Clutter is finished, Get That Table Out of My Sight

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by Tom Nardone

Clutter, For the past six or seven months, has taken over my man-cave and it is currently in disarray. This is where I spend the majority of my time alone, and it has slowly evolved into a disaster area. I had gotten used to it and it really did not bother me. However, last night, it did begin to bother me. I was unable to talk myself out of allowing it to just continue.

When I woke up this morning, I made a pot
of coffee, took my meds with the first cup, and went back upstairs to see what would happen. I don’t ever set goals for myself because they can lead to disappointment. I just, …see what happens.

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Seven hours later, my room is perfectly clutter free, and I made some changes I think will prevent clutter from returning so quickly. While I was trying to convince myself, not to bother with it, I did several walkthroughs. I noticed every item in my room, not in its place, had one thing in common. Every item was sitting on a horizontal surface.

 

Clutter’s landing Ground

The place where most of the debris seemed to collect was, of course, on the largest horizontal surface in my room. I had a full sized dining room table in my man-cave. My original thought was to use it as a desk. I asked myself, how my life would change, if this table were gone. I looked at everything on top of it, and determined I might have just put these items where they belonged, if the table were not there. With that, I got rid of the table. By got rid of the table, I mean I took it out of my room and put it somewhere else in the house. When my wife finds it, and then when she quits yelling, I will ask her for a suggestion.

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Inasmuch as I love an empty horizontal surface, horizontal surfaces are to me, the enablers of clutter. Whenever I get home, I go upstairs to my man-cave. If I bring anything home, I will have to put it somewhere. I don’t always want to put things where they belong. If I come home with a brand new video game I am pretty excited. Perhaps I stayed up, and waited in line until midnight, with the other kids, to get this game at the exact moment it was available. I usually will take this day off from work, and set it aside to play it nonstop on both of my off days.

This is a big deal, and I don’t want to throw the game wrapper and the bag away because the trash can is three feet across the room. The reason I don’t have to do this is because there was this big table with nothing on it right in front of me. That garbage can will have to either wait or it can just go to Hell. I have the new Call of Duty game and it is time to kill zombies.

When I wish to put anything down, horizontal surfaces speak to me. My table would say, “Tom, why don’t you just let me hold that for you? You need to get started on your game so you will be ready for those little kids online. How do you expect outplay those children if you’re wasting time with trash?” I have to say, the table makes a good point.

It always makes sense to put something on a horizontal surface. Here is why. A table is going to be empty, or it is going to have crap all over it. If it is empty, that is great! It is a table it has a big flat surface so things can be placed on it. It is the purpose for which I have a table in my room. On the other hand, if the table already has crap all over it, this is also great. I mean as long as there are five soda cans, a bowl with dried out chili stuck to it, and a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich on top of it, what possible difference is this stupid plastic bag and a handful of cellophane going to matter.

It is therefore, always the right time to clutter any horizontal surface. Perhaps from now on, I will spell it “Whore-izontal Surfaces” They are always willing for anything to just lay right on top of them. They attract all the garbage and refuse nobody wants to deal with, and the more they are used, the less appealing they are. Whore-izontal surfaces are awful, and their pimp’s name is Clutter

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After cleaning my room, I came downstairs and began looking around the living room and I saw the same problem. Clutter loves whoreizontal surfaces. In our home, we have baskets all over the place. My wife has a good eye for what looks good and where, but even if a basket is placed somewhere for something specific, other things are sure to find their way into it eventually.

Downstairs there are a number of debris magnets, but the dining room table is king. This is where all refuse will ultimately find rest. I have seen each of us de-clutter one part of the den only to re-clutter the dining room table. I cannot fix the living room problems as my authority in my house is limited to the confines of my man-cave. I am fine with this arrangement, because dirty or clean I have a kickass man-cave.

I will continue to get rid of the horizontal surfaces in my man-cave, as there are some left. They are the enablers of a clutter free, and clean room. I will no longer succumb to their influence. I will remove them from my life, and I will not be a victim of their enabling spells of a temporary convenience they cast upon me without remorse or fear. There days of easy marks are over. A new day has come.

When you “JUST SAY NO” to whoreizontal surfaces, then the only place you can put anything, is where it belongs.

I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.

