I’m addicted to watching Clean House. There, I’ve admitted it. More particularly, I can’t stop watching the episodes devoted to finding the messiest home in America. I watched one the other night about a youngish couple; an overly weepy wife who cried virtually nonstop because of what her life had become because of living with the clutter and a seemingly out-of-touch husband who couldn’t seem to commit to change because of his myriad of bizarre hobbies (amateur ghost hunting?).
I’m not sure why I find this show so fascinating. I sometimes think I watch it to make myself feel better about my little house on a day where it seems I’m surrounded by clutter although, truth be told, I don’t think any one of us can hold a candle to the knee-deep, wall-to-wall clutter the people on these shows choose to live with. I wonder how long it takes to get to that point in your life and when you cross the line from “I’ll tackle it tomorrow” to “I give up. It’s overwhelming”.
Niecy Nash, the spiritual goddess/hostess of the show (and I do so admire her), likes to say to everyone on the show that overwhelming clutter is an outward sign of an inward issue. If you don’t deal with what’s really bugging you, you’ll never be able to de-clutter and live a normal life. And I suspect that’s true but goes even further than that. Any habit which has gotten out of control, or any addiction, has to be based on your inward struggles. We overeat, we drink too much, we buy things we don’t need, we spend money we don’t have – all to cover up or mask the pain inside. Because it’s easier to do the outward thing – and probably get a much more instantaneous gratification – than to delve inward and figure out the root of our problem.
Self-analysis is not my strong point and never has been. But the last few years I’ve been forced to do quite a bit of it and reluctantly boarded the train towards figuring out what I do – or don’t do – and why. I like to think that life is not about the destination, but the journey. And the journey can be rough, and is more often than not. But take the journey, we must, and watching this silly little show – and seeing people dig deep inside to figure out why they do what they do – helps. So thanks, Niecy. You’re helping more people than just the ones on the show.