Will the Clutter and Organizing Ever Be Done?
Will I ever be done decluttering and organizing? These are questions I ask myself too often. My type A and B sides war among themselves. I can’t stand having every nook and cranny packed. I want clear countertops and spaces. Yet, I also want to live in my home and have items accessible. Do you relate at all? (Let me know in the comments below.)
Here’s a typical conversation in my head.
Type A: Can you just put your jacket in the closet when you come into the house?
Type B: I’ve had such a long day and I may need it when we go for a walk in a few hours. Or, the ever so popular, I’m just too tired to care.
Type A: You really don’t need that.
Type B: Jamie made it and if you had seen her face when she gave it to us, you’d keep it too! Or, I want to show it to her children.
Type A: You have a ton of boxes! Get rid of them and buy more if you need them later.
Type B: But why spend the money later if I have it here now? We need to reuse things as much as possible so we’re doing right by the environment.
Herein lies much of my and my reader’s issues:
- So what if you have to get the jacket out of the closet? We’re talking maybe 10 feet. Oh my gosh, you have to open the closet door and wrestle with the vacuum cleaner for a second. Such problems.
- Take a photo of what Jamie made, write a story about it and let it go!
- Donate good boxes and toss the outlived ones. The space they are taking up is worse than getting rid of them. (I got rid of about 100 and kept about 30)
I’m in another phase, so you get to read about it.
When people come to my home or look in my garage, they think that I’m SO organized. Yet, I look and see clutter. Yesterday, my husband (Steve) and I spent hours in the garage.
We didn’t really get rid of much other than empty boxes. What we did is categorize some things, for example, Christmas decorations. Then we consolidated.
We also cleared off a counter and made mental notes of what else we just don’t need anymore for our next round of decluttering and organizing.
I realized in a more formal way that there are phases to decluttering. Being aware of your phases and learning to give yourself grace when you don’t get as much done as you’d like is key.
There are really only three reasons it takes longer than we would like or what people think it should take. And quite honestly, I don’t care what people think and neither should you.
These reasons cause some of us, like me, to go through phases:
- TIME. Most of us don’t have the time it takes to finish quickly or even within a year.
- PHYSICAL. You lack the physical ability to work at it all day or do all that needs to be done.
A. There are so many memories, that you’re only emotionally able to get rid of so much at a time or work at it so long before you have to take a break because you become exhausted.
B. The overwhelm from the emotions or the amount of work is emotionally draining and can only be handled in bite-sized pieces.
(The emotional aspect can be triggered by the memories and attachment to the items or by the overwhelming amount there is to do.)
We must take a break. That break or phase can be hours, days, weeks, or months. You see, we go through phases of what we can emotionally handle, (physically and mentally too).
I don’t really have that much stuff, but in the scheme of things, I do. For me, a lot of it is a physical and time constraint. I can go for hours at a time, but the downtime must be long enough for my body to recoup. Sometimes, it takes my body 3 or 4 days to recoup. Other times, it’s emotionally overwhelming or the amount to do is overwhelming, so there are long breaks in between. I also have work to do and fun to have, but mostly it’s my body that says I can’t work at it any longer.
More often than not, my desire to declutter and organize is due to a need.
~ I need the room for something else.
~ I need to get to one thing that is blocked by another.
~ It takes me too long to get to or find the item.
One that I bet most of you don’t have to deal with…
~ I have to take the car or truck out of the garage to get to something.
What are some of your needs or wants for decluttering and organizing? Post them in the comments below.
Solution for Organizing
Block uninterrupted time.
Prepare your body.
Categorize your things.
Assess the space.
Here is a list of tools to make your job easier.
- Large Garbage Bags for trash and recycle.
- Baskets or Boxes to hold things you plan to keep or sort through, and boxes or bags for donations.
- Sticky notes/Labels and Sharpie Markers.
So you see, it may take years to get things just the way we want them. Learning to enjoy the journey and moment is half of the battle.
©2020 Susie Glennan
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Judy Savage says
That is so revealing! When young, I was a type A, now in my much older years, I’ve become a type B! I’m amazed at how I responded to those conversations. I’m sure part of it is the physical part, not having enough strength of energy anymore, to accomplish what the brain tells me I need to do. Real eye opener! Thanks for that explanation, Susie!
Thank you Judy! Happy to be of help. 🙂