If You Need to Find Me, Just Follow the Trail of…Mess

It was when I was telling a friend that I wanted to get a Roomba because, "I think it would like me because I always spill so much stuff on the floor", that I knew I had a problem. No, not the tendency to anthropomorphize everything — the tendency to drop and spill everything…

I don't feel like I'm particularly messy, and yet I have to sweep my apartment every single day. Is this normal? I blame a lot on those dirty San Francisco streets, but I'm pretty sure I didn't track in scraps of embroidery floss, flower petals, red pepper flakes, and confetti on the bottoms of my shoes (and my floors are covered in these things). Thinking it over now, I realize that when I'm deeply involved in a project (embroidering, arranging flowers, cooking/eating dinner, making confetti), anything extra or unnecessary has to be tossed away immediately. "Get it out of here! It's in the way! I hate that color! I don't know — just throw it on the floor! Things are happening here!" Like the floor is in some other dimension that I'll never have to clean.

So. The question is this: can I change this habit of a lifetime? And I know I've been like this for a long time because my friend used to call me the Flour Queen "and not because you like flowers — because when you bake you get flour everywhere", and that was back in college, 12 years ago. (Hi, Ely!) Can I slow down, do things more carefully, not knock over the little pinch bowl of red pepper flakes every other day? Have you changed a household habit? How did you do it?

Or do I just accept it, buy a cuter broom that I'm excited to use, get a Roomba to love me until I'm ready to get a dog, and throw myself into projects, emerging happy and proud and very, very messy?

Image: Tess Wilson

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