Standing on the back patio, I gaze up into the night sky. I’m looking for my favourite constellation, Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda, and a few others I know. I always look for Orion too, to whom I give a customary salute — a nod to an old joke with a brilliant friend, though I can’t for the life of me remember why we do that.
I should feel synchronously expansive and tiny, my problems insignificant — how one should feel when staring into the vastness that is the universe. I think about far flung galaxies, and our very own Milky Way, with its 3,000 light year splinter — how it might be coming apart at the seams. I relate.
Rather than feeling spacious though, I feel angry, irritable and tightly wound. I can’t even see the moon, mostly because it’s off somewhere waning, but also partly because our landlord has a system of 5000-Lumen security lights rigged up around the property, illuminating us to the high heavens. We might actually be visible from space.
Vexed, I turn and step back inside the living room. But in here, for once, I find peace. For the first time in my life, my house is a haven.
As it turns out, a waning moon is a highly auspicious time for decluttering. So here is a story of how my escalating obsession with home organisation collided with a new goal system to reveal an unprecedented understanding of space (and) time management, helping me cross a final frontier to become a veritable Grown Up.
Shamelessly since childhood, I’ve had a love hate relationship with mess. Disorganised by nature, and with an alarmingly high but unstable tolerance for chaos, sometimes my house is spotless. However, most of the time it’s incredibly messy. If there is space, rest assured, it will not be long before I unfurl all my earthly belongings over it and restore it to a state of turmoil
A couple of Christmases ago, instead of wrapping up some work, I found myself hyper focusing on YouTube cleaning videos. Ever since, I’ve had an uncommon love for cleaning bathrooms. My weekly ritual of cleaning this one particular room helps me feel like I have at least some control over my life and my surroundings, even if just for that brief moment on a Saturday morning.