I might be OCD. But then again, I’ve heard from lots of you who feel the same way, so perhaps we are all a little bit goofy, but one this is for sure . . . most of us moms HATE clutter. But it happens. So that’s probably why I focus on it so much, and write blog posts about it frequently. I’m always learning new ways to (try) to stay ahead of the avalanche of stuff the piles up, and this week I decided I had to start SOMEWHERE. Mostly that’s because, right now, we are drowning in piles of stuff that has been moved from one room into another room and all piled up so we could paint the first room. But then that always seems to end up being a bigger project than we anticipated, and so the piles grow. As if they have a life of their own.
I’ve never been one to keep lots of extra junk, but it seems like it appears out of nowhere and sneaks up on me. Before I realize what is happening, there is ANOTHER PILE of papers (one day I’m going to tell that sweet mail lady to STOP bringing me more paper!), or school art projects, or bills, or books, or school pictures, or birthday cards, or that latest and greatest gadget that someone just couldn’t live without – and then it is completely ignored after about five minutes of entertainment. Like the 3D contraption that was gifted to us at last year’s company banquet. The girls thought it was just the most amazing thing! They could put this crazy thing over their head and see something through the glasses that made them feel like they were walking in a jungle or something. Complete with lions chasing them, and snakes hissing at them, and vines and branches to trip over. Not sure who thought that would be fun, but they were wandering around the house for an hour or two, giggling hysterically, falling down, screaming when the lion jumped out of the jungle shadows to chase them. Whew! Glad they survived that one.
But then . . . . nothing. One to new adventures. So the 3D wonder-glasses now sit on a book shelf gathering dust, and have not been touched for about 6 months. But I guess they are kind of expensive, so we CAN’T get rid of them. Really? Watch me!
(At least I had my morning cup of coffee to help me get through it all!)
And then there are the birthday gifts like sweet, adorable helium balloons that float around the girls’ bedroom for several weeks, with their silver sparkly letters on a girly pink background announcing “Happy Birthday!” (what else???) until all of the helium eventually leaks out and then they collapse on the floor. To be left there for six months or more (or until the next birthday when they get another Happy Birthday floating balloon), unless mama steps in and picks it up. But then what? You can’t throw it away, now can you? Not if it has any sentimental value, but where do you put it? I guess that’s the question of my life these days: Where do I put all this stuff?
Well, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to have tons of junk laying all over the place, but I also don’t want to just throw away things that have sentimental value. So in the case of the birthday balloons, one thing that has worked for me is to deflate it completely, and then put it in a scrapbook page with other pictures of the birthday party. There, got that one taken care of. Just as soon as I can find all the scrapbooks and other stuff that I need to actually create a scrapbook page. I’m only about seven birthdays behind, but at least the balloons are all deflated and folded neatly in a file folder so that ONE DAY when I get back to working on scrapbooks, I’ll be able to use those adorable birthday balloons.
Here’s what I’m doing now that we have so many piles of stuff to take care of once one of the rooms is finished (like the master bathroom that is ALMOST finished, and we were well on our way until the washing machine hose came off and I discovered an inch of water all of the BRAND NEW floor – but that’s a story for another day!) – and I can begin to wade through the stuff that came out of that one room . . . . and since I actually do have other stuff to do every day, I can’t just work on sorting junk until it is all done, I have to take it a little bit at a time. I’ll see if this works and maybe you can try it too.
Ten minutes a day. I decided that I will get rid of / put away / throw away / or donate at least 10 things every day. If I have time, I can do that twice a day, but at least I’m making progress. So today I gathered up the following ten things:
- 2 pretty cases for old glasses (they really are pretty, but how many do I really need?)
- 1 empty box that we were keeping in case we need to return the TV antenna we bought so we could get rid of our cable.
- 1 earring that we have been saving, hoping to find the other one.
- 1 small zip-lock bag filled with random puzzle pieces (I thought I would be virtuous one day and sort out all of the puzzles and find all the pieces that go together – probably not)
- 1 pocket game with a plastic worm that twirls in and out of holes on a plastic apple. (no comment)
- 1 piece of plastic that is kind of a half circle, that I have no clue what it goes to.
- 3 old key chain tags for car insurance that has expired (a couple of years ago)
There you go! My first TEN things to toss. And it actually took me less than 10 minutes, so I just might do that again this afternoon. OMGoodness, this is going to be fun! I can hardly wait to throw away ten more things. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
Does clutter bother you, too? How do you handle it? I would love to hear your ideas of how to conquer the clutter monster! Hope you have a good week tackling the monsters in your life!