I remember a book that I read in in kindergarten. Or first grade. But that’s not important.
The book was entitled The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes and it’s by Phyllis Krasilovsky.
Full disclosure. I didn’t remember the title or author but found it on Amazon (Book Link). However, I do remember the basic plot.
The book begins with a man who has just finished eating. He puts the dishes in the sink. Rather than washing the dishes, he decides to do it later. Lo and behold, the next mealtime arrives, and he again puts his dishes in the sink. Once again, he delays doing the dishes.
This process of avoiding the dishes goes on for a few days. Ultimately, the man has no dishes left. He starts to use other items in his house as dishes. The dirty dishes pile up everywhere until his house gets overrun with dishes.
While I may have some of the details off (I forgot the ending till I saw the link on Amazon) this story had an impact me on me.
Some probably took away the helpful lesson of doing a task promptly rather than letting it grow and become overwhelming. They are the types who do the dishes the second the meal is over.
That’s not me. However, I much prefer an empty sink.
Anyway, the lesson I took from the book is to be a minimalist.
I don’t want my house overrun by stuff.
I prefer space.
This seems to go against the grain in the world today.
Bigger houses, bigger backyards, bigger closets. Bigger, bigger, bigger!!
Now, I would not mind a bigger house. I would love to have more space.
But let’s be honest here. Why do most people want more space?
So they can have room for more stuff.
Am I the only one who is hearing George Carlin’s classic bit on stuff? Hilarious. Check out Carlin here on Youtube. CarlinonStuff
Now you may recall from a previous post I wrote about the bench (https://larrydbernstein.com/to-the-bench/). Ms. MMK thought it was necessary to hold stuff. Despite my protests, it’s now is our foyer.
And guess what? It holds stuff. But somehow we don’t have more room. Though we probably have more stuff.
This brings me to the picture at the top of this post. Well, see she’s at it again.
Ms. MMK felt we needed this item to hold mail and therefore assist in organization. You may think this is clever.
Shortly we after moved in, she bought these wicker baskets. They were supposed to be for mail, among other things. Then, she bought a stand-up metal tray for mail.
And now we have this mail slot.
Why? I ask you why?
Okay, I don’t go through my mail as quickly as I should. It sits around for a little while and then I go through it in one fell swoop.
I’m not proud.
Anyway, I take my mail and put in my dresser drawer.
I don’t need a wicker basket.
I don’t need a stand-up metal tray.
And I don’t need a mail slot.
Am I the only one who thinks my wife’s purchase is crazy?
I ranted and raved.
Three places for mail?
Why do we need this? It’s just for more stuff to hold more stuff. Maybe, we should get a shed so we can get more stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff. We don’t need more stuff.
I don’t want it!
Ms. MMK laughed.
And that night she put it up.
I need to buy some pants. That’s the stuff I need.
hahahaha – I’m a sucker for organizational items. I can spend hours in an office supply store just looking at all of the ways to organize. It’s an aphrodisiac! Having grown up in a cluttered house with a group of pack rats, I found myself with those same tendencies. I found myself hoarding items thinking I might need them “someday”. I worked very hard to move towards a more minimalist style and have learned how to donate and throw away items. Now, having said that – there are areas where I still struggle, not going to lie.
And I’ll just continue to buy more tools and gadgets to help me organize!
But ultimately the organizational items become more clutter as you have so many of them.
My house was also cluttered (and my wife’s parents were pack rats) and I am very anti clutter.
Btw, didn’t you say that you are a sucker for QVC? So, is it fair to say that you are a stuff person?
I am a stuff person! I have to work very hard to make sure I don’t buy or collect anything that doesn’t have a practice use. And if I do, then I am much better at giving it away to a home that will use it if I discover it won’t work for me!
You place it in a good home – you’re like a foster home.
I used to do things like that – collect 2 or 3 of something to make my life easier, only it never did. I’m terrible for not throwing things out too – I always think I may need them one day but in reality I know that will most likely never be. But you never know, right? 😉
Uh-oh. Your last line makes me think you have more things in your future.
Instead of going on vacation last spring break, my family did a big spring cleaning and got rid of lots of stuff. (Obviously, my kids were not thrilled with those vacation plans, but we plied them with pizzas to appease them.) My husband and I want to start limiting our possessions so that when we finally meet our maker, we don’t leave it to our kids to sort through. Morbid, I know, but I suspect they’ll thank us later. Aren’t I a fun mom? 😉
What a blast!! I’m sure they appreciate you on mother’s day.
I always fall for the organization and storage items, although I have come to learn that the problem is not with the containers I buy but with me and my housemates. Especially my housemates.
Although for paper clutter, I have seen a tiny little scanner advertised – just scan it all in and toss the hard copies…
Ultimately we have to organize the organizers and go through all the stuff we put in them.
haha…. my mailslot contains 5 spaces…one space for each one of us…my husband’s is ALWAYS overflowing…even when he supposedly cleans it out!
I suppose we all have different versions of clean. His is clearly different from many other peoples.
You are right. We definitely don’t need all that stuff. I was just about to do some major De-cluttering at home during Christmas time. That will now have to wait.
Okay… I agree with SPACE – I like that too. I don’t want to have furniture and painting and pictures and things to stand around and collect dust – every inch of my place – but what do you want your space for – exactly? Do keep it as empty as possible? *grin*
I understand you to a certain degree.
But then I don’t.
You like things organized, right? So does everyone… accept the basked and the tray. It avoids your mail and stuff flying all over the empty space!
It’s your place – accept you’re living there – what do you want to avoid getting “stuff” for? – To escape and take off with “light” baggage? *chuckle*
I heard a lot of men secretly have that plan…
I agree with not overdoing getting stuff – but let it become organized. 🙂 You’ll feel fine.
I’m like you – I put things where I can get after them in one fell swoop. Except that I don’t put them in my dresser drawer. I put things in one pile. It sits on our desk. My wife hates it. Luckily, though, she doesn’t buy more stuff for our stuff.
Yes – one fell swoop. The other night I went through my stuff – no problem. I didn’t have to look through various places to find my stuff.