Your Face (kandigurl) wrote,
Your Face
kandigurl

Cleaning Vs. Organizing

[lj-angst intro]

So I've been thinking about the times in my life where I was CONSTANTLY posting to LJ or FB or various forms of social media, and mostly they were times when I was avoiding doing something else.

Like school, or work, or projects, or cleaning, etc.

I think I've just developed new forms of avoidance, lol. I don't know if that's good or bad.

What I DO know is I'm not going to stress too much about keeping up with LJ, and post when I think about it, which will maybe be once a week or so.

[/end lj-angst intro] [begin actual post]

CURRENT LIFE GOALS: Getting my house organized.

So dudes, I'm a 32 year old woman, theoretically an adult.

Do you know what I only just learned in the past six months?

That cleaning and organizing are two entirely different things.

I discovered this when I started looking for house cleaners, because I decided it would be worth the money to get rid of the insane amount of stress having a ridiculously messy house and being powerless against it causes me on a daily basis.

But it turns out a lot of house cleaners won't clean up around clutter and you're supposed to pick that shit up before they get there. Also they don't do dishes.

And I was like, "WTF THEN WHAT AM I PAYING THEM FOR THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT I NEED."

But apparently the CLUTTER issue comes from a lack of ORGANIZATION, which I learned from reading "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up".

So after reading that book, visiting the home of a friend who actually has a well-organized home, and watching a bunch of this chick's videos (and being hypnotized by her jawline), I'm all like, I CAN DO THIS.

I can get rid of stuff I don't need. I'm good at that.

I can figure out things that go together in the same category and store them in baskets and shit. (SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS, HOW DID I MAKE IT TO 32 WITHOUT REALIZING I CAN STORE SIMILAR THINGS TOGETHER AND MAYBE THAT MIGHT BE EASIER.)

So anyway, that's the plan. I feel like if I can get my house together, I can get my life together. And maybe start wearing fashionable pants.

HAHAHAHAHAHA THAT WILL PROBABLY NEVER HAPPEN.

Okay. That's my post for the day. What aspect of adulting do you struggle with the most?
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Cleaning and tidying for me! My house is a mess because we are lazy. Oops.

Lol, same. Though honestly, I've had to stop telling myself I'm lazy because I know I can do things when I put my mind to it. It's less that I'm lazy and more that I'm easily overwhelmed.
I struggle with the house also! I have been slowly adding organizing solutions because my ultimate dream is that everything in the house has a place and that at least once a week I put back the things I casually toss here and there.

In 2010 I moved into a 300 sq ft studio, and any little bit of clutter made me feel like I was drowning, so I was on top of the cleaning and decluttering game. So I know I can get back there.
"my ultimate dream is that everything in the house has a place and that at least once a week I put back the things I casually toss here and there.".

Yessssss. That is also my dream. I've never, ever managed to get to the "everything has a place" point. Usually because I have a lot of stupid knick knacks, or random mementos I keep for no reason. But Marie Kondo actually has good ideas for that sort of thing (setting knick knack collections on decorative trays so they do have a place, keeping mementos in special decorative boxes, etc.), so I think it's doable if I keep plugging away at it!
Also have a designated place for the random shit you don't have any other place for and you may never find a place for.

I have my mementos in a plastic tub in a closet. Knick knacks I keep to a minimum but they each have a place, and if they get to be too much then off to the thrift store they go.
I wish I could get rid of stuff I don't need! My problem is that I am creative enough to know that if I look at something long enough, I KNOW I can find a use for it, and that it will probably have quick value. I LOVE quirky.
Yeah, I struggle with that, too. I have to ask myself, "Sure, I COULD use this for this other thing...but WILL I??" History usually says no. And then I either have to use it for that purpose RIGHT NOW or get rid of it.

I used to have a much harder time getting rid of stuff, but then I put up some books on paperbackswap.com so I could get more books for cheap. It took me two hours to come up with ten books I was willing to list to get my free credits, but I actually found it surprisingly easy to get rid of them. Then suddenly I was listing almost all of my books because the thrill of getting new books for (basically) free was more thrilling than keeping the books I already had, lol.

Then I had a revelation that it would be easier to keep my house clean if there wasn't as much stuff in it, so I let friends come over and take whatever they wanted (I had to approve it first, of course). Then I decided to live out of my car and put almost all of my stuff in a storage shed. Then I couldn't pay the storage shed and I lost it all. There's only a few things I still have from the pre-car phase of my life, they're the things I'll never get rid of (the stuffed dog I've had since I was a baby, for one), but going through that process made getting rid of things when I know I don't need them a lot easier.
when I sold my house, retired and moved back home, I put most of my stuff in storage, and lived in an efficiency while I was setting up my uncleared and wooded property. It took six months, and then I was able to move my stuff to a closer storage building with the idea of slowly moving it over to the cabin. Problem is that the cabin filled up quickly. I lived for a year with one suitcase of clothing - and four wardrobes of clothing in storage. I got my coats out the first winter, but the rest I intend to donate to goodwill. It is now going on five years - with that same suitcase of clothing only. I thought one time I would NEVER be able to get rid of a book, but now I can look at the quality of the writing, and get rid of those that I know I will never read again. Same with dishes and such. It is still a slow process, but now the storage building (that I pay for every month) is mostly my daughter's stuff that she did not have room to take care of when I moved.
Yeah! That's how it was for me, too. Letting go of one book and the world not ending was a pretty big revelation. :)
Ok, now that I/we have gotten past CONTENT, how do we deal with smell. I have my grandmother's collection of old readers digest condensed books - and I now detest HOW they condensed them, altered the author, but I love love LOVE the smell of old books! I am not sure I can get rid of those, and there are a lot of them.
Lol, I feel like it's okay to keep things if you really love them, as long as you're not doing it with every damn thing.

