Clutterville Central:My Domestic Space Dilemma

image of vintage dresser cluttered with china, odds and ends.

Since starting my new part-time job at IKEA I am enjoying a resurgence of energy and activity. I love the work, the creative atmosphere and our lovely team. I’m also studying Marketing at Belfast Met and setting up a small enterprise to combine life and health coaching with business support for sole traders and SMEs.

So, as you may guess, the home front is suffering. In complete contrast to the beautiful environment I work in and help to maintain, my own domestic daily routines have gone haywire and mindful domesticity has temporarily taken its leave.

The laundry gets done but rarely put away. Food shopping happens and meals are made, even though the fridge and cupboards are now pretty disorganised.

I’m sliding too on all the little extras: DIY and decor projects hang suspended in no-man’s-land; de-cluttering on a routine basis is now a pipe dream; windows need shining and bedrooms need sprucing but I simply cannot find the time to start and finish a project on the same day, week or even month. In short, the house is a mess.

On top of that there’s been a hiatus on the writing, blogging, crafting, walking and regular exercise fronts. They are now haphazard chance happenings. In short,

>> I need help! <<

What to do? Everyone is willing to chip in, in spite of the multiple demands on time and energy they too face daily. The challenge is to create an organising and cleaning system and keep it going – a tall order indeed, since we all work and study.

My current muse is tidying guru Marie Kondo, ‘whose method of lovingly connecting with belongings that spark joy and bidding a fond but firm farewell to the rest, is popular in Japan and is now catching on elsewhere.’ [The Guardian, Life and Style Supplement, 27th Nov. 2014].

I bought the book last year, started the ‘Kon Marie’ system and it was all going well until I got caught up in job applications and lost the tidying plot somewhere along the way.

So do I engage some outside help for a big spring clean (or to be more precise a big ‘pre-Christmas’ clean) and for routine monthly or weekly maintenance? This seems sensible and I believe would be money well spent. We could then all share the basic daily tasks and keep our own stuff regulated while outside help takes care of big cleaning. Big questions, though. Is it affordable? Is it justifiable?

>> What to do? Would it work? <<

Your experiences and suggestions would be most welcome!

Thanks and Toodle-oo

‘til next time.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maura Canavan
    Nov 22, 2016 @ 10:35:27

    Not a fan of bidding farewell to belongings as they all tell a story – even if my addled brain has forgotten what their story was. Rotation is an alternative to abandonment! It requires some storage space and in the process some items will inevitably be passed on to a combo of friends/hoarders/charity shops.
    Not my idea/system – and like most things can’t remember where I read about it – but basic idea is boxes/containers > sift through items and group together by theme/colour/whatever works. Aim is two piles per room – one for items you will display summer/autumn the other for winter/spring. Trying to figure when those seasons start/end in our climate is an added twist in the system but sure it adds a little more entertainment to the whole thing!
    Ideally you would opt for 4 boxes one for each season but that seems overkill given that we can more or less depend on either warmish/brightish//dryish weather versus cold/dark/wet in this neck of the globe – so two piles/boxes should suffice. Then all you need to do is commit to 2 spring cleans and swap out the items each time – one pile out of box for display while the previously displayed items get cleaned and put away.
    As to affordability, and going against the grain in advocating depriving someone of some hours of work, why not make the main event a fun one reunion with peeps we generally only get to see at unhappy events. WARNING – very long rambling sentence coming up – that has morphed into a paragraph.
    So instead of calling it spring/winter cleaning it’s an extended lunch-date (or work for your lunch date – which has the added bonus of fitting right in with the current Victorian/workhouse/austerity meme – and could become a trend setter – heck if a politician is reading this could even become a new care worker policy!) where friends congregate at the hosts house – roll up sleeves and take a room, or two depending on how many friends we have, and get to work separating/cleaning/packing/storing/displaying – all under the watchful supervisory eye of our host who has power of veto for the day.
    (Gasp for breath)
    Anyway I’m game – and thanks for the morning read. I could go on with various storage options that are prettier than boxes but will hold those ideas 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    • Roberta McDonnell
      Dec 20, 2016 @ 19:52:17

      Oh Maura you’re a genius! Rotation sounds interesting for the stuff I really want I keep but I must say there is a lot of (paper especially) I would like to be liberated from. Loving your get together idea, sounds like a ‘barn raising’ day. And thanks Maura for your kind offer, sounds like we could have some great days helping each other out, so let’s see if any others are interested. Friends in Galway used to do this from time to time actually and I’d forgotten all about the tradition until you jogged my memory. Thanks again and hope we can chat soon. How’s your craft work going? 🙂❤️



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