Monday, February 12, 2007

Taking action

Well, now that I've got the pity party off my chest...

Anyway, thanks everyone for your suggestions and encouragement concerning my "Overwhelmed" post yesterday. It helped a lot. If you haven't already, click on the link AmpuT put in the comments. You'll feel so much better too. I know that the clutter mess I've got is nothing compared to what other people have. All I have to do is remember some of the houses of Spencer's friends and I feel so much better about mine. What's bad is when I think of the houses that look like I want mine to look, that's when I get a bit down about mine.

Believe it or not, I have done everything that has been suggested and have been doing it for 2 years now - slowly but surely. I would love to take a week off of work and work on it all 24/7 for said week, but then I wouldn't get very much done. I'm not only a pack rat, I am a procrastinator. The week would be over and I wouldn't have gotten very far at all. So I take it on a little at a time. That's what works for me - for now.

All I have left now though is stuff I supposedly wanted to keep when I went through it all the first time last year. I'm pretty sure I can get rid of 75% (hopefully more) of that as well. And I will. I haven't opened any of those 'keeper' boxes in over 6 months. So out they go. Along with the stuff in them, of course. The stuff I think I still want to keep will get photographed or scanned and then out it goes too.

I'm pretty psychotic when it comes to going through my stuff. Sometimes I'll be totally brutal and just toss, toss, toss for an entire weekend at a time. Other times, I'll feel overwhelmed and just sit and look at it all wondering what the hell am I going to do now?

The main reason why I'm staring at boxes in my living room and bedroom, is that once I went through everything and pared it down, I put it all away. My cabinets, closets, storage shelves, and under our beds, were all completely full. I didn't like that. So, I took out everything and only put back what we REALLY needed to keep. I considered getting a storage unit, but figured if we don't really need it, why should I pay to store it?!? So, I've been looking at these boxes for about 7 months now wishing that they would all just disappear. I had not swung over to the brutal, toss, toss, toss, mode for a while.

Until yesterday after my little rant.

I started with the storage dresser in the living room. On the top is the pathetic plant collection. Culled through that pretty quickly. Leaves were trimmed, and one 99% dead plant was sent to the 'compost pile' under my balcony. Face it girl, you can't bring it back. Next, the drawers. Emptied them all out. What is left fills 3 of 6 drawers. I think I will use the remaining drawers to store Spencer's art supplies until I can find a better solution for those. Ultimately, I want to get rid of that dresser, so I am always on the lookout for double duty furniture pieces to replace the storage and get some other funtionality as well. Until then, it has to stay.

I also went through some paper piles. I don't care how organized and de-cluttered I get, I will probably always have my paper piles. I don't know why. Maybe when everything else is said and done, I'll have nothing else to do but take care of my paper right away. Only time will tell - I'm hopeful.

Tonight I will spend 30 minutes on paper and then start up on a stack of boxes. I'll work on that until 10pm or I get tired of it. Whichever comes first.

When I first went through all my stuff, I filled up my Toyota Corolla with boxes and bags for the thrift store about 6 times (that's a full trunk, a full back seat, and a full front seat), filled the recycle bins several times (big giant rolling bins), and trashed about a full dumpster of stuff. I live in an apartment, so there is no leaving it out 'free', or having a yard sale. I hate having yard sales anyway, so that was never a saving option for me. This wasn't all in one day, just accumulative over about 9 months of work. Hard work.

Well, that's about it for today, I'm done spilling my guts, tomorrow is Boobie Tuesday and we get another update from Rachel.

Edited to add: I did the dishes too.


  1. no-blog-rachel11:13 AM PST

    Yeah I followed the link that AmpuT gave you and It was really sad to see how some people live, but on the other hand, made me realize my place isn't even close to that out of control. It's all about perspective - whenever I'm inclined to bitch about work, I remember the worst job I ever had - I had to clean the men's room of a bar the morning after New Year's Eve and at the time minimum wage was less than $3/hour! Suddenly, things don't look so bad.

  2. I followed that link too... jeez oh pete. My house has never ever been that bad (Though I feel like it has). With the new baby threatening to arrive around July, there will be another great purgeoning on the horizon.

    For me, getting pissed overrides the sentimental keep it all happy fuzzy packratting feelings I'm prone to having.

    Keep at it- you can do it!! :D

  3. You took 6 trips to the thrift store? That's a lot of thrifting.

    It's amazing how the stuff accumulates,isn't it? Just keep working on it.

    BTW - your posts are great motivation for me too. Maybe someday, we'll have people over to our house. You know, someday before we move.