If there's a TON of them and you're hanging onto them for the smell, I would ask myself how many I really need to hang onto for that. Maybe five or six? One box full? Probably not a whole closet full.
My problem is 412 sq feet - I live in a shed. :) I will eventually reduce until I fit in here, but it is taking a change of my nature to do so!
I understand that as well - we live in a "mother-in-law" house in our landlord's backyard. :)
This is exactly the problem I have. I have small pieces of cardboard, stickers from when I was in middle school, leftover embroidery thread from finished cross-stitch projects... but I know if I throw them out, something will happen next week and I'll be like "DAMN now I need green embroidery thread and some 90s stickers and I just threw that stuff out!" And I know this because it has happened before with other things. Plus now that I have a kid, I have this theory that some day he will be older and it will rain and we will do crafts together.
I am doing pretty well right now (give or take a bit), but I struggle with all the same sorts of things myself. In terms of getting rid of stuff, I used to have a huge problem with it (a bit of a packrat, but not a hoarder). What always puzzled me is that "stuff" doesn't really mean anything to me (I've lived out of a suitcase for months while traveling and was happy as a clam at high tide), so why did I have trouble tossing out stuff I wasn't going to use. The answer for me is that each item had a story and some sort of history and I needed to either document it somehow (I tried a bit and it was way too time consuming) or acknowledge that story and using that to decide whether I had moved past it or not (much of the time I had, but until I thought about it I couldn't). Fashionable pants will elude me to the end of my days...
The fashionable pants thing is kind of an inside joke with myself, lol. I was visiting my cousin once and I told her she was wearing pants that made her look like she had her life together. Basically I feel like anyone who can put together an outfit that makes them look like an adult and not a twelve year old with a collection of cartoon t-shirts and deteriorating jeans is probably doing better at adulting than I am.

I'm actually reading a book on hoarding right now, and a lot of them mention struggling to discard things because of their connection to stories. So much in that book makes me feel like I really dodged a bullet by forcing myself to start getting rid of things early, out of fear of becoming a hoarder.
I could have written this post. I salute you for even broaching this topic on youtube and making a plan to be more organized.

I struggle with cooking. Anything beyond a microwave makes my anxiety go nuts. I'm 33 and I can count on one set of ten fingers the times that I've actually cooked a whole meal.
I also struggle with cooking. I can do it, I've been teaching myself a little bit here and there and I can follow a recipe (for COOKING, not BAKING, another thing I learned is actually two entirely separate things), but I hate doing it.

My problem is when I'm hungry, I want to eat something right then. I don't want to have to think about what to eat, how to make it, what I need to make it, what I need to CLEAN to make it, how long it will take to make it, etc. I just want it to exist.
I had the same WTF moment when I learned about cleaning up for the cleaning people. Like... I don't actually CARE if my windows get scrubbed or the faucet shines. I just wanted someone to make it so I can see the top of the kitchen table. The thing with organizing is that I'm lazy. I actually do have a place for most (not all) things... but I really, really suck at putting things back in the place.

I need scissors in the dining room for something, I go get the scissors out of their little drawer by the side door, bring them to the dining room, cut the thing, and then leave the scissors on the table because I AM BUSY DOING WHATEVER IT WAS I NEEDED THE SCISSORS FOR! I don't feel like I have time to go put the scissors back, let me finish what I'm doing first (and then forget about them entirely).

Eventually the table is messy and I (or more likely my husband) get annoyed when we try to do something at the table and are shoving all the stuff over.. so I put all the things back. And occasionally, one of us needs the scissors for something and goes to get them out of their special place, and they aren't there, and we have to look all around for wherever I used them. Rinse and repeat.

My brain says, "well, we just need more scissors, one for each room of the house". But that's not a scalable solution for everything I might possibly need in more than one room. Also that's a lot of scissors...
Yeah, I feel like there has to be a good way to give things a place so they are at hand but also easy to put away? That's kind of what I try to do but there are so many things I DON'T have places for that it doesn't always work out and I'm left with a pile of crap with no homes.

Marie Kondo says if you store similar things together then putting them away or getting to them won't be a big deal but I think she is on crack. Also no one who has been obsessively organizing their shit since childhood has the right to tell me my habits will magically change once things have places.