Dear Readers, you may notice the dates of the Blog do not match the Flash Post dates which are in real time. The blog was written in 2009 and saw the light of day 6 months back when my younger daughter discovered it and decided to bring it to you here.
All Boxed Up and Nowhere To Go | Flash Post 430

All Boxed Up and Nowhere To Go | Flash Post 430

What does boxed up mean?

Button, when Marie Kondo made organising a way of life, anybody I know of began parking their belongings into boxes and literally forgetting that each little thing being packed away played some role—however insignificant—in their lives at some point. Manufacturers saw the opportunity and almost immediately started churning out boxes in different colours, shapes, sizes and designs. One of them even had the brainwave of manufacturing them with different designs printed on them. There’s a navy blue one right in front of my eyes with dinosaur and turtle motifs. I saw one with different species of snakes printed on it which made my skin crawl though I love a game of Snakes and Ladders! One has cuddly teddy bears on it which is rather cute and another with hearts—big and small—printed all over. Dost had then told me what a ridiculous idea it was. For him, organisation signalled the death of beauty, knowledge, memories, art and life in general.

I know how much he hates order. I have often heard him tell you about his dream house which would have books stacked on the floor where any book that catches his fancy can be picked up, browsed, touched and read, works of art to be admired and memorabilia that can take him back to different phases in his life.

For me organisation is important not so much as packing up things into boxes but keeping items I regularly use in places so I can find them easily. For instance, my clothes are stacked in wardrobes in sections where my home-wear is kept. Another row has clothes I would wear outside.  Pens and pencils are kept in a holder while important documents are tagged and kept in separate folders. In the kitchen, items like mugs, glasses, pots and pans are kept in separate cabinets so that anyone can find what they need. What I fail to understand is this idea of packing essentials into boxes where I can’t pick or choose something I want because I can’t see what’s inside. To play tic-tac-toe to pick out the box that could possibly have the item I am looking for seems a waste of time unless you have packed them away for good.

Like looking for a needle in a haystack!

Right. That’s the absolute perfect simile, Button.

What you are trying to get at is that the tables have turned and Dost is the one organising certain items by segregating them and putting them into boxes.

Personal items from shirts to trousers to jackets to ties and scarfs are kept inside boxes and stacked inside his wardrobe. I often wonder how he’s going to find something in particular without having to turn each box upside down! You get what I mean? I have questions because I understand the futility of that kind of organisation where, despite organising your belongings, you are a mess because you don’t know where to look for them when you need them! I know for a fact that he was missing a particular shirt and pulled out three boxes and eventually gave up because it wasn’t there! There are others who store similar items—like tops in one, bottoms in another, jackets in a separate box, warranty cards in one, SOS medicines in another, batteries in a separate one and likewise—which is a better and well thought out way and will, in all likelihood, serve your purpose when you are looking for something.

I get what you mean. Organising should assist you at times when you are looking for something.

That’s correct. If he asked me to find something earlier it was easy because they were neatly stacked in the wardrobe and visible and I could pick out the one by virtue of the description. It’s not so anymore.

Is decluttering and organisation linked?

I’d say they go hand in hand. You need to declutter before you organise. For instance, you can’t declutter one surface to clutter something else. Like declutter a table top to put all that stuff into a box! Sometimes it becomes difficult for me to part with a much-cherished pair of shoes or stuff from the kitchen. But I have got used to simply giving away what I think I will not use or haven’t used in a long time so that organising the remaining items becomes simpler.

So you were a hoarder at some point!

For many years of my life. But now I see the futility of hoarding say—six frying pans or too many dresses I don’t particularly fancy or don’t see myself wearing. It‘s only now that I question myself as to what I’ll do with all six frying pans when I would use perhaps two or three at best. That motivated me to de-clutter which helped me organise them accordingly.

Doesn’t the act of de-cluttering have a positive impact on the mind.

I guess. It manages anxiety. My anxiety for sure because I am an anxious person. I’d be a mental wreck if I was trying to locate something at the very last minute and failed.

So your grouse is against the act of packing things away in boxes unmindfully.

You’ve said it, Button.

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