OH! Attention Smart-Asses!

I am sure at least one of you sons of bitches saw a horizontal surface in the pictures and you cant wait to tell me about it. News flash assholes I live in here so don’t turn this story into you backward ass version of “Where’s Waldo”!

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Help me. I can only spread so much bullshit by myself.
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27 Responses to Clutter is finished, Get That Table Out of My Sight

  1. You’re full of crap Tom Tom! You can’t get rid of the floor! I have 2 shelves in my living room. The TV sits on one and the other appliances on the other. besides the furniture, these are the only horizontal surfaces in my living room. Crap is still everywhere!!!! How can this be? I have no shelves, no coffee table… THE FLOOR! HELLO!!!

    p}!{k

  2. cwmccoy126 says:

    Guess the iamtomnardone Research & Development team finally discover a new “Nardone’s Law” and offered a solution to the problem. Those guys need a raise lol

  3. Dave Guthrie says:

    I laughed, I cried. Any hope for this place…this is when it was clean….

  4. Jade Reyner says:

    I love the fact that it took you 7 hours. I have a 30 second, 8 yr old solution to horizontal surfaces…and he takes no prisoners! 🙂 Loved it, as ever!

  5. ksbeth says:

    better than hanging out in a gutter full of clutter.

  6. Claire says:

    You have just confirmed my suspicions regarding my 8 year old ADHD son. His bedroom and any room in our flat looks like a crime zone. If I blitz the flat and make it spotless, all the horizontal surfaces are covered within 5 minutes and that includes the floor! I have often wondered if it was due to his ADHD and now I am positive it is. Just wish I could help him he is totally unable to put things away. Thanks I enjoyed reading your blog.

  7. ksbeth says:

    bring it, yvonne!

  8. nikaaaaah says:

    Excellent! Every married man should have his own “man cave” 🙂
    Great job decluttering, Tom!

  9. Andrew says:

    I have the same issue with the floor… I might have to photo-document the next overhaul LOL

  10. TIA says:

    Can you really rid of everything horizontal? The floor….The video game box….. and where will you place your drink while playing the video games? 🙂

    • I have temporary surface like a foot stool for drinks. The floor I am not expecting to be a problem. So far so good. I have not been gaming much since I beat assassins creed though. I believe I won’t be interested for a while. I have to get my book ready for the press.

  11. So so clever! I look around and I see…lots of clutter. Where? On horizontal surfaces!!! That’s it!:)
    And actually now that you mentioned it: seems like my table is telling/ suggesting me the exact same thing! Ahhhh…good you told me, now I can hear that. Love that part about the table a lot!lol
    But I must say I envy you a bit: Places where things belong? Well seems I have too many things, too little furniture or whatsoever…I make a place then it’s full….or I forget where that place was? or there is no place at all….
    Wonderful post …I am still thinking how to construct non-horizontal floors…. 😉

    • HAHA let me know how your boilding plans come out. I am thrilled you are reading me. Hey how goes the site traffic today. I know you have comments on the page i shared your story to.

      • Thank You for sharing my story!And yeah traffic is alot today. 🙂
        I am hell curious about the comments, they are none on my blog. Is that site you shared my story a private/ secret one, or would you like to tell me where it is, so I can read the comments?

        About the construction from the floors….there are many aspects to think about:it should be still comfortable to walk on and sit, not hard on knees and back, for ex.
        Then of course it should look great and it must be so slant, that things couldnt sit there nor must things slide down and clutter at the end of the floor… you see I am still thinking about it and I will tell you , as soon as I come up with a solution. 😉

  12. Danielle says:

    I’m the one with the cave in our relationship. I tried giving my husband, who does not have an ADHD diagnosis, THE MASTER BEDROOM in our house and the rest should be presentable enough for friends. That soon became begging him to keep his shit OFF THE DAMN COUCH so I could lay down. So, I have my own room in our house, which I worked hard to create a place for everything to go. I look at photos from when I STILL made room for the dog bed and everything was neatly organized, even the closet. I cannot work in clutter; it is too distracting.

