I have a room in my house I call the Shoe Room. It was originally meant to be my office, but now it’s pretty much just the room where the shoes live. And the shoes, they migrate. They start off in a plastic bin the in the closet and spread out across the floor as in the picture below.
The shoes in their natural habitat on 6/1/11.
And that’s only a part of the shoe collection. After they spread out across their natural habitat, they are forced to migrate out of the Shoe Room due to a lack of space, natural resources, and jobs. Most often, they come to rest in my bedroom where they occupy the space in front of the closet, tripping me when I try to get dressed or make my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night, until such time as I get fed up and deport them back to the Shoe Room.
Please also notice that the shoes are kept company by a slew of other native flora and fauna: the vacuum cleaner, an empty purse, various books, plastic bags, luggage, my hair dryer, cumpled winter scarves, the wireless router, a tv I’ve had since college, paper I can seem to neither file nor dispose of, and dust. A lot of dust. You can’t see it in the picture, but trust my sinuses, it’s there.
The Shoe Room from another angle. Yes, that is a thigh master. DON'T JUDGE ME!
Every morning, I enter the Shoe Room to blow dry my hair in the full length mirror and a little part of my soul wails in despair. There’s just so much clutter: shoes that refuse to stay put, errant luggage, and a clutch of bags in the closet that I have intended to take to Goodwill for months now, but which merely sit there, mocking me with their girth and overstuffed plastic skins.
I recently decided that I can take no more. Life is too short to be ruled by clutter and dust and shoes that ooze and undulate ever outward from their bin in a mindless, globulous mass. Most of the shoes only do seasonal work, and some pairs only work once or twice a year, and I ask you, why should I let the shoes roam wild and free, eating up floor space and sponging off my charity, when their sole purpose (Ha! Sole purpose! Get it?) is to convey me from place to place and prevent the my delicate feet from being mutilated by concrete and asphalt and covered in unsightly dirt?
It all ends now. I have decided that I shall clean the Shoe Room this summer. I shall declutter, dust, recycle and reorganize. I shall get rid of the things I no longer need nor use. I shall recycle all that paper that has been accumulating since about the second Ice Age, being sure to file away important things like last year’s taxes and various employment contracts. But most importantly, I will confine the shoes in their container with the explicit orders not to ooze, undulate, migrate, or spread anywhere without my specific permission.
And so today, bored with various police procedural marathons, I girded my loins, sharpened my metaphorical sword, and forged into the morass of dust and paper that is the Shoe Room. Within two hours, I accomplished the following:
- The shoes were pushed back, though not entirely removed form the floor.
- The winter scarves were folded and put away.
After today's cleaning spree, the Show Room now looks like this. Notice, the shoes remain on the floor, but gathered together in mutual fear. The sight of a pair of their compatriots going into the Goodwill bag sufficiently cowed them.
- The Goodwill donations were moved into the hallway so that I will be reminded to deliver them or trip over them in perpetuum.
- Luggage was stored in its proper place, as wasthe vacuum cleaner and important papers.
- Much paper was been recycled.
- Sensitive papers that require shredding were arranged neatly in a colorful basket until such time as a shredder has been purchased.
- Books and notebooks were placed on shelves.
- A single pair of shoes was sacrificed to the every hungry Goodwill bags just to let the other shoes know what can happen to them if they don’t obey. The shoes know their place now, by golly!
It was a glorious day, though there is much left to do. Dust must still be dusted, papers shredded, shoes and holiday wrapping paper alike must be stored in their proper places. But the shoes and the clutter of their Shoe Room habitat shall not prevail, and by the end of the summer, the Shoe Room will fill its original purpose, that of a pleasant and well ordered office. Until then, I can only take pride in my small victories and plan my next attack on the shoes and their soul destroying clutter.
The Shoe Room, on its way to becoming the office I once envisioned. Bask in its semi-decluttered glory.