Lessons from a former hoarder – Chapter 8: Keep up with the clutter

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Local Voices

Read Connie’s earlier installments: Chapter 1: Lessons from a former hoarder, Chapter 2: Time to start, Chapter 3: Plateau? Fight It!, Chapter 4: Kitchen Klues, Chapter 5: Nudist Colony?, Chapter 6: Rest? What rest?, Chapter 7: How to enjoy the holidays

Connie Simon

The unofficial holiday season has begun, and the insanity begins. My last chapter, Chapter 7, is a great way to keep things in perspective for parties, however, how do you keep it together on the daily things and stay on top of the clutter? As we speak right now, I literally have four events I’m getting ready for. FOUR. I keep them separated in different areas of the house to stay organized. We sat down together and wrote out the list, in date order, as to who/what/where/why/when and how much. This is a must. Yes, you DO have time to make a list, otherwise you WASTE time trying to make it all happen in your head.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it an incessant need to be needed/wanted/busy? Or do we think, “They won’t do it right, so I’ll JUST DO IT?” I was always running with my hair on fire from event to event, knowing some things I just couldn’t get away from, so I had to filter them out. The world won’t come to an end if I don’t make it somewhere. That was a hard realization, but it’s the truth. I can’t be everything to everybody, and something had to give. The house was piling up again, and with not a second to spare, I took a deep breath, and started delegating. Yes, it was an adjustment with letting go, but who’s to say my way was the right way? Of course, I’d change things, but it WASN’T IMPORTANT! Slowly I CHOSE to stay in peace and not get my feathers ruffled when things were done differently. It wasn’t “wrong,” just different.

Swallowing my pride and getting used to being home at a decent hour brought me back to the piles. Ugh. Not this again! (Did you hear my deep sigh and eye roll?) I HAD things conquered but headed down the same path. Stop Stop Stop! What I call ‘comfort clutter’ is way too dangerous to tolerate and must be stopped in its tracks. No excuses or reasoning, just GET IT ORGANIZED or toss it out. It’s funny, because the more I thin things out in the house, the more attached I get to the stuff I have left. Oooo No No. Attachments have got to go!

Certainly, there are exceptions, but a quick and easy rule I use is, If I die tomorrow, what will my family get rid of? THAT is a sobering yet helpful thought. What’s important or precious to me is definitely not important to them. That really makes it easy when I’m on the fence about something.

Another helpful thought is, If I had to pack up and move…would I take it with? See how the ‘thinning process’ makes you think differently? Being attached to so much ‘stuff’ is not healthy. If it’s not doing anything in your home but sitting in a box, IT’S TIME TO LET IT GO! I won’t break out in song again, but I will give you a courageous nudge to work hard the two days before garbage day to lighten the load. Why? Then it’s gone. Yes, you can pass on, give to New 2 You, or even sell your stuff, but keep up with plain old clutter, the sooner the better. It’s just gotta go!

Rinse and recycle those take-out containers, boxes you never use, jars you might need someday, and all those extra mugs, and roll them out to the curb. (The music to Rawhide is singing in my head: “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, Keep them doggies rollin’ … out to the curb and don’t look back!

Now, what’s going on in the garage?…

Connie Simon


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