Before I had kids I was a serious neat freak. Everything in my house, car, and office had a place. My closets and drawers were neatly organized, my kitchen was in order, and my filing system was impeccable. If company was coming over, it would take me a few minutes (if that) to have my home presentable.
Four kids later I’ve had to kiss my perfectionistic tendencies goodbye. If you’ve got children, then you know that keeping your home (and life for that matter) in perfect order is close to impossible.
On most days, juggling work and home responsibilities while keeping the house clean and tidy seems about as likely as climbing Mount Everest. Sure some people do it, but I’m just not one of them.
Recently the stress of keeping up with the “stuff” in my life has been getting to me. And by “stuff” I don’t mean people. I mean items. Four types of items have consumed my closets, attic, floors, and countertops and as a result were beginning to consume me! Toys. Clothes. Paperwork. Artwork. My four pitfalls.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful my children have toys. That they have clothes to wear. That I have paperwork from bills that I am fortunate enough to be able to pay. That my kids are creative enough to produce multiple masterpieces a day. But it all adds up and leaves me more often than not feeling incredibly overwhelmed. Surely I’m not the only one out there who feels this way. I know other moms must feel just as stressed as I am by the sheer number of items that we have to manage in our homes each and every day.
Over the years I’ve developed a strategy to help me stay on top of things at my house. And it has failed miserably. It’s more like a sickness than a strategy really. Here’s how it works. First, buy and read lots of awesome books on how to get organized. While you’re at it, watch reality television shows that help other people get organized for ideas. Then, if you still have too much stuff after reading the great books and watching tv, go purchase a storage tub, put the stuff in it, and then put the tub it in the attic. Like magic the stuff is gone, but it’s still around in the event that one day you might need it.
Let me tell you that the end result here is not the peaceful neat and tidy home that you’ve been longing for. Instead, it’s an attic full of storage tubs that you have no idea why you kept! And if you ever needed one of those important items that you saved, good luck finding it!
So, over the past few weeks I’ve been cleaning out the tubs. And there are A LOT of them. My sister and I have gone through at least twenty of them in the past week. That’s right, twenty! We’ve looked through each one and decided to either keep, donate, or trash every single item. I even took a picture of my donation pile as a future reminder to myself not to hoard things in storage tubs ever again!
Why am I telling you this? Because if you’re like me, you probably have an attic, closet, or garage that is filled with things that you need to de-clutter. It gets to be so overwhelming that you think you might drown in a sea of your own “stuff.” But I’m here to tell you that you can get organized. Don’t get me wrong, it will take a lot of time and effort. You’re going to have to touch each item and decide if you want to keep, donate, or trash it. But when you’re done you’ll be so glad that you got rid of your clutter before it was the end of you.
For my top ten tips, check out my post Keep Your Clutter Under Control