Hopeful Organizer, With Hoarder Tendencies



I am about to let you in on a little secret about me, it’s one of those quirky things my family knows, but I have been able to hide from the rest of the world for a while. Ok, here goes… I can handle the house being messy and cluttered, but when my cupboards, closets, basement, freezer, etc. are unorganized it makes my teeth hurt and gives me nightmares.

We all have to start organizating somewhere.

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I think it stems from a few things: 1) Growing up my mother who is a “collector” (more about this later) had every nook and cranny filled with boxes so no matter what room I resided in I was not allowed to get into the closet in said room because I might break something. 2) I have watched enough police dramas to know if I ever disappear and the police have to search my house I would rather have them say “wow, who was that obsessive organizer anyway?”

Now, after many hours, and hours, and hours of searching the internet has proven that most organization blogs are authored by women who have secret alters in their pantries to Martha Stewart and they sleep with their color coded labels.  Don’t get me wrong, I am simply Jealous is all.  I wish that I had their mojo and ability to walk into a room and have clutter and junk sort itself into trash, donate, and sell piles.

Unfortunately, as much as I want my house to look like the homes of those lady bloggers I envy the reality is I am fighting genetics.  My mother’s “collecting” was really hoarding in disguise.  I have other family members who also have this propensity to accumulate.  This literally will keep me up at night.  So, how do I feed my need for organization and beat my tendency for “collecting” into submission?  Here are some tips I try to apply when cleaning out, or attempting to add to:

  1. I try very hard not leave a room until I take something out of it either to throw out or to put it back in its home.
  2. Referring to number one, have a home for everything, and don’t make it a box in a closet! If you bring home another pepper mill make sure you have home for it, or choose to get rid of one. (No, really I said get rid of one!)
  3. A great tip I found while scouring the internet for help with cleaning out my mother’s basement: Take a picture of those old trophies, awards, t-shirts, etc. then donate or trash them.  Having a picture of those mementos will give you that sentimental nostalgia without the added stuff in your life.
  4. My hubby and I plan to move to warmer climes when the kiddos are up and out of the house, so I try to live each day like I am getting ready to move into my cozy little beach cottage by sea. This means every day I try and sort through something asking myself how it will look.  If my answer is it will be in the closet, it’s out!
  5. I need motivation.  I was the kid that wanted an ‘A’ to get a pat on the back, so I think about those houses I do not want my house to be.  It could be a house you are familiar with or one from that show about hoarders, but you know which one will motivate you.  When I feel overwhelmed I think of that house and it gets me moving again.

The long and short is that it is a daily battle.  First, to get the junk moved out, and then to maintain it and keep it that way.  Remember we are not all Martha’s in action, but it’s ok to be Martha at heart.  Good luck and happy organizing.

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