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You can’t turn on the news nowadays without hearing about another long-term COVID side effect: lung damage, heart damage, brain damage, blood clots, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and anxiety. All those are pretty scary. It’s enough to make me want to retreat into my home and never leave, turning me into an agoraphobic.

But the side effect this pandemic has had on my home is pretty scary, too.  Not only am I turning into a hoarder of toilet paper, facial tissues, rubbing alcohol, and bars of soap…and I won’t even mention the stack of paper items and non-perishable foods in the basement pantry.  I’m also facing the dreaded issue of clutter. An issue I thought I’d conquered, at least in the public, open floor plan spaces of my home.

 

Once dealing with the mail was simple. You took it out of the mailbox, opened it, sorted out the bills, and threw away the junk mail. Easy peasy, right?

Now we have a new system. Remove mail from the box, using a plastic bag; open the bills that need to be attended to right away; place everything else on the side board in order of date received. Once mail has sat for seven days, you can now look at the non-essential items. This process has turned my side board into mail-center central. Not a very pretty sight.

This clutter extends to other parts of the house, too.

When our groceries come in, I wipe everyone of them. However, as my disinfectant wipes dwindled (because you can’t find them anywhere!), I’ve begun setting things on the floor beneath the kitchen bar until I feel it’s safe to touch them. Twenty-four hours for paper and cardboard products and packages that come in the mail, because they won’t fit on the sideboard. Three days or more for items with hard surfaces like glass or plastic and items in plastic bags.  Germ phobic that I am, it’s usually more, rather than just three days.

The other day my husband said, “Honey, you’re going to have to take care of the stuff under the bar. I’ve been kicking those bags for days now because they’re creeping into the living room. And the exterminator is coming this week. She won’t be able to spray along the edges with all those bags in the way.”

I gingerly peeked into one of the bags. “Hey! Remember those socks you were looking for?”

“The ones we bought a month ago?” Hubby asked.

“Yeah.” I picked up the bag with the socks. “I think they’ve been in quarantine long enough.”

Hubby snatched the bag. “Ya think?”

“Ooh,” I said as I looked into another sack, “Scratch the cheese crackers off the grocery list. I just found another box.”

I could go on, and on, and on, but I think you get the drift. COVID has turned me into a clutter bug…once again.

Only last September, in preparation for the installation of our new flooring, we’d moved, packed up, or given away all the items we didn’t want in our open-plan living area any more. The rooms had become untidy with too much inherited furniture and stuff. The knick knacks on top of bookcases and cabinets were removed. I sorted the overflowing bookcases, trimming them down. I dressed up the kitchen table with a flower centerpiece. We rearranged the furniture to make the living area appear more spacious. Sitting in the living area was calming and enjoyable again like it had been eighteen years ago when we first moved in.

I’d conquered clutter!  At least in the places visitors would see.

For nearly six wonderful months my main living area was spotless, airy, and open. I could see the walls. There was space around the furniture! I’d kept it that way, for the most part, so guests could walk in anytime and see an orderly house.  A quick sweep of the main room, and a few door closures, tidied everything up.

Then COVID hit. I went into pandemic buying mode, because I was not going to be caught without food in my pantry or an empty toilet roll. I canceled the cleaning girl indefinitely. She has to touch sooo many surfaces to clean (and I really miss her because her arrival forced me to pick up before she came). We cleared out shelves in the basement to hold most of my pandemic food supplies, which created giant piles of things to go through and trash or give away.

The kitchen pantry is jammed again, as are both freezers.

And I’m getting ready to tear out my hair!

COVID, thy name is CLUTTER!

And I’ve succumbed. I just pray it’s temporary.

The sad thing is there are only two of us living in this jam-packed house. I can’t imagine what COVID CLUTTER must be like for larger families.

What about you? Are you suffering from COVID CLUTTER SYNDROME?

 

Take a break from the pressure of COVID issues and lose yourself in Catherine’s award-winning romantic comedy, with a touch of drama, A Groom for Mama.

A GROOM FOR MAMA

By Catherine Castle

Beverly Walters is dying, and before she goes she has one wish—to find a groom for her daughter. To get the deed done, Mama enlists the dating service of Jack Somerset, Allison’s former boyfriend.

 

The last thing corporate-climbing Allison wants is a husband. Furious with Mama’s meddling, and a bit more interested in Jack than she wants to admit, Allison agrees to the scheme as long as Mama promises to search for a cure for her terminal illness.

 

A cross-country trip from Nevada to Ohio ensues, with a string of disastrous dates along the way, as the trio hunts for treatment and A Groom For Mama.

 

About the Author:

Multi-award winning author Catherine Castle loves writing. Before beginning her career as a romance writer she worked part-time as a freelance writer. She has over 600 articles and photographs to her credit, under her real name, in the Christian and secular market. She also lays claim to over 300 internet articles written on a variety of subjects and several hundred poems. In addition to writing she loves reading, traveling, singing, theatre, quilting and gardening. She’s a passionate gardener whose garden won a “Best Hillside Garden” award from the local gardening club. She writes sweet and inspirational romances. You can find her award-winning Soul Mate books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Follow her on Twitter @AuthorCCastle, FB or her blog.