Sunday, July 18, 2010

Keeping Order: An Interview with the Artist Jocelyn Krodman

     Upon entering her house, I was surprised to see that Jocelyn Krodman, a local artist and business professional, had a dustless, clutterless, fussless layout.  As a woman that sees a lot of messes and makes plenty around my own house, it made me wonder why her house was so clean and how did she do it?  Not only was it clean (no dust to be seen anywhere!) but it was also nicely organized and extremely cozy!  My curiosity sparked, I demanded an interview so that I could bring to you the secrets of a lady not so different from you and I.

Visit her etsy page at:

Top Ten Tricks from Jocelyn Krodman:
1.      1.     It’s okay to be sentimental but get a grip!
     Surround yourself with what you love.
     Less is better or at least easier.
     Hide unuseful things like clutter in aesthetically pleasing compartments around the home.
     Clean along the way -1 hour now vs.a whole day later.
     Only keep useful and beloved items.
     Fewer options creates more freedom.
     Create specific areas for specific activities. – work space for work and sleep space for sleep.
     If you like all the spaces in your home you won’t be afraid to use them.

At the House of Jocelyn Gayle Krodman June 13th, 2010
Listen to the audio file here!

CW:  How does your house function for you in your life?

JGK:  When I first moved into the apartment, I traveled so much that it took me a while to decide if I even wanted to rent a space.  Was it going to feel like storage?  I am someone who’s very affected by my environment.

CW:  In what kind of atmosphere did you grow up?

JGK:  We moved a lot.  My dad’s job took us to other states so they’d hire movers.  When you don’t have to move yourself, the natural inclination is to take everything!  After years of doing that and living in houses with basements, we managed to accumulate a ridiculous amount of crap!  The house itself was never cluttered, or didn’t seem so.  My mom has things around, and as I got older that started to bug me, but it typically doesn’t bother me in other people’s homes.  My parent’s home is like an extension of my home so I guess that’s why it bothers me more than if I walked into a stranger’s house.  I’m like “mom, why do you really need that” ?!  But she loves it, and I like to surround myself with things that I love too.  So, if she wants to have that little elf, let her lave that little elf.   
            Our house was typically clean.  We always had someone that would come to clean every other week.  It was a clean environment until you got to the basement.  It was not until two summers ago when I was moving to Nashville but staying in my parent’s house until the moving date that I discovered that it hadn’t gotten so bad that you could hardly walk down there.  The basement is the same surface area as our house and yet its filled with boxes, things that aren’t even opened…It was ridiculous! 
            Finally I was like “mom, I’m gonna be home this summer, you’re home, you’re a teacher, you don’t work, let’s tackle this!  You want to?” and she was like “ yeah, it’ll be fun!”.  We spent about 2 months, okay maybe two weeks, but it was daily…it was a full time job!  My dad had saved all his paperwork since 1972 and he had saved every mini soap from every hotel he had visited.  We had to confront him!  I thought “do you really need this”?  People’s sentimental attachment to things is so fascinating to me!  I understand being sentimental but do you really need a huge cardboard box full of checkbooks that you can’t even pick up?!  Probably not. 
            I was like “ how about this… you pick out one checkbook out of this box and you can keep that”.  That was the rule I made with him…he got to keep one checkbook.  It was ridiculous.  No one needs all that stuff, but then there’s things like all my childhood toys and my mom had saved every pair of shoes that my sister and I had worn as children. I was grateful that I had a mom that thought it was important enough to keep that stuff around, but do I need EVERY pair of shoes?  Probably not.  Do we need every single toy?  No.
            You know the pound puppy that I got on Valentine’s Day in first grade that little Joe or whoever I had a crush on got for me; I want that!  (And I still have it!  His name is Pierre because he looks like he has a mustache!)  I have my mom’s sentimentality to thank for that, but do I need everything?  I appreciate the sentiment, but you have to get a grip!

CW:  But I do think that some people have trouble figuring out the level of importance of their things.

JGK:  And some of it is superstition.   My mom can’t throw away photographs.  We have all of them!  She thinks that the person will drop dead as soon as she puts it in the trashcan.  It’s rubbed off on me too! I would feel terrible for throwing away a photograph.  I have tons of photos I don’t need. 

CW:  So then what do you do with all the stuff, like photos, or gifts, or momentos, that you don’t want to get rid of? 


CW:  (I thought that was the punchline to a joke but she was serious)  Well what would you do if you didn’t have that?

JGK:  Typically I try to store things around here in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.  Like, I love old suitcases.  I use them in decorating and they are just great for storing stuff like that!  I have a couple of train cases in my bedroom.  They look great but open ‘em up and you’ll find all types of clutter!  But I know where they are and they are organized too.  That’s my “go to”.  You know, “I’m looking for THIS item” and I know where it’s gonna be. 

CW:  And all the cases kind of look different too, so that you can tell which one has what.  That way you’re not just looking through unmarked box after unmarked box stuffed in your closet!
            So how do you maintain the order around your house?  I know you talked about productive procrastination which is when you are cleaning house for example instead of doing some other type of work, but when you’re tired and you don’t really want to do anything, how do you keep it clean?  What are some of your self imposed rules?

JGK:  I’m not typically faced with situations where I’m having to take the time to clean my house or put stuff away because of you do really small things like that all along the way and keep up with it, there’s never a time in which you’re like “oh god, I have to stay home and do this today!”  I do have days where I’m like “I need to spend an hour picking up” or doing dishes, or whatever else it is that needs to get done, but it’s never this overwhelming problem because I just don’t let it get to that point.  
            I remember in college, I had this one chair that I would just throw stuff on.  Do you know what lesson I learned from doing that?  Well I had this toy snake and it was filled with barley and a mouse had begun to live inside it but I didn’t know!  One day I was like “I’ve got to clean the stuff off this chair; it’s disgusting!”  I started finding what looked like food and I was like “I don’t eat in here, what is this barley stuff?”  So I realized the mouse was living inside the snake that was on the chair under all this stuff and I FLIPPED OUT!  I threw everything away that was on the chair, gone in the trash, and I don’t ever do that anymore.
            Even if I’m tired and I throw my dress on the chair beside my bed, the next day I throw it in the laundry or hang it back up…takes two seconds.

Thanks Jocelyn for opening up your home to me and the viewers of ATL Clean Extreme!


Elisson said...

That's one clean apartment, right there.

Cheryl Terrell said...

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