Stories from the inside — Part II

I am a “pile-er,” (“piler?”). Definition: One who creates piles of current, or semi-current task items, rather than putting said items back on shelves, in cupboards, etc. Born and raised to bonafide piler parents, I learned through observation, then adopted the behavioral habit as my own.

pilesYou see, I am fanatic about maintaining a clean living space (most of the time), but clean is different than tidy. I’ll scrub the walls, the floors, the surfaces; I’ll sweep at least once a day, I’ll vacuum, I’ll change the sheets regularly. I do this because I love the way a clean home feels.

So why wouldn’t I want a clutter-free home as well? Why don’t I feel that my piles create mess? Who knows! I suppose they feel comforting and absolutely reasonable (even necessary), and simply don’t bother me. Creating piles has (almost) always worked for me, at least in my mind. I tend to be working on a dozen projects at time (school books and notes, fiction & non-fiction reading, devotional texts, journals, a magazine perhaps, sticky-notes and other notepapers, creative/art projects). I want these various “things” to be available to me throughout my day. Perhaps it comes down to sheer sloth, or rebelliousness, but I simply can’t be bothered most of the time to put one notebook back in its hard-to-reach home when I know I will be referencing it later in the day (or even the day after!). I feel as if I’d fritter away my days in taking things out and putting them away.

photo 1(1)The piles don’t bother me, unless they reach some vague critical mass, which tends to occur when Alek leaves (e.g. to go on his permaculture course, which is where he is currently by the way). I’m writing this because in this moment, I recognize that the piling can be a bit obnoxious. Perhaps it’s another area I’m willing to work on to improve the quality of tiny-house life.

Despite my resistance, and my ingrained, perhaps genetic(?) habit, I recognize that moving forward I must strive to put things in their proper places…every day. It would sure help the relationship as well, as my piling habit is one of Alek’s primary pet peeves!

Unfortunately, this won’t be a post about “How to Keep Your Tiny House Tidy,” because I’m just now coming to terms with my desire to create a new, and even less cluttered, way of living. Besides, I’m sure there are dozens upon dozens of fantastic articles written by simply brilliant organizing mavens on the World Wide Web. I would feel like a fraud to attempt to teach you anything about efficient and beautiful organizing. And honestly, even as I practice putting things away after use, the home still won’t look like a page out of Dwell, Real Simple, Houzz or Apartment Therapy.

But perhaps organizing for simple folks living in small spaces is as simple as:

  • Create a place for all absolutely necessary items, to be used that day, for easy access
  • Then put all other items away, once to twice per day

I’ll start with that, and I’ll have to report back to you


Author: Alek Lisefski