One clut at a time

Clutter gives one such a distorted view of lifeI’m intimidated by the number and complexity of the things that need doing to my house. Most of them are trivial: install a hanging airer, put up a baton and a curtain rail, replace the catflap. This is where I miss my ex. I feel a fool that I don’t want to do them and these are all things I can do well enough up to the point where they go wrong but I don’t have the patience to sort out mistakes if I make them with a drill and a spirit level.

I’ve also got a lot of jobs which are well within my abilities but which just seem to big to tackle, like decorating the kitchen, painting the kitchen cabinets, stripping the paper and decorating the living room. And then there’s the Bookcase saga. We won’t go there.

Finally there are the Great Big Jobs which are exactly what they sound like. Great, big and jobbie. These are:

  • replacing the gutters – essential if I don’t want the house to dissolve into its component minerals and wash away into the valley
  • fixing the electrics – fuses have been blowing at random and it isn’t ghosts
  • knocking the two bedrooms into one – yes, I know it’ll reduce the nominal value of the house, but I’m the one that lives here
  • replacing the boilers – I have no idea why there are two
  • fitting double glazing and, when everything else is done
  • replacing the kitchen.

So why on earth did I buy this particular house?

This is why I bought this particular house:

The View, coming over all Dramatic for effect

I happen to be completely crazy about the view.

I’ve already got a quote for the guttering, and I’ll get one for the electrics. I don’t want the house to decay and I don’t want it to kill me either.

In the meantime, I still have all the small and medium sized Intimidating Things, so I’ve made three resolutions:

  1. I’m going to get a bloke in for a day to do the straightforward jobs like fitting the curtain rails and replacing the catflap. Sod feminism. I’ll bake as many quiches as you like if I can just get someone else to put up the damn shelves.
  2. I am doing at least some tidying each evening, the objective is for it to be tidier at bedtime than when I get in.
  3. I am going to dispose of something every week. The house is woefully full of clutter, and I think the only way to deal with it is one clut at a time.

15 responses to “One clut at a time

  1. Oh my god, I would just LOVE to have your problems – a big house in the country with lots and lots of work to be done to it. I would be happy as a pig in a business-class seat!

    I just love knocking holes in things and staring down the edges of spirit-levels. And tiling – oh how I love tiling! But I live in a rental flat in a big city, so all I can do is dream at the moment.

    And throwing stuff away – I LOVE throwing stuff away!

  2. I think that I would have bought that view too. Forget about the problems in the house, just sit on the deck and look at that unbelievably gorgeous “yard”.

  3. When you take some time off from gazing out of the window, pop over to anticant’s burrow to see my answers to your quiz, and collect a free noggin from Ben in the Snug. The Beadle looks forward to welcoming a fellow-author.

  4. HMH, it does soothe my soul.

    ‘Tis fascinating how people make assumptions Paddy. It’s actually a tny house in the country. I was thinking this morning that 20 years ago we spent the same money for a bloody great four bedroom house in a much more expensive part of the country. The best laid plans, and all that. Hey ho. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So I have to get rid of Things because there is no room for both them and me. But you are right, I am extremely fortunate, even though it had more to do with deviousness, patience and bloody hard work than anything else. Particularly the patience.

  5. OOOh Anticant. I’ll go over there right now, and respond this evening. I am already more than late for work.


  6. I never got the hang on why being a feminist should mean that I must do utterly boring things just because they’re considered to be a male thing to do. Like painting windows, changing tyres and digging big holes in the ground.

    I did most of those in my young days. Mostly because I somehow felt I needed to prove I could, and thus wasn’t depending on any man to do “male chores”. How utterly stupid!

    Nowadays I gladly trade things I’m not good at doing or don’t like doing to someone that is competent, regardless of gender. I don’t think that makes me less of a woman or feminist.

  7. The view is particularly lovely and a great photo of it you have there.
    There is always something that needs doing. When we finish the kitchen ceiling, then it is on with the walls and don’t ask about getting the chimney swept or roofer out to sort out the roof on the extension.


  8. Oh, hey, don’t look at me. I don’t do housework OR DIY. In a ‘it’s not bugging me, yet. If it’s bugging you, you do it,’ kind of way. But for that view, I might even agree to dust and hoover once a week.

  9. I’ve never mown grass in my life, dragonqueen, and I’ll throttle any feminist who tries to make me. I think you are so right.

    It is never-ending, isn’t it, Phil? Still at least I’ve made a start.

    It’s odd, this standards thing, isn’t it Reed? I don’t mind housework so much now that I can put something silly on Listen Again.

    Anyway, I’ve confirmed with the Builder that I want the gutters done, but not the two-bedrooms-into-one yet. I’ve also got the handy-man chap coming round on Friday to price up the odd-jobs.

    My dynamism and efficiency at the moment is rather frightening.

    Right. I’m off to experiment with the cabling for the video and DVD.


  10. I say sod feminism (I love that, can I use it even though I’m American?) too when it comes to tedious work. I’m all for a liberated man doing the dishes and laundry though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m actually looking forward to the day when my personal robot will do it all for me. (Please let me live long enough to have a robot servant do home repairs while I read!)

  11. A personal robot? I’d settle for Minions. ๐Ÿ™‚


  12. Hmm, I’d rather do the typically male jobs like cleaning the gutters, painting the window sills and fixing the leaking bog, because, well, they’re more *fun*, aren’t they? You get to fiddle with stuff and there’s always that frisson of excitement you get when one false move could be an expensive and/or embarrasing disaster.

    Where as with washing the pots, well, you get all wet and the worse thing that happens is you’ve got one less plate. Where’s the fun in that?

  13. I quite like being all wet, and there’s something very satisfying in setting about a nice big pan with a brillo pad. Mind you, I’m not terribly fond of the washing up. I wonder what my favourite bit of housework actually is?

    *wanders off, thinking*
    *stops thinking but still wanders*

  14. Okay, so poor choice of words there; but while I adore swimming and will jump into any large body of water, I cannot stand getting just my hands or face wet.

    Favourite house work? Dusting. I quite like dusting. Not enough to do it on a regular basis, but enough to do it before anyone dies of asthma.

  15. You have a view that would soothe any soul. I can understand why you fell in love with your house.

    As for the work, anything you don’t get to today will be there tomorrow. Or whenever. Do what you can, when you can. And, don’t let guilt because it wasn’t more spoil the pleasure of doing what you enjoy.

    Life is short.

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