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!