Now that I have the time to begin a project and (sometimes) finish it, all in the same week (month, year, decade . . . . ), it has been really great fun to tackle some of the projects around the house that have been neglected for the past many months. Or years.
Recognizing the unfortunate consequences of being a perfectionist (whatever THAT means!), I also realize that living in the chaos and confusion of clutter everywhere, is not helpful either. Different personalities have varying levels of tolerance for piles of junk everywhere. It doesn’t bother everyone to have drawers filled with so much stuff that they become virtually worthless because you can’t find anything in them, anyway. Some people do not find it annoying to have cupboards, closets, and cabinets jammed and crammed until you can’t open a door without more stuff falling out on the floor.
But I can only stand it for so long. And then, I simply must act! I was once told by a person who was the Great Contributor to Major Junk Piles that “everyone has a junk drawer in their house.” In other words, “Get over it, deal with it, and like it!” All of which is true in one sense. However, at the time, my reference point was that EVERY drawer, cupboard, cabinet, and closet in the house had somehow, mysteriously become overloaded with stuff we didn’t need, didn’t use, and had to trip over to get to the stuff we really did need to use.
One junk drawer – I’m good with that. There will always be certain stuff that just doesn’t fit into any identifiable category where it is logical to group it with other stuff of the same sort, and put it in a drawer or cabinet for all such stuff. I suppose I could even be OK with a couple or three places where miscellaneous stuff gets dumped. But this was just TOO much neglect, for way too long, and it was time to take charge of The Junk.
It didn’t help that Big Sister came home from church camp, apparently bringing some sort of little bugs in her clothing and bedding . . . . realized when she showed me all the tiny bites and bumps on her legs. So, into a hot shower with lots of soap, and washing the bedding. And the pillows. And the curtains (just in case, but they needed to be washed anyway, along with the windows). Today it is the closet, and we probably should wash all of the clothing, even the stuff that didn’t go to camp with her, just in case a few little critters jumped off the camp clothing onto the clean clothing in the dresser and closet.
Here is a list of the projects we have tackled so far in the past two weeks:
1. Washed all windows and curtains
2. Changed all bedding
3. Cleaned out three closets
4. Rearranged the furniture in three bedrooms and the living room
5. Cleaned and organized the sewing studio
6. Sorted and organized all of the books on 5 book shelves
7. Washed all throw rugs and the kitchen floor
8. Scrubbed one bathroom, cleaned out the cabinets, and washed the rugs
1. Finish organizing the office area
2. Scrub the other bathroom, wash the floor, finish organizing the cabinets
3. Finish sorting the clothing from the cleaned out closets, store the winter stuff or send stuff to Goodwill
4. Clean and wash out the refrigerator
As I go through this process or tackling projects that have been annoying me for a long time, I am again reminded of the difference between being a “perfectionist” and just wanting my world to be orderly and tidy. Of course, we have grass tracked in on the kitchen floor after we mow the lawn; yes, there are coloring books and crayons on the dining room table; and usually there is a pile of clean laundry on the couch that needs to be folded. Dishes pile up in the sink, the carpet needs to be vacuumed, and the beds are frequently a tumble of blankets and sheets and pillows instead of made up nicely every morning.
But I know that I always feel more productive and peaceful when I can walk from the kitchen to my little office corner without tripping over dirty sox, stacks of books, and last night’s pizza. We’re making progress. And as I also reminded the Great Contributor to Major Junk Piles once upon a time, “If you aim for nothing, you’ll always reach your goal,” at least I’m aiming for something, and it ain’t perfection! It’s just normal.
How do you handle junk in your house? I could use some advice on where to put it so I don’t get so annoyed with it all that one day I just pile it up out in the yard and set fire to it. Thanks in advance!