Stuff in every cupboard. In every drawer. On every available surface. I keep buying storage solutions, only to have them overspill within days of being in use.
Our bedroom houses a beautiful console. I envisaged a gorgeous vignette: softly glowing lamps, beautiful hard covered books, and precious ornaments. Instead, what I see each morning the moment I open my eyes is a screeching cacophony of unread magazines, cables and cords, carelessly discarded jewellery and receipts, birthday cards (from March!), miscellaneous plastic containers (yet more failed storage solutions) and mystifying detritus.
I've never had such a big kitchen. Ever. I doubt I will again. There are three tall vertical pantries, four under-bench cupboards, five overhead cupboards, and ten (yes, ten!) deep drawers. We also bought two butchers blocks, each with two shelves, and created an island bench from them. Yet, inexplicably, I have completely run out of room. The debris has migrated to the benchtops. This slow moving but entirely consuming front of gratuitous waste knows no bounds.
Every room in our house is the same, and it's messing with my head. I can't breathe. Nothing is ever properly tidy or clean. Nothing seems to have a permanent home. There is nothing peaceful about the most important space in my life - my home. And when things are tidy (at least on the surface) there is absolutely no denying the joy I feel, followed by the most soothing calm. I wish I could bottle it.
None of this was intentional. And I don't quite know how we got here, but I suspect babies, parenting, working, and general exhaustion simply overtook everything else. Stuff has a very clever way of simply sneaking in. And bad habits are too easy to form.
So, I'm going to fix it.
It's going to be hard. We are going to have to get rid of lots of stuff. We are going to have to make tough decisions. It's going to take the rest of the year, undoubtedly, and then it will take a will of steel. The journey probably won't be pretty, but I know the end result will be.
And it will be more than that. We will have less waste. We'll probably save money too, not re-buying things we already own, or better yet, deciding that actually, we don't need it after all.
Our boys will learn that lots of stuff doesn't equal happiness. In fact, potentially the opposite. That it makes decisions more difficult. That it stifles their creativity.
Our environment will be calm. Clear. Uncluttered. Life will be easier.
We're going to live with less. I can't shake the belief that less stuff will mean more room for people, for love, for laughter and for living. I'm down with that.
I'm starting with the kitchen.
Wish me luck.