Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fix You

Ok, another stolen moment here...

I am so incredibly tired of all the "stuff" we have in this house. Being here day in and day out is starting to suffocate me. We keep everything it seems - I simply cannot stay on top of the epic clutter problem we have.

[why is it that Kiddo will leave me alone all day (even if I am sitting at the computer) and the instant I try to blog he is up in my face??]

Anyway, the clutter. Yes, it is taking over our lives. I hate it. I loathe it. I, for some ungodly reason, cannot let go of it.

Well, I do have some reasons. Some of it is laziness. Some of it is not knowing if I need to keep it. Some of it is sentimental, and some of it is the $$ I see going in the garbage. I HATE wasting money. And that is why there is about $200 worth of unused hair product under my bathroom sink. Well, not anymore. I threw it all away yesterday.

So now there is room under the sink, but no one can tell. lol!

Our biggest issue in this house (that I can see) is paper. We have got stacks and stacks and piles and piles of paper. Bills, letters, cards, magazines, books, etc. etc. It can't be good for Hubby's allergies. We have "hot spots" all over the house. (yes, I subscribe to FlyLady - though she annoys me so it's hard to get really into it) The worst two are the kitchen counter and the dining room table. Before I can even blink those two places disappear in the rubble. It is amazing how quickly things pile up.

Another of our troubles is holding on to things. Just things in general - knicknacks and gifts and stuff that just collects dust. We hold on to old computers [cuz someday we might need a part or can build a custom computer - yeah right] and old clothes and shoes and video tapes and cassette tapes and, and, and...it goes on forever.

How I long for a minimalist life. I would love to have a home in which I can actually *see* the furniture.

So, somewhere in my head there is a reason for all this stuff. It all has a purpose. Sure, I can live without about 90% of it, but I have it, I bought it, so now what?

Where do people keep things? Seriously! I was in a good friend's home a few weeks ago and it was spectacular! I mean, there was nothing but nice furniture and minimal, tasteful decorative items. Where was her stuff??? I cannot fathom that she might actually not have stuff, so where was it??

I hate stuff.

Unfortunately, I can't get away from it. I need more of it. Right now I am putting together a shopping list in my head. We need an exersaucer for Port, wet bags for the diaper pail, I am still looking for a carrier (Julia I need to email you)...it never ends.

So yesterday I, like I said, threw away about $200 in old beauty product. Bottles of gel and conditioner and just about every kind of hairspray under the sun, leave-in treatments, shampoo for red heads, old hair dye that never got used, facial scrubs, foot scrubs, goodness there was so much. There was stuff in there I don't even remember buying. I found an entire, unopened box of tampons in a brand I have never used! Where did they come from??!? [by the way I saved those thinking I could find someone who needs them. What brand do you use? Is this a ridiculous question? yes.]

I put stuff in the trash bag as fast as I could and tossed it in the garbage can before I had the time to change my mind. Then I mopped the kitchen floor and scrubbed the master bath sinks to take my mind off of what I had done.

It felt good and painful all at the same time.

I have got to figure out a way to get rid of our stuff. My biggest problem is, I am lazy.

As I also stated earlier, I subscribe to FlyLady. I have for some time now, but after about 2 weeks I started deleting the emails unopened because they got on my nerves and where so overwhelming.

And I refuse to wear shoes in the house.

Anyway, I am scouring her site once again, 4 years later, trying to pick up some helpful hints. But I think the key is going to be...

getting organized and

getting a routine.

A routine?!?!? Gah!

I am so not an organized routine person. Lord help me.

We shall see how this goes.

Anyone have any other helpful suggestions? Organizational tips? Hiding places? I am desperate here. Wanna come to my house and do it for me? Please?

D :)

Shout out to Coldplay for my title, Fix You

And my Mental Jukebox song for the day, Jewel, Love By You (Cowboy Waltz).


Julia said...

