So my boyfriend left today for the first of a few 4-5 day trips for work. Lately we’ve both been busy and stressed out, and the state of our apartment is reflecting that to an almost-embarrassing degree. To be perfectly honest, a lot of the clutter is mine. I’ve always been a packrat, and I’ve always struggled with tidying and organizing, when I could be spending that time doing something (ANYTHING) else. I’m trying to change those bad habits, slowly.

I know that I don’t enjoy tidying on a day-to-day basis, so I’m trying to find ways to make it less torturous. Music sometimes helps, but sometimes gets me too busy shaking my booty to do anything that resembles productivity. Organizational products just create more places to PUT stuff, so that my “organizing” is as cluttered with STUFF as my clutter.

I’m realising, too, as I think about my habits around my home, just how much my home reflects on my attitude and habits in other areas of my life. My half-assed attitude towards cleaning is shockingly similar to my half-assed attempts at cleaner eating, increased activity, and weight loss; similar to some of my attitudes towards school, in the past; the comparisons are endless. Sheesh, what’s my issue?

Well, this week, I’m going to try to hack away at the apartment. I’m making a list, which is overwhelming as all get out. The list means I get to cross things off, and I LOVE crossing things off. I love it way too much. Mmmm strike-through. Even if the entire list isn’t finished by the time A gets home, things will certainly be looking up.

So, my request of you, my dear few readers:

  • Come out of the woodwork and comment.
  • Tell me what you do to get motivated to clean/organize, or what has inspired you/taught you to do it.
  • Talk to me about the difference it makes.
  • Also, for kicks, donate or throw away at least 5 things you don’t use. Seriously.

5 Responses to “Organize.”

  1. 1 contadine

    I find that if you do it more frequently (not like every day, but at least every season), it’s a lot easier to tackle the next time around.

    I have a major clean out seasonally, and I’m brutal. If I haven’t used it in the last year, it goes. If it’s part of a hobby that I picked up, but never got super passionate about, it goes. I list everything I can on eBay and throw the rest away. I usually end up making a fair amount of money, so that’s a huge motivating factor for me.

    What works best for me is to set aside a few days to devote just to “the purge”. A holiday weekend, or I take a day or two off work. That way I don’t feel like it’s cutting into my normal schedule, which makes it a little less unappealing.

    I also have lots of small, kind of hidden storage places, like little cubbies under the tv, etc, and I designate them for specific purposes. Like one is just for knitting, another for magazines, etc. So even if I need to shove a bunch of stuff out of the way at the last minute when company is coming over, I take the extra 3 seconds to shove it into the “right” hiding place. Then, I at least know where to look for it later, and things aren’t all mixed together.

  2. 2 betzymonster

    I am fully the opposite. I clean to waste time, I clean to procrastinate. I clean whenever I have many many other things I should be doing instead. If I have an exam to study for, a gym to go to, ajob to apply for, phone calls to make, etc… I’ll be found scrubbing the tile grout.

    My tips:

    -Throw stuff away (have a friend help who has NO attachment to your so-called sentimental stuff)

    -Have only ONE junk drawer!

    -If you aren’t good at cleaning, don’t have nic-nacs that have to be dusted and straightened. Be a minimalist!

    -Don’t look at it as an entire house/flat/apartment to be cleaned. Break it up into smaller goals. Maybe tackle one room at a time.

    – pick up magazines, old mail, etc. Anything over three months old goes in the trash/recycling bin. Anything 1-3 months old goes in a magazine rack or gets donated to the chemo ward at my local hospital (I sat with my partner in the chemo ward and learned all about Jen and Brad’s wedding – those are OLD magazines!)

    -since you love the strike through, make yourself a detailed to do list so you can cross off heaps of stuff.

    – Every time you buy a new toiletry, throw out an old one. You bought a new one because the old one was either empty or didn’t suit you anymore probably!

    Living clean and organized will reflect in your life. If you put in 100% toward making your home clean, it will snowball.. your life your diet your work, everything will become 100%.

    I live with 6 other people. It is HARD to keep up with the cleaning!!

  3. 3 rhythmandthesea

    I agree with Betzymonster. I clean when I have something else to do. In Ottawa, I lived with a couple of the messiest people ever. I found that whenever I was stressed or avoiding studying, or even just avoiding AOII drama or boys or sleep or roommates or the cold weather – I cleaned and organized. You know me – I’m not a clean freak, I’m not super organized. However, I’ve found that over time I’ve become more and more involved in keeping my spaces clean.

    When I moved back here, Gill and Tinashe helped me with packing. Turns out I had a LOT of crap around I didn’t need. They provided a 2nd and 3rd pair of eyes that saw what I didn’t: my stuff was old. My stuff was falling apart. My stuff was useless. My stuff was simply that: stuff. I haven’t missed any of the things they helped me give a new home (ie: the garbage, donations or gifts to my neighbours) and I know I never will. If you can’t get anyone to help, just put things in piles: don’t use, won’t use, don’t want to use. Put on your favourite movie taht you have seen a MILLION AND ONE times and give yourself a night, an afternoon, even a whole day. That way you won’t feel bad about sitting around re-reading those old notes or staring at those photographs or remembering when you wore that awful shirt or thinking about the day you wore those shoes and you fell in a pothole. Seriously. It works. And once you’ve done all that, once a week do a mini-marathon of the same thing – only this time, do it for 30 minutes.

    Once you are done, give yourself a treat. Have a bubble bath or have sex or eat a cupcake or take a nap or do anything that will reward you for all your work!!!!


  4. I have to admit, I like having a tidy home, but I thought I would share a few things that make the task more pleasant for me.

    I try to pair something I like with cleaning, so I will put on a humorous movie or fun energizing music, anything to keep my mind occupied.

    I have a sister who talks endlessly on the phone with me (it is more of a monologue that a conversation). Sometimes I put my headset on the phone and tidy up while I listen. Don’t tell her.

    Finally, the television show “How Clean is Your House” makes me want to clean all day long. Those ladies are so funny and they make the tasks seem fun. Plus, you learn cleaning and organizing tips along the way!

    Here is a YouTube user that uploads numerous episodes:

    Here is an unbelievable episode that will make you think that the state of your home is quite nice after all.

    Finally, as someone already said, reward yourself afterwards. For me, I love having a bubble bath in a clean tub, followed by a night of rest in clean fresh sheets.

    Good luck!

  5. 5 practiceliving

    Thanks for your comments, all!

    Contadine – I agree with the seasonal purge, it’s a huge help. I’m brutal too, but somehow the stuff just grows again! 😉 I like the idea of hidden storage – I’ll have to see if I can find some more ways to set that up in our apartment.

    Betzymonster – I wish I cleaned to procrastinate! That would be amazing. Luckily/unluckily I have no junk drawer – small apartment means little storage… that’s why stuff ends up EVERYWHERE! 😛

    Caitlin – “thinking about the day you wore those shoes and you fell in a pothole.” AHAHAH yeah I threw those shoes out when I moved in May. 😛 I really think I just need to make a 30min 1-2x a week “appointment” with myself to tidy/purge. Stuff like cleaning the toilet or washing the dishes happens on a regular basis, it’s the fussy, tidying chores that I’m like “OH GOD” about.

    Sinistral – Oh god, that “How Clean is Your House” show is terrifying – I remember finding it randomly one day and being shocked that people could live like that! Luckily my house isn’t as bad as those ones!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: