Monday, May 25

A place for everything, and everything in.....

...a pile in my bedroom.

It is the catch-all. The dungeon. The pit of despair.

"Mom, where does this go?"
"I don't know, I'll deal with it later. Put it in my bedroom."

Until I'm kicking things out of the way to get to the bed.

I have too much stuff and I'm on a quest to downsize and simplify. Spring fever has more than hit and I feel like I'm tearing layers of "stuff" off of myself like Eustace's baptism. Much like it, in fact, as each layer I remove only reveals more layers. There is probably something theologically deep to explore here, but I'm strung out on allergy meds at the moment, so I'm not going to delve into that one very far right now. Feel free to psycho-analyze me.

I'm going through all of our stuff and aiming for minimalist. It's a bit overwhelming, but I'm charging onward and determined to get rid of it all, one pile at a time. The furniture has been rearranged and the shelves are awaiting their contents. Now, I'm sorting and determining which contents stay and which contents go.

Would you believe I lean toward OCD-like perfectionism? How does that fit in with this picture of a cluttered house, you ask? It's like this: If I don't have the time to sit down and alphabetize the spices, I don't clean out the cabinet.* If I'm mid-task and can't stop to clean the entire living room and vacuum the floor, I will walk over the same paper or toy on the floor a dozen times before stopping to pick it up. Until I can clean out the entire drawer, I dread putting more into it, thus I procrastinate putting things away. And so, I walk around my home with a perpetual sense of stress.

There are so many books, papers, articles, etc. that have piled up around here lately and I've gone at them with a Scarlet O'Hara attitude** until they've grown too big to tackle in one day. So now I'm on a mission. The stuff is going. Once cleared, I WILL be okay with "okay". Something is better than nothing, and I hope that I now see the big picture enough to not fall into that all-or-nothing mindset.

*Yes, my spices are most definitely alphabetized on a lazy-susan. If you have more than a half dozen spices, I can't imagine it any other way. I'd have to search each and every bottle label each time I wanted something!



Jennie C. said...

See, now, I never understood organizing by the alphabet. It's counter-intuitive. My husband does that and it drives me crazy, which is why I never file anything in his filing drawer. I think everything should be organized topically. On my spice rack, the baking spices are all on the top shelf, the spicy spices in the middle, and the green herbs on the bottom. I know exactly where to find them all. Except, somebody keeps moving the garlic powder.

Mel said...

You could always sell some of that stuff on Ebay and make some quick cash.:)

Lawanda said...

We purged last year and my room is a much happier place now!!! :)

I am not OCD in any sense, but I have the same issue with, "If I can't clean it all at once, I cannot clean it at all."

Weird huh?

And my spice are not in any order at all. You should prolly never try cooking at my house!! lol ;)

Jenni said...

A perfectionist isn't necessarily perfect. I know many who are exactly as you describe, myself included. Add ADD tendencies (is that age or children that does that?) to OCD tendencies, and you've got a real mess. This is why I count the number of items I fold. It satisfies both the need for focus the ADD brings and the OCD cravings for precise order. I do alphabetize the spices (when I have time to do the job right--need something to keep them in place), but I don't alphabetize the laundry--yet.

Disclaimer: I said tendencies. I have not been diagnosed with ADD or OCD. Not that I would allow anyone inside to shrink my head other than myself. I am not on any medication, although sometimes I wonder if I should be. I also do not make light of these conditions; I simply recognize the tendencies in my own behavior and thought patterns. So there.

Kristenph said...

I'm right there with you. I'll wait to do something until I can do it "right". But then it can get way out of control. I have been really working on making myself do things just "good enough" and thinking about the purpose in doing every activity. It's helping. (I don't alphabetize my spices, but I used to stack the plastic bowls in rainbow order.)

Jenn said...

I'm just relieved that I'm not alone. Jennie, I can see the topically thing. I don't know that it would work for me, but it makes good sense. Mel, I've been meaning to ask you how the ebay thing worked - we've done it before but it didn't seem to be worth the time invested. Do you make out okay? Lawanda, I'd still have a blast cooking with you. But I warn you, I'm a messy cook. Jenni, I think we're twins. But your house pictures are always PERFECT. I drool a bit, sometimes. How do you get there? Clutter free? Kristen, I am cracking up at the ROYGBIV bowls! Messy perfectionists, unite!

Mel said...

Hey Jenn,
Actually, I made enough to pay for the All About Spelling so far. Shipping is what will get you if you don't watch it....make sure to put a handling charge on too. That was part of my mistake. I've been posting schoolbooks/flashcards/etc., and I'm getting ready to post some of Jacob's magnetic Thomas trains that he no longer wants. We reached a deal of he gets 50% of the sale.:)LOL It's actually worked out really well. One thing I definitely recommend to do is go into the advanced search when you start to post an item and search for the completed auctions to see what you're posting is selling for. Then look at the bid history and see what they started their item at; that will give you an idea of what you should start out at and how much you might get. The lower you start out your item at, the lower your fees will be too. Ok, I think that's about it. I'm trying to list some more stuff now. Redeemed paid me pretty well on a few things too, so that's always another option, but you might get more off Ebay. Ok, ttyl. Hope this helps!

Mel said...

Oh, when I say the All About Spelling, I was able to get both levels 1 and 2, the letter tiles, and the All About not too bad really.

Nezzy said...

We all know what a order freak I am yet I do not alphabetize my spices. I have my spice rack visually acceptiable to my artistic eye. Weird, Huh??

Ginger@chirgies said...

It's crazy how much we have in common! How can I be so anal about some stuff and then a complete slob in other areas?
What's that saying, tripping over dollars to pick up pennies or something like that? Ya... I'm right there with you and my spices are alphabatized too, except I ran out of room and now the middle of my cabinet is crammed and messy.

oh well. Happy Purging! Oh dear, that sounds anorexic or something. Happy de-cluttering!

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