WHICH CLUTTER ANIMAL ARE YOU? Part 3, the ostrich, the snake, the phoenix and the cuckoo.
This is the sort of person who invites you round for dinner, but you can hardly get inside the door. They sometimes offer a vague apology, as if they feel one is expected, but you can tell that they really aren’t concerned by the mess.
The ostrich solution
Ostriches either just love visual clutter, or secretly believe that their mess is a kind of status symbol. They can secretly believe that it makes them look like the kind of person who is too creative or intellectual to have time to clear up after themselves. Any working artist will tell you that chaos doesn’t help at all, so this is pure fantasy. However, ostriches are happy with their heads in the sand and don’t require a solution.
A snake’s house is well ordered and harmonious. Everything is in its place, and tends to stay there.
The snake secret
Snakes understand that life is a refining process. They understand that the loss of who you were, and what you once liked is not really a loss at all. It’s simply one more step on the road to your becoming who you truly are. As such, they happily ‘shed their skin’ without looking back. Snakes are pragmatists who only hang onto what they currently find useful or life enhancing. If they do keep memorabilia, it’s generally a small selection of much treasured things which have joyful memories attached to them.
Do you LOVE a good clear out? The ‘slash and burn’ approach to possessions makes the phoenix feel energised, and you’ll find them happily devoting the weekend to a big clear out.
The phoenix solution
There is nothing wrong with being ruthless when weeding your possessions. However, if you’re constantly getting rid of things just because they’re one season old and no longer absolutely bang on trend, or because they don’t look as shiny and new as they did a month ago, then beware. Back in the day, many clutter and new age prosperity books encouraged people to ‘throw things out if you haven’t used them in 6 months’. This is wasteful and short sighted. If you’ve bought good quality staples and classics (say a well cut suit, a hat, or a well made cake tin) then they can and should be kept for appropriate occasions and used year after year. Throwing things out can be as much of an addictive high as spending compulsively.
Whenever you acquire a new housemate or live-in partner, chances are that their tidiness style will be different to yours. That can feel like having a cuckoo in the nest.
The cuckoo solution
If your new room-mate has a drastically incompatible tidiness style or visual sense from your own, then take some time to observe them, and work out which animal they are, and which one you are. Discuss some compromises which would suit you both, and which you’d both find advantageous.
If you resemble a clutter animal which I haven’t mentioned, do let me know via the site or tweet me. I’d love to know!