Sunday, February 03, 2008

Organizing - and The Stuff

So ... a little history. My mother is a neatnik, so's my dad. They like lots of Stuff, but it's neat and tidy or at least put away somewhere no one can see if it's a mess. I was, as are many children/teens - a total slob. Really bad. food under the bed, clothes everywhere.

So how did I become an organizer, a person who actually went to someones house and helped her clean up - someone who ruthlessly culled all the junk/stuff/things in the basement and who is trying to keep this speck of an apartment neat? CONTROL. I needed to control something in my life. At the time, DH was deployed. I was working, granted at a great firm for a fun boss (who I really miss right now) but I was on a treadmill. get up, go to bus stop, go to work, go to bus stop, come home. Round and round and round. I controlled nothing in my life, The Army controlled the most important part, the kid was in his own family with a wife and baby and didn't need me, the work was controlled by the Court and the boss... and the house was a pit. I had nested into the couch, stuff piled around me, with the laptop on the living room table. I couldn't find anything, I hated coming home to the mess.

The closet had been organized before he left, we designed it well.. and there were piles everywhere now. He's not neat, at all, so it wasn't as if I was somehow mad at him and letting it all go. I lived out of laundry baskets, and didn't really care about how I looked or if I wore the same few outfits over and over.

So I watched one of those shows.. they had an entire weekend of it on.. and I started. I got the closet shoveled first, and then the pantry.. and then the rest of the kitchen. Then - the living room. That took a long time, not just because I didn't take the time, taking apart my nest was scary. Then I took pleasure in the clean - then we listed the house and it was necessary. It was wonderful to come home to clean, neat, tidy, organized. Then the deployment ended. Neat wasn't so important, but the house WAS still on the market (hell, it still IS on the market) Organizing for the move was crucial, and I think it helped, but I will do better the next time.

Control - well the Army still does control a lot of our lives, he's off for a few days down to another base down south and that's not going to be easy (bringing back all those deployment memories) but the house is organized, a little untidy when I'm in the middle of something, but we organized it when we moved in, and that helps. I have a place for the Stuff and a lot less of it.

If you are drowning in stuff and clutter and hate it, pick a little something, a book case, or a small closet and dig in. Promise, it'll help. If you are in the DC area, let me know, I'll spend a Saturday with you shoveling!



Nazarii said...

I don't get it, how can you be a proud liberal and proud of the military? I thought liberals were against a strong military and military action?

Keep in mind this is not a personal attack, I'm just a little confused. Please clarify.

trying said...

I totally agree that organizing helps when they are away. I found that since the military controls so much of our lives I need more of my own control on certain things. I need to have my pantry organized like no ones buisness.... its just my oulet. Great post!

Ann M. said...

We have this one really deep closet in our hallway here and it is kind of a dumping ground. The problem was that it has absolutely no shelves, so getting anything OUT of it was a disaster. Finally, we bought some cheap plastic shelves at Lowe's. I spent an afternoon putting it together and reorganizing. It felt sooo good. Now I have to stop myself from showing it to people every time they come over!

liberal army wife said...

nazarii- I am not ignoring your question. This is a subject I feel strongly about, and I'm trying to write something that is worthy of the question and the thought. I do thank you for the polite way you asked!

Ann M - I know... me too! not that closet, but the new office.. and I NEED to get the spare room closet that well organized.


Catharine said...

Oh, how I wish I were in the DC area, and we could spend a Saturday reorganizing my place! Then afterwards we could go out and I'd gratefully buy you lunch. Wouldn't that be a hoot? ~C~

Mel said...

man, i wish i was still in the dc area...i need that shovel hitting me from behind as i prepare to get this house on the market. meanwhile, i am assessing what we truly need to have as most stuff will be going into storage for the next two years with a weight limit going to Korea. any hints or guidelines you got from that weekend of watching the show as to thresholds for keeping stuff?:)

liberal army wife said...

Mel - do you use it all the time. do you NEED it. Have you used it in the last 6 months - 1 year. If you say NO to these - either get rid of it, or put it into storage. OR - do you cherish and treasure it? if you do, can you live without it for 2 years. Don't forget - clearing the decks means SHOPPING!! If this means a lot to you, it's a family treasure, pack it carefully and put into storage, you don't want to take the chance of it either being stolen or broken.


Mel said...

LAW - thanks for those tips:) i definitely have sorted out the majority of our family treasures/meaningful items when we moved here in 05. Created a storage unit that we'd unpack after retirement and had just enough to put in the house of sentimental items (lladros, couple china tea cups..those sort of items). Now since we'll only get 25% of the regular weight allowance while going to Korea, I am doing the same drill again. And for the most part as I go through items, I am like, I just want to sell/freecyle the majority of everything.

thanks :)

Tanya said...

:) I totally love doing that-- taking a shovel and digging someone out of their mess. I guess it's because I'm nosy and love looking at peoples' stuff!

Only works if it's not my place though-- good thing my beau's a neat freak.

ABW said...

I wish I could do it in my own house, but I can't. Sure wish I lived closer!!! I am great at shoveling through my mom's crap aka "treasures"!