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It's the Little Things

Indulgence by MarkyBon, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  MarkyBon 


I've been on a neat kick lately. This basically means that I looked around and, in one, fell swoop, decided I Have Had Enough of This™, where "This" equals clutter.

Yes, I've gone on anti-clutter binges before. But the clutter always wins in the end. It's the Zen nature of clutter.

I started with the bathroom because I couldn't see my counters. Yes, it was that bad. I cleaned it in one day, and have been reveling in my clean bathroom since. Then I moved on to my closet. I have all my pants either hanging or neatly folded, I bought a new piece of furniture from The Container Store to store towels and shoes I almost never wear (dress shoes). I got rid of some clothes that don't fit (that is still an ongoing endeavor). My shirts are hanging in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet). My closet is now also a pleasure to enter and look at. It still needs some work, but I'm doing it a little at a time. I think part of what made the declutterization fail before was trying to do everything all at once. I would go into the closet and start trying to, right then, decide 'keep, toss, or donate' for every article of clothing. It's overwhelming. Now, I do that as I get them out to wear or run across them as I'm looking for something to wear. Two or three items per day, tops.

The closet, by the way, is where I usually revert first. I'll do a load of laundry, and instead of hanging up or folding and putting away, I'll just leave it in the laundry basket to "take care of tomorrow." And "tomorrow" never comes. I'm just admitting that here with no promise that it won't happen again tomorrow or next week. :)

Meanwhile, during all of this, my housemate, Yvonne, a.k.a. Velda to some of you, was inspired by my efforts and decided that her project was to get the kitchen under control. The kitchen is her demesne. It took her about 2 days (and a new microwave, because the old one was . . . decrepit), but the kitchen is a masterpiece of organization, now. She moved stuff around to where they made more sense, put things up, threw things out (I had some spices that had moved with me from Tuscaloosa. In 1999.), and found places to store things that had been sitting on the counters. Again, it's not done, because there are things that need to go to other places that are still cluttered. But it's better, and it's a work in progress.

Now I'm working on my office. My home office is a place where I don't like to be because there was a path from the door to my desk, and that was it. Every other flat surface is covered in stuff. And it's useless stuff! Stuff I don't need! Broken computer parts. Cables. Manuals for stuff I don't have anymore. Paperwork going back . . . years. None of it moved with me, at least. It's all stuff I've accumulated since I moved into this house in 2001.

As of last night, I had cleared roughly 40% of the room. I see dark green carpet! I can actually walk from the door to my desk without fear of stubbing my toes on anything, or knocking something over. And today, I'm taking a big container of old paper stuff to work with me to recycle in their big recycle bins (my little shredder won't come close to making headway; I'm going to use the industrial shredding service at work to do the job).

Some parts of the house are worse than before. As we organize one room, some of that stuff ends up in another room. All the books from the living room, for instance, will eventually have to find their way to either the shelves in my office, bedroom, or library. And the desk and credenza in my office? Oy. But at least it's off the floor, right? :)

I just have to keep telling myself that it's a process, not an overnight thing. That's what killed my efforts those other times. A combination of trying to do everything at once, and firefly enthusiasm.

I have a system for myself once I'm done, as well. I have a box with a bunch of what amount to ping-pong balls in it. On each ball is written a room of the house that I have trouble with. Kitchen. Master bedroom. Bathrooms. Cat room. Garage (the only room that scares me). Etc. The plan goes like this: each week, I draw a ball at random and go through that room and tidy it. Restore it to an uncluttered state. And put the ball in another box until all the balls in the first box have been cycled, and then I start over. It may work, it may not, but it's worth a shot.

I know it sounds insane, but the whole process is kind of its own reward. An indulgence of a sort. It just feels so wonderful to go into my bathroom and closet. The kitchen is a joy. And the part of my office that is no longer cluttered feels nice to look at. I want to feel that in every room. When I forget or get discouraged, I walk into my bathroom, take a deep breath, and go back to declutterizing.

I've tried not to bore people with multiple progress reports. I have pictures of the bathroom, because it was the first spot. I took a video of the finished kitchen that I'll put on YouTube soon. I have before shots of the office taken some while back, and once I'm done in there, I'll post those and my finished product, but not here. On my Facebook page, where it's easier to upload photos.

Maybe — just maybe — when I'm done with all this, I can find places to hang all the artwork I've collected over the years. Wouldn't that be nice?




GBE2

Group Blogging Exchange 2



Today’s post is inspired by GBE2 (Group Blogging Experience)’s Week 110 prompt: Indulgences.



Atheists Are People, Too  Antispam  

Comments

( 9 hisses — Hiss at me! )
akiko
Jun. 27th, 2013 01:22 pm (UTC)
I've embarked on a house declutter program this year. We're both good at sprints, so we spend one afternoon a month working on one room. I've gotten my part of the closet, my half of the dresser (and the top of it), my bookshelves and the area in front of them, and my office. Ben's still working on his office, which is also where the bookshelves are. That's been a 3-month process so far. (Some of the mess was mine; I had to wait for him to move some of his stuff out of the way so I had enough space to access my mess.)

I have no idea how 2 people can amass so much Stuff. :/
kaasirpent
Jun. 27th, 2013 02:48 pm (UTC)
Try ONE person. It's just unbelievable. A lot of the clutter in certain places is Yvonne's, but where I'm working? All me.

Edited at 2013-06-27 02:49 pm (UTC)
gracegrits
Jun. 27th, 2013 08:50 pm (UTC)
good for you!
I probably have Tuscaloosa spices from 1999 too and I've never even been to Tuscaloosa! Love it and keep up the good work cleaning. I'm a clean freak most all the time. Sometimes it's a curse.
kaasirpent
Jun. 28th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: good for you!
I PREFER it clean. I think elves are to blame. They come in at night while I'm asleep and, you know . . . <gestures vaguely> put stuff . . . places.

Edited at 2013-06-28 01:18 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
kaasirpent
Jun. 28th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Perhaps you'll reach That Point™, like I did.
ext_2041489
Jun. 28th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
Aw man, there's a reason I don't wear my glasses in the bathroom. Think you can come over?
kaasirpent
Jun. 28th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Wait . . . you mean all I had to do was take off my glasses? Damn.
drchoneydewcrm.wordpress.com
Jun. 29th, 2013 10:22 pm (UTC)
this is a test
Hssssssssssssssssssssssssss

LOL

I LVOE DECLUTTERING and YES want to see all that collected art work and you better take a pic for me after you hang it!!! :) thanks!
( 9 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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