Saturday, January 30, 2010

On Cleaning

I've had a real urge to purge lately. On the surface I think I seem somewhat organized; I have a small apartment and it really makes it necessary to put things away. But I know there is lots of crap hidden in closets and corners in nice Ikea patterned boxes that I need to get to.

I always have the same problem when I deep clean-where to start? I like to use the "economy of movement" approach to everything (probably from spending so much time in a kitchen) but in this case, with so many goals I want to accomplish I'm getting bogged down in the details. No surprise.

In my planning of the big purge, I've also decided to rearrange my furniture. This will require me to unload my china cabinet. I don't know why I have the damn thing. Well, I do, its an antique and was my first purchase at an auction. Its a Hepplewhite style, and its great for compact spaces. I guess what I really mean is I don't know why I keep what's in it.

I have a large collection of china and crystal that I never use, and probably never will. Back in my early twenties when I was nurturing a deep urge to nest, I bought all these pieces in hopes to be ready for the "big day". I had visions of living in an old two and a half story house that still had a creaky dumbwaiter. I would throw fabulous dinner parties and use my simple, but elegant white ware to serve on.


Many years later, I often toy with parting with all of it (but for the wine glasses, which are necessary to life). Then a friend will come over and I will pull out the teapot, and she will gasp at its beauty, and I will feel all Martha Stewartlike and competent. So, I guess I have to keep that.  And the soup terrine is so lovely-a shame to let it go. Lets not mention how the service all fits together so when you look down at you see a subtly blooming flower. Sigh. I'm never going to get rid of it. I know it. I'll be 80 living in my apartment with all my books and china looming around me. But it will all look fabulous!

So there is art to hang, furniture to move, silk pillows to lay out in carefully orchestrated patterns. I must get to it. It's important to complete this constructed reality so I feel ready to face all the crap yet to come.

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