Where’s the Beef Mallet?

We went to a party for a two-year old yesterday. Looking around our friends’ delightful, uncluttered home I had to wonder, and I’m sure you would have, too: Where’s their motorized post-it note dispenser?

That wasn’t the only question I had looking around their lovely San Francisco flat. Like ours, it’s high on charm but with modest floor space compared with a new house in, well, anywhere else except maybe Manhattan. So I just couldn’t figure out: where do they put their fondue pot? Where’s the papier-mâché pig if not on the kitchen counter? The boxes of 3×5 recipe cards that will probably never be looked at in this age of Internet recipes?

I mean, we all have this crap, right? Looking around our friends’ house, though, I was at a loss as to where they keep it. The twelve file drawers’ worth of papers and books marked “OLD WORK STUFF” — where do they put that? Not to mention the extra sofas and armchairs… do they have a secret compartment somewhere?

Everyone’s got clutter, it’s safe to say, but some people manage to manage it. Many have mastered that daily skill of not accumulating paper, knick-knacks, cooking tools, toys, and techno-gadgets beyond their needs. Maybe they have one little overflow closet, but what’s out in the open doesn’t overwhelm their space.

So I sit here, taking a brief break from what has become my task for nearly every free hour of every weekend: while my wife is out entertaining two-year old Boobaby through the nausea of early pregnancy, I’m trying to get a handle on housework, and, of course, since I’m uncluttering for three on this gorgeous day, I frequently succumb to resentment, too. Insult upon injury.

Well, back to it.