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A Crisis of Clutter!

by Pennie on June 6, 2013


I don’t know about you but I get a little wacky when the clutter builds up too much.  Which is a little strange since, by nature, I live a cluttered existence.  I really don’t know how to live uncluttered.

My desktop is covered in papers, my dresser is covered in knick-knacks and more papers, and the floor of my closet looks like a shoe store exploded in there. I’m one of those people who don’t like to have drop-in guests. If the doorbell rings unexpectedly – I panic.

I don’t know if I started out that way, but by the time I was an adult the clutter tendencies were definitely there. It was a real struggle for me to maintain a well groomed home when my daughter was younger and before I divorced. But once other people moved out of my home, the clutter bug bit me hard.

There are probably a couple of psychological reasons for it. I grew up in a relatively poor household, so once I only had to buy for myself, I did it in a big way. Also, I was chief cook and bottle washer in my family, so it always fell on me to do a large portion of the household chores. And one of my parttime jobs in high school was house cleaning. I think those last 2 items made me rebel against cleaning later in life. Whatever the reason, here I sit amidst my clutter!

I also have a bad memory for some things (not numbers – I can remember account numbers from 30 years ago), things like “Do I have one of those widgets? I don’t think so, so let me pick one up.”. Which ends up with me having 2 or 3 or 4 of the same item. I also don’t have a system for where everything should go (which reinforces the previous problem). Seriously, I have a dresser and a chest of drawers in my bedroom, but I can only tell you specifically what is in 2 drawers (socks & underwear). All of my other clothes seem to be playing a constant game of musical chairs (or in my case, musical drawers).

I don’t have a specific place for my keys when I come in the house, or a place where I put my bag. Leaving the house always starts with a hunt for lost treasure! I’ve read articles and books and blogs and watched shows on how to declutter, but the thought of starting overwhelms me. So things pile up a little bit more. Which brings me back to my original problem; too much clutter makes me wacky.

I’m not sure I can define my tipping point, but whenever I hit it, I run around like a crazed monkey, straightening, neatening, throwing stuff out, etc.. Because it really makes me feel a little mentally unhinged. The stack of papers on my desk right now is affecting me like when I was sitting in the back seat of our car with my younger brother when he was being a brat and not quite poking me but coming this close. It’s getting on my last nerve. So my vicious cycle is getting ready to start again.

You would think that when I get back down to the livable clutter state I would do something to create a better system. But so far, it just hasn’t happened. Not sure what is holding me back, but I’d really like to end this once and for all. I really am tired of stuff. I need the purge gene that skipped me and went straight to my brother. Unfortunately, I got the pack-rat gene which makes me hang onto stuff just in case.

Do any of you have this problem? If so, how about passing along some tips (cheap tips, please). Maybe one of you will inspire me to create the living space of my dreams!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon June 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm

i’m right there with ya. i just try to declutter one thing at a time, and for the rest, i put things in the various rooms where i’m supposed to organize them later. that way they’re semi-organized and i can remember the room, or the place, where i’m supposed to look for what i want 😛

2 Mary A June 7, 2013 at 5:18 am

I can so relate to the clutter problem although I am finally (in my old age) lots better than I used to be about it. I still struggle a bit with clothing piled on a chair in our bedroom, and definitely I relate to you about the desk…mine is always cluttered too and sometimes I lose things as they get under papers etc. I keep trying to be more organized so maybe some day I’ll really achieve it.

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