    We now temporarily have an apartment so I can actually get to rehab for an injury (it’s gonna take a long time) and I thought I’d have measurements of the rooms and that we were going to move slowly over time. That changed so suddenly to “we are doing it all on Friday” that I was neither mentally nor physically prepared for this and my DAD came and helped. My injury took away my ability to organize things. I was bad before (this is why my comments turn into books) but now it will take me all day to compose a friggen tweet, I’ve rewritten this like 5 times to shorten the novel I know I’m gonna write anyway, and I have shit to do. My injury really slowed me down physically and mentally and people just don’t get it. It takes me a lot longer to do everything and my organizational skills weren’t super to begin with but now I just can’t. That room I created was in too small of a space and it took me forever but once I got things how I needed them, it worked. Then that room was needed for something else and I got the room I wanted, which never got finished being set up.

    People’s expectations of me were about right until like my first day of rehab. They don’t realize this comment alone took hours to write, I depend on someone who doesn’t get that I need garbage cans in strategic places and that ONE BAG that takes two hands to untangle from the others hanging from the same cabinet in the kitchen does NOT work to do the shopping. I can’t look at a screen long enough to buy something when I know exactly what I want (but I can type with eyes closed). I can’t spend more than a couple minutes in most stores because everyone uses fluorescent lights. It took me using his chair as a garbage can to actually get one near my desk. I’M supposed to organize this place. I got basic categories like “paperwork” “computer” “music” “clothes” “entertainment” etc. and know the paperwork has to be near the computer and so does the music so I have the spatial relationship for those. I was going to break them down further but that’s as far as I got. How did you organize your mancave? I’m fine once everything has a place BUT IT DOESN’T AND I CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW. I can’t use the floor even to sort mail it takes me longer to do that and get the piles moved than he’s willing to wait to vacuum. How can such a slob be such a germaphobe?

    I got storage ottomans where the top flips so you can have a soft seat / footrest or a table but the stuff I put in one is completely inaccessible now because you are right about horizontal surfaces. We don’t have many in this closet called an apartment but they are getting stacked higher and higher. It doesn’t matter who tosses the first piece crap where it doesn’t belong (which is everything because we don’t have places for anything that I can TAKE OUT AND USE), eventually it gets to the point where even I am like “well this is beyond trying” and we both just throw stuff everywhere.

    Do you do anything like paperwork in your mancave? I have a need for a work surface but that’s gone to clutter. The stuff he just brought home (that I said explicitly doesn’t work for me of course) already has some papers, a couple empty gatorade bottles and a dirty paper plate on it and it’s all going back to the store. The papers likely fell off what is supposed to be my desk. The rest really does belong in the kitchen garbage only or needs to be rinsed and recycled. If you do use your mancave for paperwork type stuff or something that needs a clear surface, how are you keeping it clean? I can’t even keep the ottomans clean! But the floor is off-limits even for temporary stuff that I should be able to do on my desk but can’t because it’s too cluttered from crap being put there that doesn’t belong.

    I’m sincerely interested in how you INITIALLY organized your mancave and how things go with keeping it neat.

    It would be so much easier if I could just put everything we have here in piles on the floor and sort the piles until they make sense but if I can’t even do the mail before the germaphobe slob needs to vacuum, everything we have is a complete joke. It’s like I live in a world of only ADHD naysayers with ADHD on steroids and I’m expected to function at a superior level AND go to rehab somehow and to give you an idea, I’ve cut down to barebones treatment because I’m overwhelmed and this week things extended into the weekend, with stuff that was canceled because of the holidays replaced with other things and I had a total of 15 appointments and 3 or 4 people giving me stuff to do at home plus fighting with the insurance company and getting my billing with one of my providers straightened out. A number of those appointments lasted over two hours and do the math there were multiple ones every day and I’m not even including travel time… It’s more than a full time job.

    I think that’s where some of the expectations come from is people don’t realize I work overtime, I’m not unemployed PLUS I’m severely limited in what I can do for myself and I look okay now but I’m really not. The more clutter there is, the more I get overwhelmed and the more overwhelmed, the more anxious until I become paralyzed and start reading Tom Nardone’s blog even though I shouldn’t look at a screen this long or this late but I REALLY NEED THE LAUGH!

    So if YOU could get organized, maybe I can at least get some desk space? Do you have any tips for me? Besides throwing out the plate and rinsing the bottles… lol.

    Thanks.

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