Clutter leads to vicious cycle

It had been such a long time I almost didn’t recognize it.

That happens sometimes. You lose track of something, and eventually, you forget it was ever there, forget where it was and what it looked like.

So on Thursday evening when I walked into the office/guest room that really wasn’t an office or a guest room and saw the rocking chair, it didn’t seem real.

The rocking chair, I mean. Not the walking into the office/guest room. I knew walking into the room was real. It’s the chair I was unsure about.

The reason the office/guest room wasn’t an office or a guest room is because, for a long, long time, it had been full of so much clutter that there wasn’t room for an office or a guest room.

The office/guest room had been so full of stuff that we long ago lost track of the rocking chair in the room.

It didn’t start off that way. At one time, the office/guest room was actually an office with the potential of becoming a guest room. My wife spent months designing and decorating the office/guest room with the intention that it would be a comfortable, relaxing room in which to work or relax.

Then, as they say, stuff happened.

And when I say “stuff happened,” I mean clutter happened.

It’s the classic story. My wife’s car gets cluttered, so to unclutter it, she moves the car clutter into the breezeway. Then when the breezeway gets too cluttered, my wife moves the car/breezeway clutter into our dining room. Then when the dining room gets cluttered, she moves the car/breezeway/dining room clutter upstairs to our bedroom. Then when our bedroom gets cluttered, my wife moves the car/breezeway/dining room/bedroom clutter into the office/guest room, and before long, we lose sight of the rocking chair.

Sigh. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Adding to the clutter was the fact that several years ago my wife decided to take up scrapbooking.

Now, in order to take up scrapbooking, my wife had to buy a whole bunch of — to use a technical term — scrapbook stuff.

“It will be great,” my wife said. “I will finally have a place to put all of the clutter in the office/guest room you want me to get rid of.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “You will get bored with scrapbooking, and the office/guest room will be full of the clutter I want you to get rid of AND scrapbook clutter.”

Guess what happened.

For several years now, my wife has vowed to get rid of all the clutter in the office/guest room that really wasn’t an office or a guest room and turn it back into an office/guest room.

And for several years, she has tried. But the clutter would always defeat her. Oh sure, my wife would start out strong, but eventually the clutter would wear her down.

“But Mike,” some of you are asking, “if you wanted the clutter out of the office/guest room, why didn’t you help your wife get rid of it?”

To some of you saying that, I can answer your question in three words: Not. My. Clutter.

Last weekend, my wife once again challenged the clutter in the office/guest room. And this time, the clutter didn’t defeat her. My wife didn’t defeat the clutter, either, but at the end of the weekend, my wife and the clutter agreed to a partial truce.

On Thursday, my wife opted to use a day off from work to launch a sneak attack on the clutter.

And it worked. So the good news is we now have a real office/guest room.

The bad news is my wife just mentioned that her car was getting cluttered.