Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – My clutter runneth over


By Rosie Preston

How many magazine articles have I read and how many television shows have I watched about the issue of clutter?

My standards have always been very high on having everything a place and a place for everything, so I’ve never had a problem until the last four years. I could blame it on having a smaller home, but that would not be entirely true because I started buying storage buildings for the purpose of decluttering the house. I now have four storage buildings to go through.

I do have a plan that I hope will work, which is to rent a large storage building and throw away what I can-not give away. Anything that has any value to it will be taken to the new storage building, where I will line everything up with an aisle to walk through it. I then will start selling what is in it those units.

This has been the most logical plan I’ve come up with. I can’t do the moving, but I have a great handyman who does everything for me, from mowing my yard to helping build a room and building a deck and a porch. He also paints!

I admit using a dictionary to look up the meaning of “clutter.” I’ve provided a brief Q&A for better understanding the issue.

What do you mean by “clutter?” To clutter is to fill or cover space with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness – a room cluttered with toys, for instance. Example: Too many signs were cluttering up the street corner.

What does a cluttered house say about a person? It says that clutter in the living room might suggest blockages in one’s social life, as well as one’s relationship with oneself. A cluttered bedroom might relate to issues surrounding your valued self, or perhaps a fear of intimacy.

What is an example of clutter? Clutter is a lot of disorganized stuff put in one place. My great-grandchildren have enough toys to fill the largest room in my house, so we’ve made part of it into their play area. A pile of clothes mixed with toys, photos and books is another example.

Clutter can also be described as a social gathering where a disorderly heap assembles. It’s hard to understand anything in a crowd of people. In that sense, clutter is state or condition of confusion where there is a lot of noise. This is something I’ve noticed in my senior years. I’m often glad to get back home where it is usually quiet.

In my home, I‘m guilty of all the above infractions. Most often, we pick up something from one place and do not return it where we found it. Every time my friend helps me get most of the rooms clean, I leave a message that I give to the three people who live in my home: “This is clean. Please help by cleaning up after yourself!” I then find myself doing the same thing, however, especially with clothes. I take off clothes meaning to wash them or put them back in my closet. But with the rest of the “stuff,” I do pretty well.

We are also the owners of three dogs (we didn’t plan this, they somehow found us). The last puppy was picked up on Hwy. 431. When my son Phil and granddaughter Breanna arrived, she made this announcement: “We found a dog in the middle of the highway. It could have been hit by a car.”

“Okay, but tomorrow we are finding it a home,” I said. “That dog stinks to high heaven!”

That was about four months ago. We still cannot decide on a name for him. We’re known to call him Benji, Dexter, Doggie or Buddy. Phil claims he answers to Buddy. Whatever his name, we found a small crate for him in our storage building (See, they are good for keeping some stuff!).

Our other dogs have been with us for a few years. Layla is a spotted black and brown medium sized dog. She reminds me of Scooby Doo, because she always leaves her crate like a racehorse. She marches and begs and makes us walk about a mile each a day. Dixie weighs about seven pounds. She and Layla share a crate inside the house. Our yard is fenced in, so they go outside several times a day.

We also have a pair of cats, one of which is about 14 years old. Preston Kat is a beautiful black and white cat with long hair and a bob tail. He follows me around like a dog and insists upon sleeping with me every night. Preston acts more like a dog than a cat. Every morning, he starts meowing over and over until I feed and water him.

The other cat, Mocha, is about three years old. She looks very much like a Siamese but has a very low voice and is very gentle. She and Preston Kat love each other and are usually in the same room on the sofa or the bed at the same time. Sometimes they fight. It starts out as playing and then one of them, most of the time Preston Kat, starts a real fight and usually pins Mocha to the floor.

All these create a whole lot of extra clutter that we wouldn’t have otherwise. But they are like family, so we’ll keep that clutter for sure!

Keep smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at

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