Taking the House by Storm

The trials and tribulations of the average gal trying to navigate through life, love and the pursuit of domestic bliss.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Can this Clutterbug be Cured?

That's the million-dollar question right now. As I've mentioned in the past, I have way more than my fair share of clutter.

If it's not an over-stuffed drawer full of underwear my butt has long outgrown, it's a forest's worth of paper strewn all about our bedrooms, living room and kitchen table. If it's not a closet full of packing peanuts and gift bags, it's a pantry full of soon-to-expire food. If it's not a 10-foot stack of magazines, it's a cabinet overflowing with cookbooks. If it's not a linen closet with little hotel shampoos falling off the shelf every time you open the door, it's a dresser top covered with more crap than a Christmas turkey.

Across the board, I have stuff coming out the wazoo and quite frankly, I'm tired of living like this. It stresses me out. It makes me feel like I'm not getting anything accomplished even if I'm busy cleaning, doing laundry, and going through stuff all day long. It depresses me. It makes me feel bad about myself. It's ruining my quality of life.

What am I doing about it? So far, I've signed up for Peter Walsh's Clutter Crew via Oprah.com. I even printed out the Clutter Pledge (or whatever it's called) but wound up recycling it versus signing it - it just felt too silly. Though maybe if I had thoroughly committed, I'd be keeping up with my homework assignments. Perhaps I'm just bitter they didn't contact me to be a part of their Clean Up Your Messy House tour - I did actually send in my story, though I left a few key issues out. Guess it's true what they say about that letter: sleep on it before you send it.

My friend, Christine, wants to start a decluttering business and was looking for people willing to let her take before and after pictures. If nothing else, the state of my house makes for some very compelling photography. She has come over twice to help me declutter our bedroom and we have made great progress. All of the stuff I had in there has been separated and boxed according to room and person – Rick and Ian each have their own boxes, there's a box for Goodwill and a box to go downstairs – or tossed in the trash.

She also did a great job of clearing off our dressers and rearranging some things to make it look more streamlined. And she gave me a lot of things to think about in the way I view my clutter. As soon as I get those boxes out of there, I'll share the pix, though I admit I'm afraid that'll never happen and I'll wind up recluttering the place. Please pray for strength for me – I need it.

Another thing I'm doing is reading a great book called Let Go of Clutter by Harriet Schechter. She really makes you think about the hows the whys and the whats of all this crap people tend to keep and talks about eliminating clutter versus simply organizing it. And believe it or not, that's what I'm after. GET IT OUTTA MY HOUSE, OUTTA MY LIFE AND OFFA MY BACK.

I'll keep you posted.


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