Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Is tidiness an unnatural act? You may well ask...

It seems there are some people in this world who are naturally tidy, which makes me wonder about the theory of evolution? How come some of us remain unregenerately disorganised and untidy, except for occasional painful and time-consuming flurries of efforts to organise their lives and possessions?

In an ideal world, people would not hang on to possessions, documents, books, clothes and sundry objects. Just think, though, that if this were so, archaeologists would have nothing to do, and would be, as a species, extinct. Really extinct. Putative (how I love that word) historians would be lazing around beaches (if handy), instead of delving through manuscripts, ruins, libraries, works, and buildings. Of course, (I just typed a whole sentence here, which somehow failed to appear. How does that happen? Let me try again) they would be on the dole, and human civilisation would have advanced not a whit. What an appalling thought.

All these prefacing remarks serve to prepare the reader (if any) for the revelation that the last two days have been spent in a (doubtless futile) endeavour to restore order from chaos, and to reduce the number of items currently cluttering up my house.

If you wanted to know how to fritter away time, read on. From time to time I attempt to get myself better organised, and this invariably involves bestrewing and festooning the house with numerous papers, placed arbitrarily around the house. I attempt to get rid of some of them (in the dark of night they breed, you know) but somehow or other, I always wind up feeling confused as well as disorganised. Not to mention becoming even more fully aware of my personal failings.

I attempt to counter my evidently ineradicable propensity towards confusion and disorganisation by endless sorting into categories and piles of stuff, and then putting it all into order, and, of course, tossing out as much as possible. This is difficult for me, being a historian and hoarder by nature and training, but I strive personfully to rid the house of unnecessary clutter. One must not be unduly rash, though.

At the same time I am trying to sort out the books, and to get rid of some of them (on the basis that if I have not managed to read them in the last twenty years, another ten years surely means that their pages will remain unturned).

So the house has all these books, with others waiting to be rehoused and better arranged, and I just do not have enough space. All those who have unkindly suggested that this house is much too big for me, are absolutely mistaken. What would they know?

While somehow averting the almost inevitable probability that all this tidying up will induce a blinding headache, it does seem that late this evening the folders and files now contain what they should, rather than an inglorious agglomeration of this and that, and unrelated items.

The fact that tonight is when you put out the paper rubbish bin might just have influenced, nay, caused, this frenzied activity.

It has all been exhausting. I am about to curl up with an as yet unread (or possibly imperfectly remembered) book.

Tomorrow I have to write something in Italian. I wonder whether tidying up is an appropriate topic. I cannot readily bring to mind any vocabulary relating to tidiness.





1 comment:

The Elephant's Child said...

Tidiness is unnatural in this house. I am really not certain whether the household would benefit if it could be arranged that one member HAD to be tidy. I suspect not. Their put-upon sighs would make me miserable. However, two untidy souls does make for chaos.

It seems that you did indeed get some way towards order. Congratulations.