Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Clutter, be gone! Behold, Order.

I started the year with a massive hankering for some order. And not just your run of the mill, it’s a New Year so I need to clear out the old, type of hankering but more of a, I’m drowning under the weight of crap accumulated over the last ten years, throw out, throw out, THROW OUT!! So I made myself a list. I won’t share the list, because, frankly, it’s boring as hell, plus it’s four pages long, but I will share the method behind the list in the hopes that it turns out to be useful to someone else.
I’ve always had a hard time being organized (ok, I’m not organized at all) but I’m fatally attracted to orderly things. I love the Martha Stewart Living tips on organizing your life, or gaining control over clutter, or a meticulously orderly sock drawer, I’ve just always thought that these things were unattainable to me, I've always thought, "I wish we had a Container Store in Italy, but we don’t, so I’m doomed to clutter in my life". And then this year I had an epiphany of sorts… I have too much crap. That’s why my house is a mess, that’s why I create the infamous “black holes” all over the place, that’s why I never find a damn thing to wear in two closets full of clothes. I. Have. Too. Much. CRAP. And you know what the solution is? I’m throwing crap out. I’m serious, it’s that easy! What? So I just hadn’t thought of this before!
Of course me, being me (or is it I being I?? or possibly me, being I?? anyone have time to look it up?) I had to leave myself a few loopholes… Like Saturday I cleaned out my closet and the rule was if it doesn’t fit throw it out. Except I’ve been saving some things for years (remember two pregnancies in a row, two breastfed babies) that I may yet fit into… so I allowed myself to keep five items per category that don’t fit yet (but did fit right before the pregnancies, I threw out stuff from, say, college). This made it easier for me, and I have a goal to work towards, and I still filled two large garbage bags of clothes for charity. And I’m so thrilled with the result, I feel pounds lighter! You should totally check out my underwear drawer, it’s amazing, and I found some really nice bras I had completely forgotten about hidden under all the maternity and nursing crap. I would totally post a picture, but it’s my underwear, so that would be a little weird.
So basically I divided my house into areas of attack, not by rooms, but by items, like clothes, cds, books, documents etc. Last weekend I attacked my clothes, next weekend I’m attacking the baby clothes boxes. I don’t know if we’ll be having any more kids but one thing I learned between baby number one and two is that the seasons may not be just right, babies grow at different rates, if I didn’t use it with baby number 1, I probably won’t use it with baby number 2 and also, when a new baby comes you still get presents, and you still want to buy them stuff, so there’s no point in saving everything. Again, I get to keep five items, per kid, per size. So I won’t be torturing myself by trying to throw everything out, but I will get rid of a LOT of crap, and making room for new stuff in case another baby is in our future.
And lastly I’m investing in a couple of hard drives and a paper shredder. Hard drives because I have an insane amount of music on CDs that we no longer listen to what with the ipods and iphones and such that have taken over our lives. CDs are taking up useless space in the house, the cars and the attic, so we’re getting rid of them and just putting all the music on hard drives. This will take forever. But it will be sooooo worth it that I almost can’t wait to get started. Almost. But I’m going to do it, I’ve got a whole year to do it, so it will get done. And a paper shredder because I have piles of documents, bank statements, utilities statements, credit card statements… from the nineties… do I really need to keep all that crap? So I’m scanning what I may need, and I’m shredding the bejeezus out of everything apart from passports, birth certificates and car deeds, stuff I REALLY need to keep. The rest is CRAP, so out it goes. 
And so on and so forth all through the house. The bottom line is I’m only keeping stuff I actually use at least once a year. Every year. The rest? Crap. And you know where that goes!
Wish me luck, I’ll keep you updated, and please, hold me accountable, cause by the end of this year my life must be rid of useless crap. So I’ll have a beautiful, orderly, organized, de-cluttered house, with loads of room.
For me to fill with new crap.
Such is the cycle of life.


  1. Oh great, that means I'll have more crap in my already bursting apartment (note, NOT house) because I will be going through your giveaway bags and bringing half of the stuff home...but I like the hard drive idea...

  2. Oh I know the feeling -- good luck with that.
    You do, after all, have a year ;)
    Cheers, Alcira

  3. You know I'm right there with you. Throw it out! I love the CD idea, I need to get rid of ours. And, by that, I mean my husband's. Boys-2-Men anyone?