Cleaning up the mess


I have decided that I no longer want to live in a messy house.  Most of the mess, I admit, is mine. I’ve been putting my mind to work to figure out why things are messy.

  • I have too much stuff.
  • I don’t put my stuff away.
  • Some of the stuff doesn’t get put away because it doesn’t have a home.
  • I am “cyclically neat.” I tend to throw things around and leave things out when I am frazzled, and then when I have time – or when things become “extremely unpleasant or trying” – I clean them up.
  • I don’t address the reasons behind the whole “frazzled” thing: I take on too much, I don’t get proper rest, and I don’t follow good systems and routines.

But this is not a blog of beating myself up; it is a blog of action!

I have been asking myself FlyLady’s three questions this week about every single thing in my bedroom. I am not shuffling things around; I am either finding each thing a home or else it is leaving the premises. I am already on my second Goodwill box and I have another box standing by.

I’m proud of myself. Some of the stuff has been easy to let go of: duplicate books (I found two), old papers I no longer need, magazines that had one key article removed. Other stuff has just needed to be processed: papers filed, magazines read. The last stuff has been trickier.  These are the things I really need to decide if I love enough to make a place for them. In some cases, I have decided to keep things – a small mantel clock we got for our wedding, a cushion my grandmother brought back from a trip to her native Australia – and I have made space for them. But a fair number of things are being let go.

Soon I’ll have the entire room cleared out, in a good way. I’m getting impatient for it to be finished, but I am trying to be thoughtful and not rush the process.

I am also trying not to get down on myself for needing the process. Decluttering may not be a natural skill of mine (though I am getting better with practice), but I am good at things that don’t come easily to others. We all have our strengths… or so I keep telling myself. Hopefully, that “self” will hurry up and listen!

Is decluttering one of your strengths? Are you able to just let things go if you don’t love them or have room for them, or do you agonize and longer over every decision?

7 thoughts on “Cleaning up the mess

  1. I’m not clear on what you do, but I agonize and linger. Why do you think no one is invited over anymore? I’m too embarrassed.


    1. That’s how I have felt since we got home. In the past, I could shove everything into that big bedroom/closet in the basement, but now that Greg’s living down there, I’ve lost my hiding place, and everything shows. Urgh.


  2. Q’s first date is due to collect him. You panic, forget somebody lives in basement. Have a visual image of a man being snowed under, in your basement, by your self-improvement books, your size 4 clothes and your how to de-clutter books. Hope Greg has a good supply of canned goods 😉


  3. I am a terrible declutterer, and it’s compounded by living in a house without much storage. I am leaning towards ‘we have too much stuff’ as my main strategy! As for the hiding place, I get that too. We used to call ours the Room of Doom. Luckily it’s not so doom-like anymore.

    Found you via YHL forums, by the way 🙂


    1. Hi! Glad you came over!

      Isn’t it tough to have no storage? I have square feet enough, if I could just hide some of the don’t-use-often stuff out of sight… but where? I’m totally going to check out your blog – anyone who can move from “doom” to “not doom” is a wizard in my book!


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