I Put Some Stuff Away!!!!

28 01 2010

I know that this journey is all about little steps. I am so so overbusy these days (yes, I know, TIME the invisible clutter!) that I don’t have time for anything BUT little steps.

But I have to say, last night I did something that was SO small but SO significant I have to report on it. I’m patting myself on the back left and right.

So. I was rushing out to work. I tried on like 3 skirts and some other stuff. I was RUSHING. I left the un-worn skirts on a chair and (gulp) on the floor. I ran to work.

I came home. I was really tired. Now NORMALLY, I would take off the skirt from my body, throw it onto the pile on the chair or floor, and crawl into bed. But INSTEAD…. I:

1. took off the skirt I was wearing. Hung it on a skirt hanger!

2. PICKED UP the other skirts from the chair and floor. Hung THEM up on  skirt hangers!!! Then picked up the two pairs of tights from the floor (one I just took off, one from the trying-on period previously) and put them in the tights drawer!!

3. Went to my clothes hamper. My clothes hamper is really funny. It’s like a big basket with a lid. I never put anything (except occasionally socks and undies) IN the hamper, I just pile my worn clothes on TOP OF it until it is laundry time, “just in case” I want to wear anything again. It looks really bad.

4. Gathered up all of my “can be worn again” articles of clothing from the top of the clothes hamper, and HUNG THEM UP in the closet!!!!!! CALL THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!! Put the truly dirty stuff INTO the hamper, and shut the lid.

5. Took off my earrings. Did NOT toss them onto my bedside table as per usual, but walked ten feet and PUT THEM in my jewelry box! EEEEEEEEE!!!

6. Put away three or four other random things that were lying around on the floor.

Did you all feel the tectonic plates moving underfoot last night?!? This was some real change, people!!

I noticed two big things WHILE I was putting stuff away last night.

1. It was not HARD to put away these things, and it did not take much time at all.

2. I felt like I was going against every fiber of my natural being.

Habits die hard. They really do. But I’m trying. I really am. And I feel like I deserve some kind of medal for that little 15 minute burst of Putting Stuff Away last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Right??





A Million Little Choices

31 12 2009


Hangers

Originally uploaded by Marc Pinter

I would not be the first person to point out that decluttering/organizing is very much like losing weight/getting healthy and fit. But oh it is so true. And it’s interesting to be aware of this right now, since the healthy part of me is pretty much on track, and the decluttery part of me is just learning the alphabet and veering around wildly. It’s just interesting to observe myself.

I can pretty much rely on a year of good habits to carry me through for the most part, even though there are certainly moments/days of veering off. But I have NO good habits to go on as far as organization goes. It is incredible to watch “what I would normally do” and to try and replace some of these habits with better ones. Sometimes it is almost physically painful and I can feel some wild beast inside me trying to resist, resist, resist.

I read recently that habits are “first cobwebs, then cables.” Which I think is such a great analogy. And it goes for both bad habits and good ones. Sometimes those bad habits feel as strong as steel cables, impossible to break. And the good ones are as fragile as cobwebs. But the more we do something (good or bad) the more it builds on itself.

I’m really trying to pay attention to myself these days. Carving a new way of doing things is, wow, just exhausting. But I do have some patience, and some confidence that I can eventually do this and eventually I will have some good cable-strong organizing habits. Just not yet. SO not yet.

I notice that when I come home, my tendency is to:

1. leave all the crap in the car. I have to nearly twist my own arm out of its socket to get myself to bring even 50% of it inside, unless it is something perishable, like vegetables. Otherwise, I’m likely to just think “I’ll bring it in later.” It’s not like I have to haul it up Mt. Kilamanjaro or something, I only have to walk it through the garage and into the house. But the idea often exhausts me. Why? I spend hours at the gym exhausting myself way more. Not sure I understand this, but there it is.
2. Arrive in house, and disrobe (jacket, shoes) wherever is most convenient. Thus, you will find my shoes (and I will later be UNABLE to find them) next to the couch, under the dining room table, against the wall, in the middle of the kitchen (I am not kidding). Same with coats and jackets. Tonight I just gathered up all the jackets and coats from various pieces of furniture, and HUNG THEM UP in my closet. Which actually shocked me, how weird and foreign that felt.
3. Bring mail in from mailbox. Open and read in the most convenient/comfortable spot. Like my bed. Toss a few magazines into recycling basket nearby (that’s good, right?). But inevitably, bills or Important Communications will end up under the bed, behind the bedside table, or buried under a mountain of books and socks and stuff.
4. Get ready to go to bed. Disrobe. Toss the socks and underwear in hamper basket (that’s good, right?). But if any clothing stands the remotest chance of being worn again before laundering, hang on bed. Do this until bedpost is completely obliterated. Tonight I took off my sweater. I HUNG IT IN THE CLOSET. I took off my skirt. I was momentarily befuddled because I currently have more skirts than I own skirt hangers. Considered tossing it on the floor. Instead, folded it in half and hung it on a regular hanger. Felt INORDINANTLY proud of myself.

So this is how it goes, right? I’m just trying to develop some mindfulness and stop myself in these moments before I add to another one of my hundreds of piles. If you were to come in my house you would not know I had made the tiniest bit of progress. But I have. Believe me.

And it’s kind of exhausting. But I will keep moving forward.