I have a confession to make. I'm not proud of it. In fact it's extremely embarrassing. If you came to my house, I doubt that you would even realize it. I hide it well...
Welcome to my home, pretty orderly and neat, right? A place for everything and everything in it's place, (perennially in need of a good dusting though). Would you like a cup of tea?
WAIT!!! PLEASE!!! Don''t open that CLOSET!!! Ooh, too late.. Hehe. It's ok, really. No worries, I'll put all that stuff back in there later.. Now, what about that tea?
Open just about any closet or drawer in my house and the ugly truth reveals itself. I am a muddled messy. My closets are in chaos, the drawers disorderly, the paperwork punch-drunk. Being so disorganized means that I cannot locate anything in a timely manner. Important things. Tax forms, insurance records, the snorkel gear. Things my husband asks for, things he needs me to find right now. I'm breaking out in a nervous sweat just thinking about it.
This monster problem has been on my New Year's Resolution list for so many years, that it has just automatically started showing up on it's own every January 1st. I think I may have tried just about every self help book out there. I get better for awhile, but I've never been able to maintain neatness and inevitably I fall back into my same hurried, cram it somewhere patterns.
But wait folks, there's more! And this part is really awkward.. My husband is neat. He is VERY neat. And orderly. I know it must drive him crazy that I am messy. Bless him, he has tried to help me. He has organized me with lists and charts and colored stickers.. We make plans for me to have a garage sale, put items on Craig's list and eBay. And it works! At least it works while he's helping me.
But when I am again left to my own devices, I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the tasks before me. Opening boxes to find that my mother actually saved every one of my art projects from kindergarten?? Well maybe I was no Picasso, but those have to worth something, right? Did I mention that I also have a bit of a problem with procrastination and am easily distracted? Trying to decide what stuff is important to keep and what to actually let go of seems gargantuan. I struggle in fits and starts, and eventually everything quietly falls back into disarray.
I guess you don't need to be an Einstein to grasp this, but I believe the biggest problem to overcoming messiness is "stuff". And I have SO. Much. Stuff. Years and years and YEARS worth of stuff. Since I live in a large home I have always gotten away with this secret messiness by just putting this stuff in "the storage room"(read: black hole). The room is lined with shelves all the way to the ceiling. In there I have stuff I haven't needed or looked at in years. It's nice stuff. Good stuff. Precious stuff and unnecessary stuff. Stuff I keep because it was my mother's, or maybe even her mother's. Stuff that I have some weird emotional obligation to hold on to forever. All this stuff has begun to feel like a ball and chain. But it doesn't matter because it is out of sight and out of mind. No need to even think about that room or what's in it. Right?
And now it's real. I have a deadline. We are putting the house on the market May 1st. I like deadlines, they help me to focus, they get me motivated! I can do this!!! Yes! I will be organized by May 1st!!! I gotta go get started!! I should make a list. And get some stickers. Let's pop the top on this first box...MY kid's kindergarten artwork. Nice! Gotta keep that!
And ooh, look at this! Something shiny..