I thrive on order and organisation. Both in my work life, and at my home, I like things to be tidy, and everything to be in its place. I have come to learn that living with someone else makes this difficult to achieve, and even more difficult to maintain. I lived on my own for over a year, and I loved it. I had a routine, I was able to do things my own way, and I could freely walk around naked without any fear of someone else seeing me. Though I do think I accidentally flashed the neighbour when I was getting changed one morning. But I digress.
I have always found tidying to be cathartic. I have a bizarre love of watching mess turn into order, and there is something calming about the end result. A neatly made bed, a tidy bench, and organised cupboard; all of these things bring me a kind of simple, and yet enormously rewarding satisfaction. Living with another person has taken some adjustment for me, because my housemate and I are very different people. I have to remember that my space isn’t just my space anymore; it is an area that we both share and occupy. So with no sewing room to speak of, my bedroom has become my space. It is the one part of the house that is just for me.
When I first moved into the new place, I spent two days sorting through my belongings, setting up the bedroom and finding homes for all the stuff I have managed to accumulate over the years. Over the last two months, on the rare days I get off, I am either too busy to clean or driving two hours back home for some reason or other. (I think I’ve been in my hometown more since I moved than I was when I lived there!). So today, after doing a few things, I returned home and finally got around to tidying up my space.
For the first time in my entire life, I have no cupboards. My housemate has the only room with wardrobes, so I had to settle for buying a cheap hanging rack from K-Mart. It’s awful. It is a flimsy, wonky rack made of cheap metal and plastic, and it depresses me every time I look at it. It makes my bedroom seem cluttered and small, it is untidy and frankly, it’s just plain ugly. So today I went to Ikea and picked out the perfect little cupboard with doors and shelves and a hanging rack, and would have purchased it on the spot if it had have fit in my little car. As it is, it did not fit and so for the time being, I am stuck with the ugly rack. However as soon as I can organise delivery, you can bet your butt I’ll be buying it.
However I did not leave empty handed. (Ikea, where have you been all my life?) I purchased some curtains for my window, which up until now has been covered by an unused sheet. This was unappealing on two levels. First of all, it looks cheap and nasty. There’s nothing more tacky than a window with an improper cover. And secondly, it meant I had no natural light. I am one of those people who likes to open her curtains and let the natural light in. Especially considering I spend most of my time working in a shop that is situated below street level, and so weather has lost all meaning for me. The addition of proper curtains in my bedroom just makes the whole place feel more open and bright, and therefore a much happier environment for this little neat freak to be in. Now add all of this to a freshly made bed and new throw rug, and suddenly the untidy mess that was my bedroom has been transformed into a pleasant environment that I am happy to do more in than just sleep.
At a time in my life when everything seems to be complicated and troublesome and in large part, downright depressing, it is the small joys that make getting up more bearable. And for me, having a tidy space makes an enormous difference to my state of mind. Maybe now home will start to feel more like…well, home.