Tag Archives: decluttering

The Blizzard

I know why I got so upset now.  I started feeling it last night and then this morning big time.  I had to do deep breathing.  I feel rage again.  I hadn’t felt anger in a long time.  I was reporting 0 on the happy sheet at the treatments.  But it’s bad.
angryface monster
I know they say to do a little at a time, but that doesn’t work with my house, not with illness and three other people working against me.  It’s like trying to shovel snow with the shovel from a child’s beach pail in the middle of blizzard.  I get a little done, but then I get sick from the asthma and allergies, then I get sick from the antibiotics that go on forever (still have like 5 more), and meanwhile what I got done is quickly covered up by more snow.  And my family is that damn blizzard.  Last night I wanted to escape so badly. I wanted to go anywhere, even the hospital as long as it was clean and I was alone.  I don’t know how much longer I can stand it.  They don’t care. They go away most of the day or ignore it, but I’m here day after day breathing in the dust and the dirt and the mold and feeling suffocated by the clutter that never ends. I keep picking it up and going through it, but I don’t reach an end.

laundry pile

Part of me wants to throw it all away.  All of it.  There is just no way I can do this alone.  If the entire house started spotless, maybe I could hope to try maintaining it, maybe.  But not like this.  I can’t even hire someone to clean it, saying I got the money together, until the clutter is gone, and that never stops falling.  I feel so defeated, and it all closes in on me.

I have to let it go right now.  I don’t know what else to do.

Help.
~ Alice

Alice Goes KonMari

Update: Still decluttering around here.  This happy joy joy life changing process is taking a while, because there’s so much stuff and I rapidly vacillate from wanting to throw it all away in a blaze of glory, to wanting to gather my stuff in my hands and spit “My preciousss!” into imaginary cameras.  

gollum

Alice neeeedsth her DVDsss!

I’ve seen a lot of complaints about Marie Kondo (see that older post) and other organizing gurus and how this whole minimalism concept and the idea of throwing out extra consumer crap is only for rich people because poor people can’t afford stuff.  The writers of these articles have clearly never met a poor person.  As if you have to have money for stuff!  I’ve never had a great deal of money, but I’ve always had stuff.  People love giving you stuff, because they redecorated or they just watched Netflix and now they have a spare entertainment center, or couch, or bed, or recliner, or T.V., or child.  And yes we’ve gotten every one of those things given to us – except the child. Our children were DIY projects.

But I digress.  Time to begin. 

Step One: Clothes

80s clothes

If you still have legwarmers, you’ve waited way too long to declutter.

We’ve also been given hand-me-down clothes – so many clothes – by well meaning people.  Thing One gets clothes, and Thing Two gets clothes, then Thing Two gets the clothes that Thing One just outgrew.  So she gets twice the clothes, and guess what?  They almost all spark joy in this kid, so she doesn’t like giving them up.  It’s hard to complain since my children have dressed like I spent hours in the dark searching Ambercrombie and Fitch when in fact I shop at Walmart where I can get shirts for a dollar.  One dollar shirts, guys.  Did I need the shirt?  Did they?  Well, not exactly, but hey you can wait a month to do laundry! 

laundry pile

Typical laundry day.

Maybe not the best plan.  I honestly thought I didn’t hold on to clothes that much before I started all of this, but it turns out I don’t really hold onto clothes so much as I just lose them in various places.  I have also changed size over the years, so I have clothes in various sizes because I might lose weight, or I might gain it.  You just never know.  The forties are fun!  I’ve gotten rid of bags of clothes, though, and lots of extra bed linens because there is no way I’m folding more than two sets of fitted sheets.  I’m also not using Marie’s cute little vertical napkin folding technique because it takes too damn long and I hang up most of my stuff.  Unless it’s a fitted sheet.  Then I properly cram it into my bottom dresser drawer in one giant wad, the way God intended.

