The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2013-01-13

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just sayin'....

I didn't post a weekly parade of to-lists because when I went through the pages I got a  side-tracked.  

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Recently I posted about the repetitive nature of my daily sheets; declutter this, declutter that, how I wrote  'Declutter make-up' thirty times last year.    This week (above) was no different. 

I've been trying to work out an organizing plan; something simple, something that flows in an organic way   (Or at least flows the way I flow.)  I wanted to see progress immediately but not sacrifice anything along the way.  Too many times I've done a lot to accomplish some semblance of surface order at the expense of every drawer and closet in the house.  And I know I mentioned somewhere that if my pajama drawer is stuffed to busting, putting away the clean stuff never gets done.  

The 'stuff' all over reached critical mass the other day.  I felt completely overwhelmed and shut down for a few days (after I cleaned out my pajama drawer...).

Today I was thumbing  through my Filofax and realized I hit upon something the other day... Something important.

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One room at a time.

I wrote that two days ago and this morning I realized I was onto something.  An aside here: Paper planning encourages this sort of free association.  Writing and doodling your ideas without a filter (or predictive text) is a great way to gain insight into yourself....    So.  The idea of dealing with one room at a time tweaked my imagination.  I decided it would fulfill all my requirements, too; especially that one about being able to see my progress quickly.

Today I made a list of things that needed (... have needed forever) to be done in the master bathroom.  I normally don't give much thought to my the non-public spaces - Who sees them, right? - and as a result I had paint drips in every color I've painted my bathroom for the last five years.  Every time I saw them I cringed but was more obsessed with the big picture so the dried drips remained.    

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The bathroom is almost done, and in one day!  I need a different cleaner for the shower stall (or maybe a belt sander...)  But it looks great in there.   Larger rooms will take more time but working on one room at a time, totally and completely ... all the way down to dust on the baseboards...  kept me focused.

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...And amping up focus is key to my completing things.  Seriously, you could eat off that toilet.


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...Just sayin'

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Monday, January 14, 2013

A fresh start...

Not a day goes by without my Filofax To-Do list including at least one thing to organize. 

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Why do these things (that have all been managed before) keep showing up as daily things to do?

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"Organize make-up" must have been on thirty lists in 2012 so why is it here on a 2013 list?


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"Go through clothes" too.   I feel like I take care of it but in a week or so it shows up back on the list.  What's going on?

 I felt so  dejected about my lack of progress and couldn't figure out what the heck was happening. 

  Since New Year's Day I've been obsessed with TV shows about hoarding...  At first I watched to convince myself I wasn't like any of those people... But after 15 or 20 shows something nagged at me.  My house isn't as cluttered but my reasoning about possessions is similar ( i.e.  the way I deal with the excess (See number 4 below).

According to the Mayo Clinic the signs of hoarding are as follows:


  1. Cluttered living spaces
  2. Inability to discard items
  3. Keeping stacks of newspapers, magazines or junk mail
  4. Moving items from one pile to another, without discarding anything
  5. Acquiring unneeded or seemingly useless items, including trash or napkins from a restaurant
  6. Difficulty managing daily activities, including procrastination and trouble making decisions
  7. Difficulty organizing items
  8. Shame or embarrassment
  9. Excessive attachment to possessions, including discomfort letting others touch or borrow possessions
  10. Limited or no social interactions
I'll cop to more then half of them; 1, 3, 4, 6, 7.... And 8.  

Especially eight.  


Referring back to what the Mayo Clinic has to say: "People who hoard typically save items because they believe these items will be needed or have value in the future. A person also may hoard items that he or she feels have important emotional significance — serving as a reminder of happier times, for example, or representing beloved people or pets."

Guilty. 

The reason I've not needed to be on one of the shows is Number 2, I have no difficulty throwing things out; in fact I really enjoy it.  But managing that balance is similar to a juggler who spins plates on a stick, constantly dealing with the one about to fall... Problem is as soon as you manage one, another starts teetering on the brink.   Keeping plates spinning (and managing my stuff) is a constant, never-ending rush to put out the worst fire.  


One of my resolutions was a spending diet. 

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 The more I think about that one the more I realize it's not as much a financial thing, as a stuff thing.  I have trouble managing what's already here.  Decisions about what has to go is difficult and buying more things will ultimately add more of those kinds of decisions, as well as further complicating the  daily chore of moving  possessions around. 

The quote, You can have anything you want but not everything you want, keeps running through my mind because here's the thing:  If I want clean uncluttered spaces and a workable home, some stuff has to go. Right now everywhere I look I see a pending decision (What is that doing there? Should it go? Should I move it? .... Why did I even buy that?) and it's draining on so many levels.


Cleaning around clutter is like trying to bail out a leaky boat and continuing to bring new things in is like bailing out a leaky boat in the rain.


I need to take a look at the resolutions I wrote a few weeks ago and alter a few things to find the kernel of what I wanted when I wrote the list.  I don't want 2013 to be about keeping things at a level that's just shy of unbearable, I want this year to be about solutions.  Permanent, doable solutions.


I want to breathe easy when I look around and don't want possessions to be a reminder of the great undone mass in my life.  I want to finish what I start so the sames things don't pop up list after list.... And apparently, year after year.


I want a fresh start.

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