Managing Clutter (Part One)

As with all relationships, there’s a learning curve.  Early on, in most cases, we tend to keep our little imperfections secret.  The longer we are together the more those little habits tend to slip out.  Before our three daughters started dating, my husband shared with them a bit of wisdom.  The wisdom he would impart pertained to judging a young man’s character.  He reminded them that, while dating, a young man would be on his “best behavior.”  If his “best behavior” was not up to their standards then his habits, once they were married, most likely would not improve.

When my husband and I were first dating I was always impressed with how clean he kept his home, especially the kitchen.  I had expected the counters, sink and stove to be overrun with dirty dishes and clutter.  Imagine how surprised I was when I found them to be totally free of debris.  He was every young woman’s prince charming.  Who wouldn’t want a man who keeps his kitchen neat and clean?  He passed my pre-marriage test, or so I thought.

Just as with most other dating relationships ours was one of discovery.  I’ll never forget the first time I learned why my husband’s kitchen was always spotless.  In his efforts to make a good impression he had a unique method of cleaning.  The obvious solution to him was to “duck everything into the oven.”  This worked quite well until the time we noticed a peculiar odor.  A search for the source of the aroma led me to his oven.  Not knowing what I might find inside I carefully opened the door, leaned over and peered in.  Inside, on one of the shelves, was a gathering of obviously dirty dishes.  Dirty dishes in the oven?  As I began to straighten up, turn and face my husband, a smile spread across his face.  He looked like a little boy who had just been caught red-handed.  A very interesting line of questioning ensued.  We laughed as the story poured out.  Now if I had followed my husband’s pre-dating advice to our daughters it’s possible I might have turned and ran.  Obviously I didn’t because we’ve been married for nearly thirty-five years.  I think he would say he was lucky that I didn’t run.

Saturday I was in the cleaning mood . . . cleaning up the ever-growing kitchen counter clutter, that is.  It’s those piles of junk mail, newspapers, magazines, newsletters and not-so-important mail that accumulate until it drives me bonkers.  Trying to manage it daily is always my goal but it’s much easier to neatly pile it up and push it aside or slide it into a clothes basket and hide it in the laundry room when company comes. Do you ever do that?  I wonder where I learned that trait???  My husband says it couldn’t have been from him. LOL!

7 thoughts on “Managing Clutter (Part One)

  1. I have a bad habit of letting mail type paperwork back up. I am a stickler about the kitchen and keeping my clothes clean but paperwork DRIVES ME CRAZY!! I have 4 kids and they are all trained to fold and put away their own clothes. My oldest also washes his own, which is great!! I also have used cable ties to fix old laundry baskets that break apart or even for storing and hanging old winter shoes (got the ties from

    Do you do anything strange like that?


  2. Ooo….a laundry basket! See, it’s usually my cutting table, sewing table, and desk in the basement. Except, instead of a laundry basket I utilize my unpaid domestic help (my kids).

    1. Hey, whatever works! I don’t have those resources available. Unless, of course, I could get Mayor Tom and Jerry to help? Yeah right . . .

      1. A wagon would be great but you know how cats are. They want nothing to do with work.

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