Man, I remember when unclutterer was more actual advice than product shrilling[1].

Now, I’m nowhere as neat or organized as I should be, especially considering the fact that I have sensory processing issues that get worse when the environment around me is chaotic. Like, I don’t mind if everything is dirty, but if Things.Are.Everywhere, I can’t work or think or, you know, clean up the clutter. Add in the periodic mood disorder that saps my energy bad enough that some days I’m lucky to make it out of bed, well….


Broken brains can be fun to deal with sometimes.

Anyways. It took me multiple tries to get to anywhere near “organized”, and frankly I’m not sure how long this period of organization is going to last, since it usually goes to shit as soon as the winter blues start.

I’ve had the most success following unfuckyourhabitat‘s idea of cleaning and decluttering for short periods of time each day, like doing the sink when my coffee’s brewing or wiping down the kitchen counters while cooking. Small, simple things, and avoid burnout.

I still don’t make my bed, though.

Tried FlyLady; her rules are sadly not for me. I mean, shoes indoors? I barely wear them outside [2]! But some of what she does makes sense – wearing clothing that means “work” when you want to work, etc. I won’t give up my sweatpants [this is Massachusetts after all, and it’s cold in winter] but I do switch to nice jeans when I really need to get something done. I don’t know; this seems like a good system for some people; I can’t work with it.

I used to really love unclutterer; indeed, there’s still something about owning the minimal amount of things I need to survive that appeals to me. Even things like owning Kindle versions of books instead of real books so I’m not cursing myself as I move my entire 500+ book library every time I need to move, or paring down clothing until it fits into the boxes I have so  I don’t end up drowning in free t-shirts again. I don’t throw things out as often as I should, but over the last year or so I’ve pared down what I own significantly.

And they used to have some pretty good advice, too, it’s just now more product placement than it used to be.

There are nearly 600 emails in my inbox because I haven’t been up to dealing with email in like a week. Probably not a good thing. There are so many people I probably should get back to, including someone who might have wanted to offer me a job, like, two weeks ago.

And yet every time I look at my email, I just get so scared of it that I close it out, untouched.

There’s a saying I’m trying to get myself to accept, and that’s the simple fact that I can do anything if it’s just for a minute. Make a phone call, check my email, wash dishes, get my blood drawn, send my resume out.

Maybe tomorrow I can try to be a more productive human.

[1] Personal rule – you don’t need to buy any specific item to get organized, and anyone who says otherwise is selling something. [Return]

[2] And yes, I’ve been known to walk barefoot around Boston. [Return]


One response to “Clean

  1. Given my mom’s usual obsession with any thing that’s been outdoors being ritually impure and not allowed in the house again, I’m surprised that my family didn’t have a rule about no shoes in the house. But since it didn’t, I’ve continued to think it’s normal to wear shoes inside and somewhat annoying to have to take them off in places.

    I really should do something about clothing. I distrust computers enough to not be willing to replace my library with ebooks, but I don’t have nearly such strong feelings about clothing and I should get rid of some of the absurd excess. I’m just too paranoid about needing things and not being able to replace them.

    Also, it worries me that it’s been ten months since I moved and I still haven’t found the energy to get my bookshelves organized again. That’s the sort of thing I used to do compulsively, but recently I haven’t been able to care.