fitted sheet fold

Wrong / Right

Our town has made giving stuff away much easier by installing lots of dumpsters painted bright colors that are marked for the Children’s Home.  This is awesome because I can drop my junk off and not have to show my face or talk to anyone.  It’s just like I’m throwing it away, only I’m not, I’m doing a good deed just like all those people did for me!  The only problem is that you can only dump clothes or shoes into it, not appliances or electronics or children – which you’d think they’d want being a Children’s Home and all.  I do wonder if they get unwanted stuff dumped in there anyway.  For instance, I heard that someone once dumped a live chicken into the book drop at the downtown library.  It sure sounds like a hilarious idea – I mean a terrible thing to do.  Thank goodness they now have cameras to keep people from this kind of mayhem.

chicken in library

We never had a chicken in the library.  Bats, snakes, hornets, sure . . .

So I’ve gone through my clothes once, and Thing Two volunteered a bag of clothes in exchange for four new clothing items at JC Penny’s where we were supposed to be shopping for dress shoes for her sister’s prom.  I wasn’t going to let her get them, but then she showed me that they were three to five dollars, marked down from forty dollars, so of course I was suckered into it.  She’s smart, that Thing Two.  There isn’t a thing in her closet at the moment, but the clothes make a nice, comfy carpet, so there’s that at least.  You are not supposed to “Konmari” someone else’s items, unless you can be super crafty about it so they don’t find out.  So I still have the kids’ clothes left.  My husband has few clothes, so that’s not a problem.  The extra cars and car parts might be, since I can’t lift those into dumpsters.  Not super crafty like anyway.

car in dumpster

I didn’t think I’d find pics of whole cars in dumpsters.  I clearly underestimated the American people.

So does my house look better?  Not a whole lot, but I’m making progress.  Of some sort.  While waiting for your house to transform you, I invite you to check out a different perspective on cleaning.  Jennifer McCartney (author of “The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the House”) is the real deal.  She is sarcastic and funny and gets paid for it, which means I should hate her on principal, but I still enjoyed her books.  If only I could get my parodies to market faster.  Maybe if I marked them “Twilight Sexy Times Declutter Wars”.  

Anyone else spring cleaning in April?  Let me know.  Also, do you want some stuff?

~ Alice

Tips for Clutter!

Clutter is big right now.  Or more specifically, decluttering which is not, according to WordPress,  a real word.  This should be a clue right there.  I have tried to get rid of clutter, to no avail.  (Once I tried for like 15 minutes). It seems like everyone has some tips on removing clutter, but has anyone come up with tips on how to use clutter?  I don’t know, I haven’t researched, but I’m going to guess “No.”  Well now they, er, I have!

A picture of my house.

A picture of my house.

Tips for Using Clutter

  1. Piled laundry (dirty or clean) makes a great cushion for your couch.  If you put it in your car, it can be used as a booster seat.
  2. Trash can be used as art.  Call it “Shabby Chic”.
  3. Time spent searching for lost items counts as exercise.
  4. By not washing your dishes or cleaning your refrigerator, you can grow your own medicine.
  5. Clutter can be used as a blockade in case of home invasion.  Seriously, police told us at the library that our clutter could help block an active shooter.  Yay us!
  6. Books on decluttering make great side tables.
  7. “What’s that smell?” is a fun and entertaining game for the whole family.
  8. By gathering up loads of random stuff, you can make your own ball pit for the kids.
  9. Piling things on top of your exercise machine keeps you from feeling guilty for not using it by blinding you to its presence.
  10. You life is full of surprises.  What’s in that cabinet?  Is it alive?  Who knows!

So there you go!  Lots of reasons not to remove clutter.  If you still insist on getting rid of it, I have one great tip.  Wait for the holiday season and throw all your clutter into those huge Christmas bags meant for bicycles and such.  Then put a sign in front of your house saying “Rob Me.”

Anyone else have creative ideas for clutter?

~ Alice