Yesterday, I looked around my apartment and started to panic. The Mess had gotten out of hand. How, you ask? Let's take a look. On part of the kitchen counter, there was this:
The main culprit here is my soap-making materials. And actually, those don't offend me too much. I like making soap. It is relaxing, fun, easy, makes great gifties, and requires me to exercise the creative side of my brain-- the side that's been sitting on the couch eating potato chips while the problem-solving side runs this yearlong marathon I call nursing school (okay, that's not true, nursing is a multifaceted discipline that requires book smarts AND creativity but whatever, I liked the image of half my brain just chillin out watching daytime TV). It's also a hobby that inspires other people to be impressed with and complimentary of me. I tell them I make soap and they say things like "Oh WOW. That's so neat! You must be so creative and talented!" So the soap-making stuff is okay. The fact that it temporarily lives on the counter doesn't upset me too much.
Except when it's in combination with this:
and, dear God, THIS:
What you can't see here is the snowboard, boots, bin of snow clothes, and suitcase from my vacation (two weeks ago) that I still hadn't taken downstairs to the storage unit. Also, you probably can't appreciate the fact that if I stood in a spot next to the couch and bent slightly, I could reach out and touch EVERY SINGLE ONE of these surfaces. This should emphasize why The Mess was starting to make me panic. My apartment is tiny. Thus, any amount of clutter makes a significant dent in the amount of available space and it starts to look horrendously bad in a much shorter amount of time than it would if it were, for instance, spread out amongst a number of rooms. Since the only surfaces are located roughly within 4 feet of each other, the clutter they collect can definitely induce a "the walls are closing in on me" feeling within a very brief amount of time.
So, last night, I cleared off the kitchen counter (not the one with the soap-making stuff, the other one), washed the dishes, and took the vacation stuff down to the storage unit. The coffee table is still a mess, though I did pick up the magazines and things that had fallen to the floor and place them on the table. I haven't really touched the computer/kitchen table, which is where I am sitting right now, surrounded by the teeming piles of junk that will eventually bury and suffocate me. I'll leave the soap making stuff out so that the rescue team/obituary writer can note how creative and talented I am.