow our example. I know, as parents, we’re all busy and sometimes there just ain’t enough time in the day to colour code your Tupperwear or organise shopping bags into types. (‘Won’t fall apart if reused when shopping.’ For the inside of the bathroom bin’, ‘Acceptable for taking presents to kids birthday parties’ are just three I can come up with). Rather than think ‘Oh I’ve got to tidy the cupboards a bit’ it’s nicer to spend time hearing what the kids have done at school or just watching them play. What better form of procrastination is there?
But I’ve said to all three of us, me myself and I, no more of this sort of thing. No more just dumping stuff in a reckless and thoughtless manner. No more ‘oh it can wait till tomorrow.’ Do great world leaders like Bill Clinton procrastinate? Did Napoleon say “not tonight Josephine”? Did Leonardo da Vinci ever miss a deadline? Seize the day Spencer! I found my secateurs in the Kitchen Cupboard of Doom and they are now with the rest of the gardening stuff in the garage. WHERE THEY SHOULD BE!
To be fair the garage is also in need of a bit of a tidy but I’ve got episodes of Come Dine With Me on catchup and Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’ll do the garage tomorrow.
Thanks for reading.
Do you have a cupboard, drawer, airing cupboard or cubby hole of doom? Do you or your partner “tidy things away” for them never to be seen again? Do you put things off for as long as humanly possible, and then a bit longer? All comments and amusing anecdotes are greatly appreciated.