How does one attempt to organize their stuff? This sounds a bit like when a procrastinator tells someone that they will do something when they get around to it. Is one born to be disorganized? I guess my earlier memories include ones of waiting to clean my room when it got so bad that I couldn’t find anything or doing it when the mood struck me, even if it was midnight.
Keeping my room clean and organized wasn’t a high priority when I was a child or a young girl for that matter. There were other things I rather do. As long as I could find things, I was okay with some clutter or even lots of clutter. My mother would just close the door so no one had to look at it. She knew that eventaully I would clean it up when I got tired of walking on stuff. Maybe my problem was that I had too much stuff. It certainly doesn’t help when you are very sentimental and you keep stuff because memories are important. Today with digital photography, you can take pictures to remind you of stuff – maybe that would have helped me.
School became one of my primary excuses for being disorganized. I kept my school work organized, but it was at the expense of other things. I spent much of my time doing homework or working as I got into college. I didn’t have to spend much time helping my mother manage the house, so I guess I wasn’t quite parepared when I got married. I had a year left in school when I got married and so my first year of trying to keep house had some definite challenges. My husband was used to organization and I’m sure found my housecleaning skills not quite up to his standards, but he was patient with me cause we were in love!
Through the years as the children came, I had trouble balancing all the stuff we had and it never seemed like we had a big enough space for us to live in. We started out in a two bedroom apartment and then moved into a three bedroom duplex. After the birth of our second daughter, we moved into a two-story three bedroom town house. The problem was that I wasn’t growing in my organizional skills proportionatly to the size of our living space. I just kept keeping more stuff and stock piling it in either the garage, office, or closets, wherever I could find space. Then, when we made the move from California to Washington, the moving company packed all our stuff, even the stuff we didn’t really want. When we arrived in Washington, we found a two-story house with three bedrooms upstairs and an office down stairs and a huge two car garage. With only two kids, we should have had enough space for all our stuff, but then we brought my mother up to live with us so we actually only lived in the upstairs while my husband used the office downstairs. We found ourselves cramped once again and busting at the seams. If only I had been able to use the time after our move to purge our stuff. One month later, I was pregnant with our third and feeling so poorly that it was all I could do to make it to the fourth month. Well, it just seems like there was never a good time to spend the time to get organized. I was knee-deep in motherhood. My mother helped with the house cleaning while she lived with us, but eventually moved out to her own place. I was glad to have the extra space but then I had the responsibility of cleaning on top of everything else.
When our fourth child was 7 months old, we moved to our current house. We relocated only 10 miles north, but we had tons to move. We never seemed to have time for those “moving garage sales” like most other people so once again, we just brought all our stuff with us. I can remember the rows of boxes in our three car garage and other boxes in the bonus room. I just figured that slowly but surely I would get through them. My husband was very protective of his garage bay because he was determined to keep his car parked there. Well, slowly over time, he eventually lost that space to a garage sale a couple of years ago. Good intentions of getting rid of stuff worked against me and filled up the only available space left.
This is the abyss I have found myself in. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I have to believe that there is. It is this problem that has driven me to start this blog, “The Cluttered Mind”. If I can share my journey from disorganization to organization to the world and help just one other person besides myself, then it will have been worth it. Well, truthfully, it will be worth it for just myself, since I have to live with my stuff. My goal is get rid of most of the stuff in my garage and organize the stuff I decide to keep. I want to give my husband back his garage bay and teach my children basic organizational skills. I can’t do this very effectively if I can’t do it for myself. Therefore, the journey of discovery begins with myself. I recognize that sharing this journey may be painful at times, but I share it in the hope that it will keep me acountable. I don’t know how long this will take, but I won’t finish unliess I get started. I hope you will enjoy reading about this journey.