I find that items accumulate in spots around the house and become part of the scenery. Somehow, if they sit long enough, we often don't question their presence. There's no need for a bag of cereal to be sitting beside me at the computer. We have cupboards. There's an egg timer. I have no need to time eggs right now and I wouldn't use that timer if I did. There's a key ring from Hawaii, a magic marker, a rubber chicken, one crayon and a school survey I should mail some day. And, while it's good that I found them, why are those 2 keys to the shed sitting on the computer desk? It's ridiculously cold outside; I can't see anyone suddenly needing to retrieve a fertilizer spreader or aging slip-n-slide. I don't need any of these items to be conveniently located but they're all here. It's the things I need to find that are often in more obscure locations.
Gathering these items up more regularly and preventing their accumulation might help but I sense that some items will remain adrift and alone. When something doesn't have a role but we feel it should belong, it has to sit somewhere. In our houseful of very visual people, if things don't remain in full view, they are often forgotten. If we can see them, they stand a chance that we will some day integrate them into our lives. Until that happy day, many of them will remain part of our domestic scenery.
Since I started writing this entry, I've put a few items away. The cereal and egg timer are gone and the magic marker's in a drawer. The survey still needs to be mailed, the rubber chicken continues to lie here and that one crayon (grey - not the most exciting colour in a crayon and we don't use crayons anymore) sits waiting for a use. Things are a little tidier but not much and new pieces will probably arrive soon anyways. This, I suppose, is evidence of the flow of a family's life in a place we feel comfortable setting things down. It does get a little messy but I treasure that we have such a place and experience such comfort in it.