Minimalist/Death cleaning/Pig pen

Is the ‘Minimalist’ movement still continuing, or is it beginning to dwindle? The oddly-named ‘Death cleaning’ is still popular (refers to cleaning your home of artifacts and papers so your friends and relatives won’t have to deal with the detritus you leave in the far future). And the ‘Pig pen’ style of keeping house will always be an option, especially among people who live alone.

Of course, since this is an astrology column, you can expect clues as to which of the three types your natal Sun Sign slots you into – willingly or not. Let’s proceed.

Aries:  What? Clean up the mess I made in the kitchen before I dashed off to work this morning? Why? It’ll just get dirty again. As long as I didn’t leave the butter out or the coffee maker set to boil those same grounds again, we’re good. The dishes from dinner last night didn’t get into the dishwasher either. Listen, paying too much attention to details makes a boring life. Anyway, when I get that next promotion and become the boss’ right-hand help, I can afford a cleaning service regularly. Once I replace the boss, then I’ll get a housekeeper. Yeah! So what’s a few crumbs between now and then?

Taurus:  Well, I have all my stock certificates and deeds in my safety deposit drawer at the bank, although I do need to catch up the list of my artwork, adding those three paintings I bought last week. I need to gather used items around here, like that chair that was never comfortable, and take it to a thrift shop. The donation receipt won’t be for much, but every little bit helps on my taxes. Maybe I should do my own again this year. I have to draw a fine line between taking off too much for depreciation and so on, because the less I pay in FICA, the less Uncle Sam matches. That means less in my Social Security check down the line.  

Gemini:  OMG, the maintenance guy’s due to fix that dripping faucet today. I’ll just grab the clothes out of the living room and throw them into the closet. He’s not supposed to snoop while he’s here, but show me any handyman who can resist looking around. Let’s see, I’ll pile the dishes into the dishwasher and put the frying pan and crusted casserole I was going to soak in the sink in the oven. Where am I going to put the stack of bills? It’s nobody’s business that I’ve gotten four late notices this month – under the sofa cushions! There we go. Mom would have a fit, but hey, nobody’s perfect.   

Cancer:  I’m running out of furniture wax and there’s only one place I can get the bees’ wax-based polish that makes Great-Aunt Helen’s rocker just gleam. Maybe I can run downtown on my lunch break. I need to check at the drapery shop anyway; they should be almost finished with the new window treatment for the living room. I hope they didn’t get the highest-priced silk blend; the price the cloth company wanted per yard should’ve included a starter kit of silkworms. I need to get home tonight quickly too, so I can check the list I’m leaving. If the cleaner doesn’t dust the door facings above the doors this time, I’ll hire someone else.

Leo:  Let’s see, I need to call the cleaner, the caterer and – hmmm. A DJ or string quartet? What would people remember most? Well, of course, they’re going to remember my engagement announcement! But I want to show my ex significant other that I’m definitely marrying up. I’ve got to call the florist too. I hope the college kids I’ve hired to park cars remember to wear white shirts and bow ties like they were real valets. If it rains next week I don’t know what – oh, I can rent a tent. What a time for my housekeeper to sprain an ankle! I’ll need an extra bartender for the champagne; maybe the caterer can bring one. I’ll call.   

Virgo:  This place is a disaster. A coffee mug on the end table in the living room and the window sills are all dusty. And the books are leaning in the bookcase – what next? It’s been so much nicer around here since I bought my little Sphinx; no cat fur drifting across the floor. She’s very quiet, too. One little meow to let me know she’s hungry and that’s all she says. I need to renew my warranty for the AC hypoallergenic unit today and pick up some more HEPA super filters. More filters for the faucet too and the organic vegetables order should be delivered today. I’ll have a huge salad for dinner tonight. I still love working from home!

Libra:  Where do I start? If I begin to clean the kitchen, I won’t have room to fix any lunch. And if I don’t have lunch, I’ll be really irritable the rest of the day. Not a good option. What if I started with my bedroom closet? There are those clothes that never fit quite right, and I can give them away. Unless they’re good enough to go to a consignment shop. Online or local, I wonder. Wait – are any of them designer labels? Maybe I should keep them and try to fix the fit. Or find a good alterations department that can do those changes for me. I could even rent them out online …

Scorpio:  Minimalist? Why the big deal about it? You get what you need – a bed, a chest of drawers, a lamp. The Steve Jobs style of dressing suits me just fine. Next a plate, knife, fork, spoon, glass and coffee mug and that’s about it. A basic cooking set, coffee maker, stove, refrigerator, microwave. Two towels and two washcloths. Done. Keep everything picked up and put away and you’ve got no problems cleaning. Of course my laptop goes with me, and I can walk, bike or bus the places I need to go. Meetings and appointments can be kept to a minimum too. Live life lean without complications, I say.

Sagittarius:  Well, yeah, having everything in its place is a good idea, but where would all my sports stuff go? And what are you going to do with my rescued St. Bernard? Bruno likes to sleep on the couch and I like my recliner pulled out so I can just flop down in it when I get home from walking him after work. He loves the doughnuts from around the corner and they have great coffee, so we go there every Saturday. But cleaning – listen, there’s no time to worry about things like that. Sorry if the dog hair bothers you, but he’s a good companion. Even the delivery guys know he won’t bite; they bring him dog biscuits. Just don’t eat out of his bowl.

Capricorn:  My will is already made out and I have everything neatly catalogued as to the heritage silver and the Tiffany lamps. I have the directions for DNR and other medical procedures filed with my doctor. The mortgage will be paid off in twelve years and seven months, and I’ve made arrangements for my two nieces to live here and go to college so they can pay in-state tuition. No sense in paying those ridiculous fees because of a zip code. They can save their rent money and buy mutual funds instead so they each have a nest egg once they graduate. I’ll teach them how to balance a budget and start saving for retirement.

Aquarius:  My friends usually pitch in when they come over to hang out; some of them are really great cooks and cheerfully clean up after a delicious meal. I haven’t gotten around to buying much furniture yet; I don’t know where I want to live and there’s no reason to burden myself with a sectional and a piano just to have to move them somewhere else down the line. Give me a backpack with a change of clothes and a good map in case I lose signal. That’s how I want to find the best place to settle down and write my novel. I’d like to learn to speak a couple more languages so I can ask the natives whether they like where they live.

Pisces:  Death cleaning? What a horrible name to give a task that’s supposed to help you live better. What if you have two favorite nieces but only one antique set of silver fish forks? Who gets them? Why start the arguments when you’re going to have to settle them now? Best to leave them in a drawer and let whoever finds them either claim them or pass them on to someone who’ll use them. Now, that trashy novel I wrote a few years ago really needs to go to a publisher – I know it’d be a bestseller. But it must be published under a pseudonym – although then the family will know I wrote it once they start getting the royalties I leave them. More problems!

We can probably all get rid of quite a few things that we no longer need or like. Just be sure it’s not Bruno’s bowl.  – MZ