One of those posts when I am hoping that the whole world owns a shelf, a junk drawer, a closet or even (hohum) an entire room, albeit a very small room, that they just can’t face tidying. Behind this super efficient noticeboard, just off the kitchen lurks ours. We call it the lab… the computer lab, because there are literally tons of computers and computer paraphernalia in there… and a heap of other chaos. For all those folk who would like me to write about organising… you should be rolling on the floor in hysterics after seeing this. I just want you to know that the rest of our home is pretty much sorted… but this room is my nemesis!!!
We all know we like it when our homes run like a well maintained machine… and we all like to get home and collapse on the couch and hope that things get packed away while dinner gets made. Unfortunately, life is a paradox: in order to sit on the couch and relax while your home runs itself, you have to have done a fair amount of work behind the scenes!!! Last month I wrote a couple of posts on getting organised and tips for sorting and decluttering… My goal was to sort out our dreadful mess… and each week I fully intended to link up to the Organizing Junkie’s 31 days Organiziational Challenge. I have done her 52 week challenge before – success. And we conquered her garage challenge last year…
Well, it wasn’t the first time I have failed at this room and apparently it won’t be the last… because the project never ever got off the ground. Not EVER. Well I did take some before pictures!!! And then this past weekend when I decided it was “do or die” and I started unpacking things into the kitchen… our kitchen counters have been smothered in debris for three days straight… Of course, tomorrow evening we have dinner guests and I would love a flat surface to prepare on. I have a choice: jam it all back in there and keep the door closed… or just get focused, concentrate on the project at hand and actually get it done!!!
I think the reason that I never got going was… well overwhelming!!! When it comes to decluttering I know what works – a little bit at a time, an hour a week is enough to conquer an entire garage in a month. Waiting for “time to declutter” well… I am thinking like any good intention… you have to start small. No one trains for a marathon in a week, no one makes life-style changes overnight.
Well decluttering and sorting out a problem spot… can really become a weight on your shoulders and honestly why don’t we just get it done… It is simple really:
Se7en + 1 Reasons Why we Just Don’t Declutter.
- I really can’t face it: This project is just too enormous: There are papers to sort, wires to sort, half-finished projects to finish or discard, computer parts for ever and it just goes on. It is also a space that is actually quite a public area of our home – it is the space in full view of the kitchen, where screen time happens!!! And most important. Most of the stuff is not mine: which means I have to ask for almost each item: Do we still need this or not? and this? and what about this? Nobody wants to be part of this clean-up, as my mother would say: “It is like yanking teeth” – I get it, there are better things to do!!!
- I am avoiding what I should be doing: I have projects that I really want to get to… and yet it appears that I leave things to the last minute time after time. It is really quite simple, I love using deadlines to get stuff done. I won’t start a project because first I should declutter that room… and before you know it the decluttering that should have taken a day or two six months ago ends up not getting done and special projects, like our sketchbook project get dashed out in a week. I also have a little voice in my head: “How do you do it all” … my most often asked question… and honestly when I listen to that voice and find a fifteen minute gap in my day… I just grab a coffee and take a break. Because “How do I do it all?” The fact is, I often don’t need a break I am doing fine, and it would be more fulfilling for me to get even one little thing sorted… and slowly but surely those “one things” would add up!!!
- I don’t want to be caught with a big mess: You know when you are sorting out any project things are going to get a lot worse before they get better… a lot worse!!! Who wants to go there… who wants their kitchen counters smothered in clutter for days on end. This is easily avoidable by just doing one small section at a time. Instead of a giant project, where inevitably you run out of steam.
- I will just do something else quickly: Another thing that easily distracts me from a task like this is the little things that have to be done in a day… I will just bring the laundry in and then I will start… only by the time the laundry is in it is time to start dinner. The solution again is to just do the tiniest little sort before you head out to do all the jobs that have to be done on a given day.
- We think we need huge chunks of time: This is probably my favourite excuse… I will wait until the weekend, I am so busy with school during the week – I am!!! But I could easily sort a pile of papers while somebody reads to me, I could easily sort through the tangle of wires while I listen my children tell me what they read for history or science or whatever!!! On the weekends I say I need an afternoon in the week, I am far too busy going for ambles and spending time with my kids that isn’t “school-time.”
- I think we might need all that stuff later: There are literally piles of potential projects… I need to let them go!!! I print out things that I think will be great to do and then never ever get around to them. (Maybe because I should declutter that room first!!!) I have a shelf of games that we never play – that is why they are in there and not on the game shelf in the kitchen… they are classics, I played them as a child and we may play them someday. Hang on – we don”t play them, we have our family favourites and I should definitely pass them on… I know it, but I just don’t get around to it!!!
- I Don’t Like to Delegate: When I was a new mum I was terrified of the BIG THREE… so many books I read mentioned, just in passing, that a child’s emotional world is settled by the time they are three and all things pertaining to a child’s emotional well-being needs to have been achieved by then. Well, I failed, my kids are destined to be emotional wrecks… turns out those books were incorrect, just saying!!! Another stream of parenting books had me a little weary of the “Ten,” apparently if you have a ten year old in your home – or older kids, (hello I have a small army here…), then I should no longer have any household chores to do and all chores should be taken care of by the “Team.” Yet another parenting myth that I am steadily debunking. Yes, my kids do chores; yes, my kids can cook and clean… but a LOT of my days look like this: Load of laundry in; Make breakfast; Clean up from breakfast; Hang laundry out; Make lunch, Clean up from lunch; Bring laundry in and fold it and pack it away; Make Dinner; Clean up from dinner… Collapse. Yes I do have help all along the way but the lion’s share falls to me. Somehow delegation is not my strong point. I know it, and I need to find ways that my kids can help to keep this room sorted.
- I’d rather be blogging: Honestly I would rather do anything else and the idea that the reward of a room where we can actually find stuff… is just not exactly working for me!!! I need to see the result before I can appreciate the work that will go into it!!!
And the Se7en + 1th Thing…
And so dear readers… Tell me you have a hideous clutter zone lurking in your home!!! I need your help. What do you think???
Should we have poll…
- Clean out that mess once and for all. I have started and I may as well keep going…
- Or cram it all back in there. I need to have a clear surface to make dinner for guests tomorrow anyway.
The rest of this week I fully intend to write all about books – I have heaps of books to share, and even a few to GiveAway… tons of activities to post – this whole month… and I will not mention decluttering… but I will keep an eye on the poll and let you know by the weekend which way you all convinced me to go!!!