Come sit with me, let's visit

Come sit with me, let's visit

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Organize What- Exactly?

Cleanliness and order are not matters of instinct; they are matters of education, and like most great things, you must cultivate a taste for them. ~Benjamin Disraeli  

About a million years ago I couldn't organize my thoughts, let alone my home. My house keeping skills were on par with bag ladies and those that live in clutter piles. Problem was, I hated it, and didn't know how to not live that way.

Somewhere along my path I was given a book called The Messies Manual. It suggested that you start at your front door and clean the first thing you come to, not just dust it, but empty it out and put those thing where you want them to be: Trash, Kitchen cupboard, garage sale, etc.

Honestly? It took me years to finish. I kept finding reasons to not do the work. It was too hard, I was too busy, and oh, yes, the ever popular, why am I doing this.

But my brain needs order, I am the person that takes lint of the person in front of them in a line. Whether they notice or not, I don't mind. I can't stand that off-color fuzz distracting me. So, I cleaned, I filed, I organized. I found that once it was done (years later, mind you), it didn't take long to do much. Wipe, scrub, a load of laundry, and a few dishes.

Of course having the space for everything you want to keep becomes an art form in itself. I cannot stand fiberboard furniture, so I had to address that. I don't remember when this happened in my life, but I do recall a piece of loved furniture that got saturated, and filled with water, and the veneer popping off showing me the swollen and foul fibers inside the cheap piece. No fiber board. Right this minute I have a antique pedal-style Singer sewing machine showing off a collection of dragons, and a trunk in my living room the size of a small car that houses my linens.

Okay, my closet: Here is the thing 2 rules, no wire hangers, and color coded. okay, laugh

Are you done? This happened at a time in my life when I had absolutely no control over anything whatsoever. My whole life was uncertain. The only sanctuary I had was brushing my hair and keeping my closet looking like a photographer was about to do a photo shoot for Martha Stewart. It gave me a sense of calm in the storm. Clean is, afterall, free.  It's much less perfect than that now, still it's color coded. Still, no wire hangers.

Nowadays, the dishes get left overnight, every now and then. The laundry piles up until I want my favorite jeans. And the floor gets mopped twice a week or so. If something smells it must be tracked down and disinfected. Windows, however.... still just not into cleaning those.

I learned a great deal from this process. What really was necessary, what was just sentimental and taking up space, but serving no purpose whatsoever. What was sentimental and I loved could be used to hold pens, or a pile of hair bands. Or placed on a shelf for appreciation. I learned that giving to Good Will is actually very cleansing. And if I am not getting back to that particular craft project, then I need to disassemble it. Oh, and one other thing--lemon juice and water cleans most everything and smells very good.

              The Messies Manual : The Procrastinator's Guide to Good Housekeeping

1 comment:

Mom said...

I have seen the difference in your environment over the years. Glad to see serenity in some part of your life. Now I understand why...