Have you ever kept anything safe?
And I mean, really safe. Like, really, really safe.
In fact, so safe, that you don't remember where you kept it anymore?
Now, I'm almost sure about the location of most of these missing items. They're most likely in—as my wife calls it—the "Black Hole."
My wife often muses that this Black Hole is where all our stuff goes to get lost.
Our Black Hole is a spare wardrobe that has travelled with us from house to house. And now, she (yes, I believe its gender is female) has successfully crossed the seas and is now resident in the guest room of our house. She is pretty nondescript, except for the little chips off the right corner, from when our movers and packers decided they could somehow transport her through a narrow doorway. Obviously, they couldn't.
I have a mild form of OCD for clean living spaces. So, not only do I like the house to be neat but also for things to be in their right/accurate places. There. I said it. But here's the other side of the equation—I am also a side-tracking procrastinator. Which means, I am also that person who says things like, "Ooh! I must do the laundry. But before I do, I need to clear the bed. Then put everything else in the bedroom in its right place and make sure my existing clothes are organised properly. You know, so that I have space to sort out clothes for the laundry." So, it's sufficient to say that my wife eventually just does things herself, instead of waiting for me to get around to it.
I do like de-cluttering. There is something delightful about that word. It's almost as if by somehow uttering that word, a magical team of pixies, elves and other mystical creatures might suddenly appear and start to clear out all that clutter you've hoarded over the years. In fact, it's almost cathartic in nature—sort of like a cleansing ritual.
Sadly, we don't live in a magical world. And the only thing "uttering that phrase" will bring is a realisation that you have a ton of work to do.
While a part of me is always feeding my OCD, the other part is slyly dumping any unwanted stuff into this Black Hole of ours.
De-cluttering is one of those things that you start, but never really complete.
This particular wardrobe plays a key role in this OCD movie of mine. A supporting act if you will. While a part of me is always feeding that OCD, the other part is slyly dumping any unwanted stuff into this Black Hole of ours. Now, if you multiply this obsession with years of "collections", you may find things such as:
- Single sock pieces in a variety of colours; all missing their partner. Kept in the hope of being reunited someday.
- Batteries. Some good, some almost empty, and some just leaking acid. All kept, just in case we ever need them.
- Clothes. Some big; some small; some from so long ago that Rishi might actually be able to use them in a few years. Provided normal jeans are still in fashion.
- Toys. Some of them his; some of them mine. Most of them functional but no longer used. All that we'd planned to donate to charity before they came to life like those toys in Toy Story 3 and wage a war for being unwanted
- Brochures from holidays planned but not taken.
- Brochures from holidays taken but too long back to remember properly.
- Takeaway menus. Yes, some of them from London and Dubai. Brighton even. Yes, for real.
- Various knick-knacks and other pieces of showcase memorabilia. Often broken, and dumped with a promise to "will fix it soon", but then replaced with more memorabilia.
- Plastic bags and boxes of every imaginable size and shape. Why? No idea.
- Bills and other financial documents—important stuff, but not important enough to look at today. Or tomorrow. Or the next few years.
My wife often muses that this Black Hole is where all our stuff goes to get lost. I have to admit—if I can't find a place for a certain item, I indiscriminately dump it into this Black Hole. It's no longer possible to ascertain exactly what's in there, or even find things you know lie in its depths. Yes, even the items that I've kept for safekeeping. And this seems to have gotten even worse since I've become a father.
Of course, I could look at the clutter and say that it's a good defence mechanism. For if someone was to break in, we'd know their presence from the loud yelling that would be offset by stepping on a LEGO block or one of those Hot Wheels cars.
As for the wardrobe, we're quite convinced that she possesses some magical powers. Maybe she's hiding the entrance to some mystical place like Narnia. Or maybe, she could open up into Diagon Alley, where we can buy some magical assistance to help declutter.