Other people have described me as ‘organized’ but I have to disagree. I’d like to be organized, I strive to be organized, but I certainly don’t believe that I am organized.
I am creative. I see potential in things – regardless of their actually purpose I can imagine other uses for them and so I collect ‘stuff’. When my son’s kindergarten teacher posted a sign outside the classroom asking for egg cartons I brought her 50 of them the next day – and that was only a small part of my collection. Collections need space and I don’t have a lot of that. My 1200 square foot house is home to my family of five, our two cats and one dog and it is also a licensed childcare facility as well. I use space efficiently and that makes organizing a necessity.
I used to see all unused space as wasted space. Those show homes with soaring two storey great rooms – wasted space that could be a whole other second floor room. My two storey house with nine foot ceilings could be a three story house with six foot ceilings. Ok, that might be stretching it a bit but I have used every nook and cranny to create storage space for my collections. Over the years my husband has enabled my addiction by building more shelves and cabinets. Every new space meant more room to house more collections.
While working on my CBA portfolio organizing stuff often got postponed resulting in many ‘miscellaneous’ boxes. Boxes of random items are bad and I had many of them – organizing stuff was becoming increasingly difficult. Last year I made a pledge to myself to down size the collections and get them under control. I decided to make an effort to throw out or donate at least one bag or box of ‘stuff’ every weekend. Most weekends I have been successful – some weekend I’ve even managed to get rid of several boxes or bags.
Renovation and construction weekends have actually been the most successful because moving things requires sorting and organizing but the process takes a lot of time and energy. For example, this weekend my goal was to set up our new indoor garden space – clear off the top of the cabinet and hang the light fixture. Sounds simple enough but there were books on the cabinet — books that belonged on the bookshelf but it was too full. There were also books and loose papers on my desk and ‘miscellaneous’ boxes under my desk.
So, Friday evening I began organizing and continued throughout the weekend. At one point there was barely room to walk around the piles of stuff strewn around the room – it always looks worse before it gets better. Now, one small part of my world is organized. The bookshelf is neat and tidy – there are no books lying sideways on top of others, no books on my desk, on the cabinet or in boxes. There are no ‘miscellaneous’ boxes under the desk – all of the boxes contain specific collections and two boxes were eliminated completely. Loose papers have been sorted and filed; the top of my desk is empty and the indoor garden area is almost ready for plants – I just need to hang the light fixture.