It's not easy on the eye. You walk into a room and there are piles of random stuff everywhere. There are no clear surfaces to be seen. Entering through the pinhole of the pupil, the clutter starts to penetrate the brain, and eventually the entire body is stifled. You start to feel depressed, though you can't seem to put your finger on the reason for slow, all-engulfing stagnation.
I heard an urban myth about a hoarder who filled his house from floor to ceiling with stuff. He kept old newspapers in giant heaps, books, clothes, furniture and things which no longer had a use. Each room was a carefully built fortress, with a narrow pathway from one door to the next. One day, the milkman noticed that the bottles were accruing on the doorstep, each one sourer than the last. He raised the alert, and the police broke into the house when it became clear that no one was coming to answer the door. They eventually found the hoarder dead. He wasn't easy to find, within the maze, but they had followed their noses. When they found him, they quickly realised the cause of death: he had been picking his way over one of the massive piles of random crap, had slipped and fallen into it, became stuck tight, and had died slowly, imprisoned by his own weakness for things. It sends a shiver through me every time I think of it!
So today I thought I'd attack the windowsill in our upstairs sitting room. It's been bothering me for a long time. Here's how it looked before I started (oh, the shame!):
I found a whole array of different random things:
Used batteries (Phil insists we keep them as they CAN be recharged - did you know that?! - if you use a very SLOW, old-school charger - that way they won't overhead and explode), broken headphones, out-of-date malaria pills, a small record collection (the records will go straight to the Dog Shop - I don't even have a record player!) which I got for free, some copied CDs (they've gone onto iTunes), a couple of nice blank books made with handmade paper (never used as somehow their niceness makes me afraid to mar them with words or sketches), some very old bank statements and phone bills (why am I displaying them on the windowsill?!), DVDs I have yet to watch and a few Desmond Morris hardback books which could just as well go on the book shelves in our bedroom. Oh, and shit-loads of coins from various countries and eras... from Ireland, Morocco and India... Euros which could be used next time I go to the continent... old pennies and five-pence pieces (why?!), and a whole bunch of current one- and two-pence pieces (I know who put those there - men are not capable of parting with pennies - it's too embarrassing, apparently).
Not a great pic, but you get the idea :)
Might put some plants up there soon.