Laws of the Land, Part I

The Law of Conservation of Clutter:

In any house, clutter cannot be destroyed. Removing it merely results in clutter manifesting itself elsewhere -- often in the same room.
To wit --

Mike: "Did you see my dresser today? I cleaned it."
The Lovely Wife: "I did. I'm a little jealous. Have you seen mine, because I think it might still be under all that clothing."
Mike: "Fear not, the world will soon come back into harmony and I'll look like the slob again."

If it's one thing I've learned from reading mommypeopleblogs, it's that men are messy creatures. No, really, people are saying it all the time! In our house, it's no different, but I'm happy to say I'm not the only disorganized one (though I'm the primary re-offender).

I know what you're thinking. "But Mike, don't you have a 3 year old and a one-year old in the house? How difficult could it be to pick up your own goddamn laundry once in a while?" Seriously.

And so it is that my dresser is usually covered in once-worn clothes (dress pants included), receipts and other pocket-jetsam, underused guitar picks, a file folder which still hasn't made it into the office we put back together two months ago, and perhaps a burned CD or two that have already been put onto the iPod but I can't bear to throw away a $.50 chunk of shiny plastic. Inside, the dresser is packed to the gills with T-shirts so ragged that I'm barely allowed to wear them around the house or to bed. So bad that I ought to audition for the Trailer Park Boys as "Unemployed Trucker / Baby-Daddy #1".

The pile of clothes and clutter is not remediated until:
1) I need to wear several items which, although still cleanish and therefore not ready for the laundry, were not returned to a drawer or hanger and happen to be residing on top of the dresser;
2) A veritable landslide of crap occurs and I have to actually put something away; or,
3) Company comes over and there's a slim chance our bed may become the coat closet for an evening (this is the only real reason the majority of people clean, right?)and I or The Lovely Wife may die of embarrassment.

Usually it's #2, and I'm forced to put it away or throw it in the wash.

It's not all my fault, though.

(Here's where I tried to come up with good reasons why it's not really my fault, but fall ridiculously short of even one argument.)

Okay, it's my fault.

(And here's where I try to justify the clutter by pretending that a certain level of discorganization helps me to find what I'm looking for, only it really doesn't, and when I finally do find what I'm looking for, it's hideously wrinkled and it just winds up in the laundry hamper. Or right beside it, which apparently doesn't win you any clean-husband awards.)

Maybe my New Year's resolution should have been the elimination of dresser-clutter. Clutter laws be damned, I shall hereby start the war on clutter!

Wait. If it's in my closet and the doors are closed, is it still clutter?

Regardless, it seems like it might also result in me wearing less-wrinkled shirts to work. Likely it'll result in me doing far more laundry (surprisingly not one of my resolutions).

[sigh] I wonder what issues real grownups wrestle with on a day-to-day basis.

Posted bythemikestand at 7:26 AM  

7 stepped up to the mike:

sween said... 9:52 AM, February 21, 2007  

Oh... the raggedy t-shirt dresser... I hear you, buddy.

It's gotten bad enough with me that I have actually graduated the raggediest t-shirts to a SECOND dresser in the spare room.

Because god knows I can't THROW THEM AWAY.

Sassy said... 11:22 AM, February 21, 2007  

At every change of season, I throw away at least 2 garbage bags full of clothes into the CLothing Donation bin, and yet I don't really buy anything new. I think for me, and maybe a lot of other women, it's the "I WILL be able to fit into that again" malady. Though, it never DOES fit again, and I'm forced, sadly, to get rid of it.

canadian sadie said... 1:42 PM, February 21, 2007  

"If it's hiding in the closet and nobody can see it, is it still clutter?"

Alas, yes. But I feel your pain, man. I feel your pain.

corgimom said... 2:18 PM, February 21, 2007  

Please be advised that in my house of three women and a toddler--no husbands--the clutter reigns supreme. In our household, it is due to the other two women, of course, as the toddler and I are tidy as can be (cough, cough).

And, raggedy t-shirts are history, not mere clothing.

Tanya said... 4:55 PM, February 21, 2007  

DH has the same pile of teetering clothing on his dresser and his excuse is that his dresser is too small to hold it all. Yep.

I wish I knew what was in said dresser...its obviously not clothes he wears because THEY'RE all PILED on it.

And here, we can put raggedy tshirts and other un-donateables in the recycle bin with paper. As soon as I found that out, I (apparently rudely...) turfed a few of his. Who knew that t-shirts had such sentimental value??

chRistine said... 7:47 PM, February 21, 2007  

clutter is the devil. i hate it. and like sassy, i regularly *donate* bags of clutter to the needy of clutter, but the clutter i donate is not always my own.


Charlatan said... 6:02 AM, February 22, 2007  

I am afraid I am going to have to point out an exception to your rule that guys are messy.

I am not.

I know this because while living with my wife and two kids in a small Toronto house (two bedrooms and four people) there was a lot of mess and clutter with which I seemed to continually battle.

I have been living for nearly seven months now. My room is always clean. Things are hung up. Laundry is in the hamper.

I think I might be just a little anal.

I am almost dreading the arrival of the rest of my family as I am sure I will be overwhelmed with their disorder.

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