Clutter

September 24, 2008

Surrounded by a messy house, sleep deprived, and very frustrated. This is not the glowing upbeat post I wish it was. I wish I could blame these feelings on the deployment but unfortunately this state is a familiar one. The piles of papers have reached the point of extreme overflow. The kids' toys seem to have multiplied over night. The bathroom sink is hard to find underneath the jumble of toothbrushes, make-up, and other stuff that gets put down in our mad rush to get to school on time each morning. None of us have been sleeping well and that really ruins things. I had one good night of sleep last week and when I woke feeling refreshed for the first time in quite awhile it only made things worse...like getting a taste of the good stuff and then craving, needing more, more.

I stomp around the house resolved to get it back in shape while at the same time stupidly wondering how this happened. I naively thought that living in our temporary space with so little of our belongings would lead to that life of voluntary simplicity I yearn for...but dirty dishes, laundry, and kid clutter seem unstoppable. I guess the real answer is that it isn't the stuff, it's me. Reminds me of the title of one of my favorite books "Where Ever You Go, There You Are" and it is so true right now. I can't seem to escape my pack ratting, clutter prone self. No matter how many resolutions I make I find myself caught up in the same vicious cycle. I organize, feel good about it, start to slack, get surrounded by clutter, get frustrated until it prompts me re-organize and start the cycle all over again. I guess I was kind of hoping in a smaller space with less stuff I would have an easier time keeping it all in order, but I don't and in my sleep deprived state it makes me feel even more edgy and out of sorts. Now the key is to use my anger to get this mess cleaned up so I can get to that more enjoyable part of the cycle...the part where I breathe a sigh of relief, walk around my clean house enjoying the peace, and wanting to believe that this time things will be different. And maybe while cleaning up I will be able to find my favorite little mediation book underneath all of the clutter...I could certainly use it right now!
Melissa said...

(((HUGS))) I totally understand where you are coming from. I'm also a pack rat, yet I HATE clutter. It's hard to reconcile the 2!

Jessica said...

Funny, I just got "It's all too much" (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=it%27s+all+too+much) from the library on Tuesday. I am a big fan of Peter Walsh and so far it is a fast and somewhat inspirational read. Maybe you should check it out. I totally understand. I hate clutter yet it always seems to be present in my life.

By the way, it is alright to have downer posts--you don't always have to be upbeat. Otherwise we would think you were weird. ;)

Amy, Ryan, Aidan & Lauren said...

Sorry, Lucia! Sounds like a tough time. This is probably redundant advice, but does it ever help if you try and tackle just one area a day? Sometimes that helps me, but most often I feel pretty disorganized, too.

Kellie said...

We are soul sisters, friend. It's that artistic thing. I can so relate to the yearning for simplicity and yet the curiosity, practicality and creativity that cause me to fill every nook and cranny with stuff I might want to use someday. Thanks for sharing-I'm off to check out the link in the next post right now.

holly said...

sigh. yes. as I sit in my "office/hobby/craft/storage" room that is overflowing with all that stuff. it took me 3 weekends to stay focuses enough to update my filing system and file papers that've been collecting since our more last fall! I really like some of the things Julie Morgenstern suggests in her Organizing from the Inside Out book. the home management section and zones for everything.

when things ARE tidy and in their place it really makes things oh so peaceful. cleanliness IS next to godliness!

Michelle said...

I can so relate. We live in a small space and the clutter literally piles up on every surface of the house. We don't have a garage, so the small patio where we used to have flowers and plants is totally full of junk right now. It doesn't help that my husband is a huge packrat and won't throw anything away. Sigh.

I have trouble sleeping too and I notice that if I am having a bad week(sleep-wise), then I become overwhelmed much easier by the clutter.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you sister. I am the exact same way. I vow and determine I'm going to throw away/donate the 'stuff' and clean out. The clutter mocks me, I tell you. It drives me insane. We are doing better about eating out, which was one of my resolutions. Of course, that means, more dishes to clean up. It never ends. On the flip side, they are only small once and I dread the day when I can have my house as neat and clutter free as I want it.
Jan

the clan mccawley said...

Oh, my friend. I, too, used to be a clutter crab. I've learned a good lesson over the years. It's the fly lady principle. Take 15 minutes to tackle a task... check out her website. www.flylady.com
OR, you could do what I have done lately. I hired a cleaning lady to come every 2 weeks. While she makes my house spic and span, I organize, file, redecorate, and generally tackle built up clutter tasks. Trust me, I FEEL great when she is done and I am done and my house rocks!
Good Luck!
tiff
p.s. it helps too, when good friends come do your yard work because you are too pregnant with 2 people to stand up and rake every leaf in a 2 mile radius up out of your backyard!

Corinne said...

Oh man. And I have a husband around and my house makes me have a breakdown about every three days. It's SO HARD to be a good, involved mom AND keep a clean house. I feel your pain :)

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