I’m pretty confident that I will spend much of this year trying to organize that which has remained unorganized for the past five and half years. This, no doubt, gives my husband great joy as he loves nothing more than tidiness and order. It is such a struggle for me though. I get so bogged down in the details and I seem to make up a reason why every little scrap of paper has value. If it weren’t for Craig, I might be a lonely hoarder having my children removed from the home along with a slew of cat carcasses.
Basically, organizing with me goes like this. I pick up the stuff off of the dining room table and I put it on the bed in the back bedroom. A few weeks/months later, I sift through those things and toss a few receipts, then take everything else upstairs to our bedroom closet where it sits for a few weeks/months. After a while, I start getting anxious every time I see that pile of stuff (which is always neatly piled in a bin or basket btw. I’m not an animal.) I take several hours one day and sort it all into specific bins in the attic. There they will sit for, I don’t even know how long yet. Maybe years. Maybe eternity. I may try to sell a few items. I may look through a bin and just give it all away or chunk it just to absolve myself of the responsibility of knowing what I have just tossed. Who knows? Maybe one of my scraps will end up on Antiques Roadshow and everyone will say “what moron threw this hand print by Carter Kelly age 3.5 out?” Why can’t it just be simple? If it’s old, throw it out. Don’t worry that you might use it in a decoupage project 10 years from now. If in doubt, throw it out.
UGH – the playroom. The children will always find cause to play with an old toy. It’s like Sophie’s Choice to them trying to clear things out. “You want me to choose between the torn paper hat I wore at the two year old birthday party of a play mate who’s name I will never remember or this broken Tonka truck without a wheel??? You are a monster!” It’s lose/lose as far as they are concerned. I have put a lot of toys in the basement and if they ever follow me down there, they area always like “ooo, let’s play with this puzzle that only has 10 of the 30 pieces.” Losing.
I want to teach them how to throw stuff away. How to recognize that it is stuff and if you haven’t used it for a year, someone else, possibly a landfill, will. But how can I? I have scarce learned that lesson myself. It’s like Reggie Watts teaching someone to brush their hair. He hasn’t the first clue how to brush hair. He’s never done it. I feel totally subordinate to all of these toys and things that I own, but don’t know what to do with. “The things you own end up owning you.” Oh Tyler Durden, you were so right.
My cousin’s wife, Stacey McElrath, is a professional organizer in Birmingham, AL. PROFESSIONAL! She loves organizing so much that it is her life’s work and she is GOOD! Her blog is inspiring, seriously – check it out SHMorganzing. I read her facebook posts about throwing out broken toys and organizing the playroom and I am totally up for it, but then I am still kind of deciding which toys are broken enough. It’s like I was just born this way. I was born messy. Up until this point, I have had every excuse for not organzing -having small chidlren at home all day, but now, I have three hours every day free. So, there is no excuse anymore. I mean, Stacey had her second baby just a month ago and is organizing as we speak. Amazing!
And that is just what I”m about to do. I will set about to organizin’ again today and hopefully be better than I was yesterday. That’s all I can do people (by “people” I mean Craig). Do check out Stacey McElrath’s blog SHMorganzing and her facebook page for simple steps to organize your pantry, closets, play room, ball caps and everything that is owning you. Yow own those things. Show them who is boss.