Perspectives on clutter

Our front room is like a little eddy in the flow of our lives. Things wash up here and remain until some effort is made to move them elsewhere. I know the traditional use for a front room is a place that is always clean to welcome guests. I like that idea, but I’m not good at putting it into practice. More often our front room gets used as a staging area for any large project which includes things exiting or entering the house. Which is most of them these days. Right now my front room contains:

The tent Link took to scout camp which needs to be set up, washed, and stowed properly lest it mildew.

The roll of banners which I need to mail to Indiana so that they can adorn the booth at GenCon.

The box of legal sized printer paper that I bought so I could make sketch sheets. I made the sheets, but the remainder of the box still sits where I dropped it two weeks ago because I haven’t yet mustered the mental energy to find a place for it to belong and to carry it there.

A half empty bag of 360 plastic cups. It was given to me along with the keys when the former church activity chair handed over everything relevant to the assignment. The cups are destined to be stowed in a cupboard over at the church building, but I haven’t had time to do that yet.

Backpacks and winter gear which have spilled out of the coat closet. Everything got jumbled in there during the last month of school. Now they need to be sorted and stowed properly.

A set of playing cards scattered. Not sure why they’re here.

Two baskets, a woven stool, and a wooden box. They are evidence of merit badges that Link earned while at camp. Also evidence of camp are the two pairs of extremely dirty tennis shoes and the scattered particles of dirt and tree.

5 plants which have not been watered often enough, two of which I was supposed to plant outside as soon as I was sure a freeze would not kill them.

A plastic bin full of Little People toys that I brought into the front room to entertain the child of a friend while we visited. The visit was a month ago.

Random books and papers perched on various flat surfaces. Scattered toys and art projects. Lots of shoes kicked into one corner.

Oddly this list does not depress me. Today I am not looking at these things as clutter that I failed to clean up, but as evidence of important tasks either in process or completed. I’d better hurry and put it all away while the mood holds, because on a harder day they’ll feel like evidence of failure.