Spruce up your nest

tumblr_mvq68upgbf1smkqovo1_500{ originally posted 2015 }

A few weeks back I read that men were much more capable of relaxing than women:
They could ignore the mess and everything that needed to be done in housekeeping, and go fishing. Read the paper. Or watch porn.

Well actually I made that last one up, but you get the idea.
Men are surprisingly easy going creatures in domestic areas. To some degree they all remind me of The Dude, from The Big Lebowski.
Men have the unprecedented ability to prioritize and don’t sweat the small stuff. Which makes them born ready to rule empires, acquire Guru status or develop a cure to overcome death.
It is also what makes them disastrous to live with.
It’s not that I don’t love men, I adore them, especially the rough type like The Dude can make my knees melt and my defenses vaporize at the sight of all that laid- backness. 
But I wouldn’t want to live with one. And that’s coming from someone who would love daily sex, and doesn’t mind a guy watching porn. I have a caring nature and make soup when someone is ill and I m great with relationships.
But despite all these nurturing traits there is one thing I can’t stand: clutter.
In a former life, I lived with my partner and I remembered a conversation about a set of tools, an overflowing toolbox and an extension cable that were neatly stacked to the hallway wall.
After a week I said:
“Listen, I want to put them away for you. But where do they belong? In the shed, or in the closet?”
Both places were already high-jacked by his tools and spare parts, but I didn’t say that.
He answered:
”Pumpkin, if I tell you I have no idea, does that help in any way?”
That’s another reason I love men: they have the best sense of humor.
Like most stranded relationships, there were multiple reasons why we eventually broke up. But it didn’t help that I felt his clutter monster was growing stronger every day. And that I had no idea how to fight it.
His new girlfriend did, so that story ended well for all parties. And I started living for myself, and finally, The Big Clearing began.
I don’t consider myself a minimalist. Nor do I have that Marie Kondo thing nailed down to the last box with cords and computer appliances I never use.
I have spare pillows for on my couch, spare fleece blankets for over the couch, a single duvet including covers that I use as an extra for in winter or when I have a snoring Lebowski in my bed and prefer to sleep on the couch.
And I have a whole guest set incl two pillows, that I exclusively use that one night a year I have a friend over.
So I cannot claim mastership over the Marie Kondo method.
But I do understand why (most) women cannot relax unless the house is done, and why we flee from a guy’s clutter monster. Because having a clean and decluttered house is our key to happiness.
There have been days when I didn’t feel good, and this is something I discovered years ago, but then when I cleaned and cleared my house, it was done. I felt better. On moments like that I feel I should have it in ink on my forearm, so that I never forget:
Wait! Before you do anything to solve your problems, clean your house.
99% chance the bad feeling you had, is gone.
Last Sunday I was at a birthday party and suddenly the most peculiar thing happened.
Two of us had used the Marie Kondo method, and we explained it by folding a few children’s clothes to illustrate how it worked.
The third woman then got so inspired, that without buying the book of Marie Kondo, she dived into her closets that same day, and started clearing out. She sent pictures to the host of the party, to thank her for the inspiration. It was so obvious that she had found tremendous joy in this clearing out of her house, and that she would make the house a nicer, more joyful place to live for everybody.
Judging from the stories I hear from others, even men will give in the moment they see their wife’s side of the closet so neatly vertically stacked and stored. But they need to get a visual first.
Marie Kondo urges you to throw everything away that doesn’t spark joy. So start with what do you want to keep?  It works best if you have an idea what you want your house to look like. Or what kind of house your future self would have.
On the outside it may seem that your house is not significant. But for a lot of us, our house represents our world within. And that’s what you’re changing:
By beautifying the world around you, you change the world within.
And that ain’t no small thing.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Spruce up your nest will be published in the first English book under my real name:

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