My fantasy of a clean, de-cluttered home, with everything in its place, is just that — a dream.

I wasn’t surprised today, when I found HouseLogic’s article about The Link between Clutter and Depression. I frequently succumb to frustration about my kids’ socks on the floor, burned-out light bulbs, paintings that need hanging, and sticky countertops. Next week, when my oldest goes to college, I’ll be sad, but I’ll cheer myself up with the realization that 1/3 of my tornadoes will be scattering debris in Iowa and not Lakewood Balmoral.

The HouseLogic article is based on a UCLA study, and the book that reveals how middle-class Americans use things in their homes – Life at Home in the 21st Century.  Not only do we Americans buy 40% of the world’s toys but we are often paralyzed about throwing away the nick-knacks that we accumulate over the years. Who hasn’t seen an episode of Hoarders?!

I’m looking forward to reading the book, having previously read  At Home: A Short History of Private Life , by Bill Bryson,. Bryson’s book describes the history of the “things” in our home. Pepper seems to have been very popular, accounting for 70% of the spice trade and frequently sprinkled on desserts. As for bathing, only recently have we fallen in love with daily bathing . Benjamin Franklin took “air baths” — basking naked in front of an open window at his London home.  And, by the way, Thomas Crapper DIDN’T invent the toilet.

Sellers often become emotional about de-cluttering their homes as they prepare to sell. Just about all sellers,  however, find that once they organize and get their property ready for sale, they fall in love with their home all over again.

Maybe we should all pretend we’re getting ready to sell — sorting, sifting, getting rid of the “un-necessaries”–  it will give us all a new lease on life!




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