When people have asked the question: “What is one thing you wish you could change about yourself?”, my first thought, after a slightly faster metabolism, is being organized. When I drive through a neighborhood and see someone’s garage door open with bikes hung from rafter hooks, tools lined up on hangers, and assorted bins of sporting equipment, I have an urge to stop and ask if I could take a selfie in front of it…just to fanaticize about what my world would look like if a magic cleaning fairy waved her magic squeegee in my direction.
Organized people don’t use saran wrap on their Tupperware, only to find a stack of lids in some random craft box three moves later…after the said Tupperware has been used as a pet dish and eventually tossed.
One time, I bought a huge three-ring “everything you could ever need to know about being organized” binder. It was obviously written by someone who made Martha, from the Bible, look like a total slacker. The book was full of master copies addressing everything from running a B & B out of your bonus room to keeping track of your child’s fluoride treatments, and the care and nurture of beekeeping. The big selling point was that it came with “a money back guarantee”! If the book didn’t organize my life within a year, I could return it for a full refund or a voucher for home school craft supplies and a pound of fair trade coffee beans.
With hope and enthusiasm, I took out all the relevant pages. I knew once I got everything copied and began the task of filling all the sheets out I would be able to keep track of EVERYTHING! The one thing I hadn’t planed on was having to keep track of all the papers that were now no longer confined to a binder. I lost them. Gone. At the end of the year, not only was I still disorganized, I couldn’t send my half empty book in for a refund. Something needed to change. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be organized; I just was too busy to take the time I needed to really de-clutter and clean beyond the surface. After all, I am a people person who teeters on the edge of being spontaneous. Seriously, we are talking about me. A woman who lost one of her tap shoes and kept the other one for about four years just in case. Just in case what? I run into a one legged tapper who happens to be a size 9?
This year, I have been reading “Clutter Free” and really understanding that clutter isn’t just something that happens in your house, closets, and under the bed. Clutter can become personal and can cost much more than another filing system. The other day while doing a de-cluttering challenge, I came across a box of random things that had been on the desk, then the table, and finally followed the clutter migratory flight pattern to the far corner of my sewing area. Magazines full of tantalizing recipes, old junk mail, craft supplies, and a small brown paper bag filled the repurposed apple box. I opened the bag and out slipped a simple embossed card. My heart sank. It was a card I had purchased and intended to send to a friend who recently lost her spouse. My clutter and disorganization had spilled over beyond myself. With the card in my hand, I decided that what I have it isn’t about freeing up space in your drawers, but in your life and your heart.
My word for 2015 is BALANCE. It is something I will be talking about for the next twelve months. For now, I am taking it one closet and cupboard at a time and cleaning out the things that do not matter to make room for the things that do. ~ Marci
You can find out more about Marci at her website, and you can also discover her two books, The Adventures of Pearley Monroe and Empty Nest:Strategies To Help Your Kids Take Flight!
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She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.
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