Musings of a Recovering Clutterbug, Episode 1: Find Your Motivation

It’s still early in the year, Resolution and life change time, plus it is winter and messy over much the United States so folks are stuck at home with not much to do.  As tends to happen, went stuck at home, an American’s mind turns to all that home organization stuff we all talk about, affect to and rarely if ever do.

As many of us have, I’ve fought my own battles over the years with stuff management.  It’s a battle I still fight to this day and probably will my whole life.  That’s OK, there’s a lot in this life and spending one’s days neatening the living room should be balanced with other activities like baking cookies.  😉

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to achieve (and maintain) an organized home, mostly by hyper organized people.  That’s good.  I kind of feel like, though, that their advice reminds me why I think I would be a lousy school teacher—I wizzed through all of primary and secondary school, even much of college with comparatively little struggle.  I worked hard at it, a lot of long hours, sweat and tears.  But—those kids who don’t understand what a fraction is?  Or who don’t understand how Integration relates to spatial estimates?  I have no idea what they are going through.

So, where to start?  Why are you interested in being more organized?  Figure out why it is something you want and it will help you focus your efforts.

Some of my motivations over the years:

  1.  I lost something important.  I once went on a whole day organizing and cleaning binge when I lost a $250 check.  I found it under my keyboard when I was wiping down my computer with disposable cleaning wipes.  Yep, pretty much down to the nitty-gritty when I finally achieved my goal.
  2. Disorganization is costing me time or money.  Come home with dish detergent only to find that pushed in the back of the cleaners cabinet is an almost full bottle of dish detergent.  Nothing wrong with a year+ supply of dish detergent . . . .  Lots of time spent going through closets looking for the pieces of an outfit I want to wear, find some things need to be washed and I don’ have time, etc is another one.
  3. I tripped over something.  Ugh, in my own home?
  4. Someone is coming for a visit.  It’s simply good manners to present a basically neat and clean home, or at least the common areas.  (Even if it is not always reciprocated.)
  5. Related:  Holidays!
  6. I’m going away and I want to come home to a neat space.  I don’t always achieve this, but it is super relaxing when I can leave a neat space, know home is clean and organized the whole time I am gone, and come back to clean space.
  7. Benchmark change in life:  New job, roommate moving in or out, purchasing a new piece of furniture, taking on letting go of a major responsibility.
  8. Tired of the clutter, overwhelmed by the chaos.  It happens, even to the right-brained.

So, my recommendation is to make sure you understand what is causing your organizing itch.  All else will flow from that.

About missbodie

The Dragon Lady is a life long tea drinker. Her first coffee shops were Big Boy and the Oriental Diner in downtown Milwaukee. She lives in our Nation's Capital with three bicycles and an energetic tabby cat.
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