I am not a pack rat, but I grew up with parents (and grandparents next door) who are serious pack rats. Then I married one. Here's my rule of thumb. If I haven't touched it in 2 years, then likely I'll never touch it again so toss/donate/sell. If I really did need it and haven't touch it for 2 years, then I probably wouldn't know where it was and would go out an buy another anyways. Stuff like yearbooks, irreplaceable memorabilia all go into a rubbermaid bin. Hubby has one. I have one. The stacks of paper? That's hubby's specialty. His way of organizing was to pile stacks of paper one on top of another, then start new stacks. It's never ending. He finally bought a paper shredder and got rid of really old financial statements. We have two filing cabinets, one stacked on top of another so his papers are compartmentalized but still stacked. :-) Once we run out of room filing all the important papers, then the older ones get tossed. We're going on 4 years with the cabinets and have yet to run out of room. I am a "bin" girl. I organize by bins with labels, and when a bin gets filled but I need to put more into it, then something old has to be donated or sold. It's not the best system, but that's the only way that I have been able to keep my pack rat hubby from overwhelming our house with crap. I did finally convince him that stuff sitting in the house is just accumulated junk, but stuff sold on Craigslist or eBay at least is money in the bank.

Julia said...

(sorry for the dissertation)

kimberly said...

You mentioned a shopping list well I use Cozi.com, it's a place for shopping lists, calendar and other things. I just use the list you can log on and put things on the list from any computer. It's very handy. You can also have you list sent to your phone, if you don't want to print it out.
Anyway, just one less paper you have to have :)

Wiley said...

I've been reading your blog off and on for the last couple years, and it's the only "random" personal blog that's in my feeder. I can't remember what the random search was that landed me here, but I do remember that it had some inspirational thoughts that I thought would really help a friend who was going through a hard time. Well, not only has the friend kept reading, but so have I.

What motivated me to write something despite my long-established silence was the instant connection I felt with this post.

I just last week decided that I couldn't deal with the clutter, my tendencies to acquire and just the stress of it all. The solution I settled on (which I'm not advocating as the best or right solution, but rather just as something that worked for me) is something called the Clutter Diet (www.clutterdiet.com).

Why I feel that this could be the right choice for me is that it provides structure, breaks the house down into manageable chunks and has a HUGE emphasis on establishing household routines and systems. Actually, while I have seen improvements in terms of general organization and clutter elimination, the main thing I've seen so far is the benefits from these systems and routines.

I was very concerned about myself sticking to it, so I decided to blog the process for myself. There are some good accountability tools built into the program, but I wanted an additional way of keeping a habit. Right now there's an overwhelming quantity of information in this blog (clutterdietlog.blogspot.com) because I am so worried about myself not sticking to it, but I really think I am getting in the habit.

I know cost is a definite issue in choosing to try something like this, but I think it's definitely worth your taking the time to look at it. What's nice is the first month is only $4.95, which gives you a relatively low cost way to try the program. And, there aren't any limits on the content you can access during this time period, so you can get all of the tools, tutorials and notebooks to get systems in order.

For me, it makes sense to keep with the system rather than doing it for just one month because I really could use the structure.

One other thought. The woman who owns the Clutter Diet also has a blog at www.clutterdietblog.com that you might want to look at or add to your reader.

Good luck with the clutter. I can't wait to read your random tips that you discover now that you've decided you can't handle all the stuff.

Also, thanks for all the great writing and sharing into your life. Hopefully I'll decide we can handle the extra expense and will get to talk directly with you about setting up some photos of our 10-month old son who has had no "official" pictures.

Wiley said...

One other thought. Have you looked at the Ergo Baby Carrier? I am absolutely in love with it. If you set up an rss feed with craigslist, you could probably grab one cheap.

Alternatively, we currently have a Baby Bjorn Metro Black in our donations pile. We're farther south than you (near the arboretum), but if you're ever heading down partway for something, I'd be happy to bring it to you and give it to you instead of goodwill.

For the sake of full disclosure, I should say the reason we have this basically unused carrier is that we didn't like it, but I do know a lot of people who did enjoy it.

Sorry for all the length -- i've gone from completely taciturn to loquacious all in one day!

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