Patient and systematic…

Unstaged shot from my bedroom door. Typical of the current state of every room upstairs.

I am overwhelmed by my home.

For some reason (ha!), I had completely blocked out the fact that, when I left for Europe, I left my home a complete disaster. Imagine my surprise when I walked through the door to find… everything exactly as I had left it. Piles of things we had been debating bringing with us (since we packed at the last minute). Piles of things we had planned to deliver or donate or deal with before time ran out. Piles of things.

Yeah. A complete and total disaster. Why did fairies not appear in my absence and take care of all my clutter? I will never know.

In the meantime, of course, our suitcases have exploded six months’ worth of stuff here, there, and everywhere. Putting that away is a challenge in and of itself.

I’ve been trying to ward off the imminent panic attack by repeating this mantra: “Patient and systematic. Patient and systematic. Patient and systematic…”

I have to be patient. The stuff is not going to vanish overnight, unless I take David’s suggestion and pile it in the yard and burn it. No, every little thing has to be dealt with. It is going to take some time. But if I don’t do it – if I avoid it, as I would like to do, by reading about my new MS diet – it will undermine the peace I brought home with me. So I am taking care of things, a little at a time.

I also have to be systematic. It’s hard to know what to do first when every single surface is screaming for attention, and the pressure can make me want to throw up my hands and give up. So I have decided to start at the front of the house and work my way through, room by room, systematically. Find the next out-of-place thing and deal with it. Put it away, give it away, throw it away. Rinse. Repeat.

I have a week before I have to go back to work. Will I get done in a week? No. I have to admit that I won’t, as much as I wish it could happen. But I will make progress, every single day.

Patiently and systematically.

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful to have my family here. I know I am not as much fun as I could be (since I have the whole overwhelmed-by-my-home thing going on and all my time is taken up with being patient and systematic) but I am so glad to see them.

Quote of the day

One effect of clutter is that you shut down – you have to spend all your energy just coping with the mess, rather than tending to the things that really matter to you. …

When clutter becomes overwhelming, something shifts in our relationship to our stuff.  For whatever reason, we hand control over to the things we own. Because of the clutter, we cannot have people into our homes; we cannot find things; we cannot move freely in our own space and we have to compromise because of the constraints the disorganization places on us. Don’t throw up your hands and act like this is beyond your control. It won’t fix itself. Step up!

– Peter Walsh, It’s All Too Much

Less is more

Photo by lejoe

Less clutter in my home means more time, because I don’t need to “process” it.

Less clutter on my calendar means more peace of mind, because I am not overcommitted.

Less clutter in my brain means more clarity, because I am not so worried and stressed.

Less clutter on my body means more energy, because I don’t have as much weight to haul around.

I am enjoying the process of decluttering.  I never thought I’d say that, let alone think it.  I think it is because I am getting rid of less each day than I usually would, so I have been able to sustain the practice through more days.  No more “crash and burn;” more like “slow but steady wins the race.”

I like it.

  • {Clutter} released: Three more magazines.  One pile of newspapers.  All the stuff that has been cluttering up my car (not gone, but taken out of the car and put away).
  • {Stress} released: I attended my first Girl Scout Leader Meeting since I fired myself as the Service Unit Manager.  The Service Team did an excellent job, and I was so relieved to have that stress off my shoulders.  It will be nice to be just a leader this year.