A little housekeeper is a dangerous thing

Just imagine the deep satisfaction of seeing your knickers arranged upright in a neat, colour  The views expressed are the author’s and not of this newspaper. coded line-up. Picture: www.housebeautiful.com

OUR household has been upturned and put into more turmoil than usual, even given the younger generation is finally back at school.

(Hooray, whoo hoo, hoop de do and other such expressions of unconfined joy.)

It has all been caused by a wee, delicate, softly spoken and extremely dangerous Japanese woman.

She has popped up on You Tube, the place I go to for audio books. I was led to look at her little programs by my elder daughter, who has become a slavish devotee of her housekeeping system.

It is less housekeeping than house demolishing.

Not in a structural sense, the building still stands firm and strong as the white ants and white footed ants allow.

She starts off demonstrating in a short video how to fold clothes.

Sounds harmless, yes?

It is certainly intriguing to watch her gently smoothing a T-shirt into a small, compact parcel based on a three by two by three combo that will stand up on edge.

If it doesn’t balance nicely, you’ve done it wrong.

Even more intriguing is that this folding can apply to any clothing, from socks and underpants to jeans and jerseys.

Just imagine the deep satisfaction of seeing your knickers arranged upright in a neat, colour coded line-up.

That’s just the beginning.

The object if the exercise is to make all items of clothing easy to see and access.

Plastic baskets, stacks of drawers and various containers that sit nicely on shelves or inside cupboards come into play.

This approach avoids my system of stuffing as much into drawers as possible and grabbing the least uncrumpled thing from the front.

The accumulating heap of wrinkled clothing continues to lurk and expand behind.

Clearly this is wrong.

According to the sweet little expert, what we need to do is review all our clothing and other possessions to identify what we truly use and more importantly, what brings us joy.

This involves taking everything out of the wardrobe and other stashing spots and putting it in a big pile.

I ended up with a mountain on my bed and if I ever intended to sleep in comfort again, I had to do something about it.

The something involves lovingly folding and storing what we want and equally lovingly folding and placing in a garbage bag or whatever the pieces we intend to discard, with suitable attitudes of thankfulness for their service.

There were also thanks due to the house for accommodating them, some in my case since 1992.

So it goes on, to the point where I find I not only have plenty of room to neatly store my stuff, but I have disencumbered myself of many more items I am almost convinced I can do without.

It doesn’t stop there, I must warn you.

The whole decluttering thing seeps through the household and I find the bookshelf has been sorted and mysteriously made room for all the volumes I apparently want plus selected ornaments.

Stuff left over from Christmas is organised and put in a big box, stationary is undergoing review and the day bed is having a revamp.

Any minute now I’m going to start on the refrigerator magnets while the horrors of the kitchen cupboards and pantry are awaiting.

I guess it gives me something to do while the children are at school, ha ha ha.

We spent at least a fortnight practicing for school, i.e. getting up in the mornings, eating real breakfast and having the necessary things in the school bag such as lunch.

While I’m not a fan of uniforms, I have to say it takes some of the angst out of getting small children dressed.

Especially when it is a practical outfit suited to the heat and lively lifestyle of young persons.

The hat can be a bit of a challenge, though.

I have just disencumbered my wardrobe of unsuitable headgear declaring the wearer a member of Nerds United or Twerps International.

I eventually found one that is neither insulting nor inscrutable.

Perhaps, I could get one made for fans of the new housekeeping system with “Devoted to Disencumbering” or “Decluttering Disciple” on it.

Don’t imagine, however, that I am starting a cult.

We seem to have quite enough of that sort of thing that begins as a new religion and then somehow has cafes and building contractors and farms and dentists and other businesses just like Fiji people.

Anyway, I’m a bit busy looking for a spare sulu I now need — I was sure I had one. Before I decluttered.

  • The views expressed are the author’s and not of this newspaper.

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