Monday, May 5, 2008

coming up for air

It was a tough weekend. I thought the closet, a.k.a The Black Hole, was going to kill me! My feet were dragging, and my tongue was hanging out. I almost gave up. Almost. I don't want to speak too soon or anything, but I think I might finally be winning. The closet put up a mad fight, but I can see the pile diminishing.

Okay, it's probably a pretty obvious point, but I was trying to put waaaaay too much stuff into that space. It started becoming apparent to me when I had the entire bed--stacked about three feet high, mind you--full of stuff, four tall stacks of drawers and boxes in the hall, and a couple more tall stacks in the bedroom. I looked in the closet, and there was STILL more stuff to come out.

I heard something last week about weeding out clothes (I'm so sorry I can't give credit because I forgot where I heard it!), but anyway, it applies to my whole closet as well! The theory was that you pretend you're packing for a month long trip. Of course, you'd put all your favorite clothes in there, and anything that was left over was probably something you don't like and seldom wear. Why keep it?

I thought about that while I was installing shelves and hanger bars. Okay, I have a surplus. Why don't I pick out the things I MOST want to have in my closet? I'll figure out what to do with the rest of it afterwards. See, I always get stuck when I start sorting, because my mind goes in this vicious circle--I almost typed viscuous, but that works, too!

I can always pick my favorites's just thinking about getting rid of the rest of it that gets me. I get stuck in this rut: "I don't have room for that. I'll just throw it away. Oh, I can't throw it out. What will I do when I need that again? Where am I going to put it? There isn't enough space. Where could I put it instead? If I put it over there, I'll have to move that. Where will I put it? I don't have room for it."

And somewhere along the line, the voice changes. Instead of me talking to myself, I hear this scolding voice haranguing me, "You can't throw that away. You spent x amount of dollars on that. It's perfectly good. Someone could use that. You can't waste it. Reuse it. Recycle it. You have to find someone who can use it. And where are you going to put it in the meantime?"...and on, and on...

You get the idea. Yuk. So anyway, I prioritized the things I wanted in my space. In a perfect world, I asked myself, what are the only things I would want in my closet room? Clothes and scrap stuff. So I'm narrowing it down that way. I'm just not thinking about the rest of the stuff yet. I will deal with it, but if the closet/room is full of the stuff I really want in there, it's easier to keep out the stuff I don't want in there. So it's kind of like a Clean Sweep for my room.

Anytime one of those thoughts wants to sneak in, I just put my hand up. Stop. You know the ones I'm talking about. They say, "What about this piece of whatever? Where will you put it?" Oh, yes, never mind. I went there already.

Do you see what I have to deal with in my mind? At least in all things cleaning related. It's my worst enemy sometimes. It's kind of scary in here!

But I am making progress! I bought ClosetMaid shelf strips and brackets and got my shelves installed in one end of the closet. Top to bottom, side to side. I love them! In the other end, I put a hanger bar that goes from front to back instead of side to side. I don't have that many things that I hang up.

My shoe basket will go on the floor underneath the hanging clothes. I thought about shoe shelves, but I'm much more of a basket person as far as shoes are concerned. And then the rest of my clothes are going to go on the shelves or in drawers.

I moved my writing desk into the middle of the closet, and I'm so excited! I'm going to have a real scrapping space. Not very big, but it'll be all mine. The top of the desk folds out into a working surface. All my stuff will be accessible. It's not done yet, but I can see it in the distance.

I still have to clean out my desk and rearrange the "stuff" in the room that I didn't have time to put away yet, but the structure that is going to hold everything is selected and mostly in place. Some things are going to be extras, and if I can't figure out where to put them, maybe I'll just donate them. They'll make someone happy, maybe even another clutter-crazy freak like me.


Honest to Ya~Ya said...

I like the month long trip idea...I need to do that!

PS..come by my place today as I'm having a Mother's Day giveaway!

fortyb4forty said...

Good for you, I had to clean out my closet a few weeks ago when the roof leaked and there was a big mess. My goal now is to think of my closet when I am shopping and if there's room for anymore or if am I willing to get rid of something to make room.

Sandra said...

You know what? You just gave me a great idea, I actually AM leaving next week for a month long trip to Africa, so when I pack I'm going to do exactly what you talked about.

Whatever I don't take is because I don't like it or don't wear it, so why keep it? I'll just give it away. Thank you so much :)

daisy said...

b4 forty, can you believe that I've NEVER thought of that? I buy clothes willy nilly when I'm shopping, never thinking of where they will go. I think the "Duh" 2x4 just whacked me! :)

Sandra, wow...a month long trip to Africa? That's pretty exciting! Glad I could help with something. That is one place I've never been.

bethn said...

Good for you. I still have shirts in my closet that haven't fit in 4 years and I didn't really like when they did fit, but they're still hanging there right alongside the bridesmaid dress from my brothers wedding that I will most certainly never wear again. One of these days I might actually have to clean out some of those things.