Cry For Help

A random sampling of the crap that’s strewn around my office at home: Aveda carribean therapy body scrub, CDs (Liz Phair, Kings of Convenience, The Innocence Mission, and an old boyfriend’s demo from 2001), books books books, lamps, suitcases, and a Rosacea: Are You At Risk? pamphlet, presumably from a dermatologist. And a MILLION OTHER THINGS.

This room is out of control and has been for-freakin-ever. I don’t know where to start. I suspect there’s a lot that can be thrown out, but mostly I just see Things That I Don’t Know What The Hell To Do With, like a perfectly good clock radio or a purse somebody gave me that I don’t like. God, I’m turning into one of those people, aren’t I? They’ll be digging me out of here someday with the jaws of life.

Funny enough I’m actually pretty organized in most other areas of life. I just let this one spot become completely out of control. It’s to the point now where it’s totally distracting and unnerving and too much time has gone by and I’m just not doing anything about it. I’ve had friends who have tried to just organize the room for me, or at least clear a path, and have reinforced the idea that, yes, most of the stuff is crap that I should just throw away, particularly if I haven’t needed it or missed it for two years. But, but… but! Maybe I’ll need it someday! And how do you just throw away a framed picture you had in your first apartment or a pin that says “Dated The Groom”? Okay, the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Any born organizers who can offer suggestions? Or tough love-distributors who can encourage me to take advantage of this long weekend and STOP PROCRASTINATING ALREADY?

Even the word “procrastinating” makes me want to lie down and take a delightful nap. I have a sickness, people.

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12 Responses to “Cry For Help”


  1. 1 Stefanie November 20, 2007 at 10:11 am

    I have no tips for you, but since I have a similar situation in both my home office and my upstairs bedroom, I’d be interested in any tips you receive that actually spur you to action.

  2. 2 Lara November 20, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Hmm. I have had this problem in my WHOLE HOUSE. Don’t belive me? Check out these two “before” pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11779516@N05/2035818496/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/11779516@N05/1985409324/in/set-72157603114840909/. I think you just have to suck it up and do it. I dont’ have any issues with throwing crap away (that I know of…although Rob would probably disagree here) – but since you do, here are two suggestions: (1) buy a giant rubbermaid container and throw everything in there, then put it in your basement until you are ready to toss it away; or (2) if you hesitate about whether to throw something out or to keep it, that is a sign that you should toss it.

  3. 3 -R- November 20, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I have been cleaning my house for my mother’s arrival, and I just filled two boxes with crap and shoved them in the closet in my office. Where they will probably remain until we move some day. So I have no advice.

  4. 4 Jen November 20, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Red, I hear you. We just recently did a major purge of our place. What worked for us might work for you….plan on a specific date/time, then…NO HOLDS BARRED. Whatever hadn’t been worn/used/thought about/looked at in the past year got tossed. We ended up giving a lot of stuff to Goodwill (except the pants my boyfriend had worn through on the bum? Weird. How did those holes get there??? But I digress). Anyway, my sister also did a purge and sold some of her stuff on e-Bay. But we were too ruthless to keep anything around once we decided we didn’t need it. Good luck!

  5. 5 d November 20, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    it looks like a bomb exploded in there.

  6. 6 Jess November 20, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Oh man. Our apartment looks beyond hellish. It kept getting more and more hellish in the weeks leading up to our trip to Germany, and we kept meaning to clean it and not having time, and now it’s still hellish but it also has three suitcases worth of crap strewn across it, and also we did laundry but were too tired from jet lag to put it away so it’s all piled on the couch, getting wrinkled. It’s awful. I have no idea when we’ll find the time to deal with it, but given that Thanksgiving is about to happen, I’m going to bet it won’t be anytime soon.

  7. 7 Kate November 20, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I say again: It would be my greatest delight to organize that mess. I do fear for you getting trapped in there. And if I’m not mistaken, did I not also find a freakin’ DIAMOND necklace on the floor? (Probably next to the “Organize your office!” issue of Real Simple.)

  8. 8 yeahsoanyway November 20, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Stefanie, will do.

    -R-, Jen, Jess, glad I’m not alone!

    D, I know. I KNOW.

    Kate, I should probably just take you up on that longstanding offer. And ha, no, it was a necklace I had to wear in a wedding once. It was part of my bridesmaid “gift” and I think it was from Things Remembered. So no worries.

  9. 9 Anna November 20, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Make three piles – keep, toss, give away. Make quick decisions, and most of it should go in one of the latter two piles. You don’t need it and you won’t miss it when it’s gone! You will feel so much better once you accomplish this goal and I bet you won’t let the room get that way ever again.

  10. 10 yeahsoanyway November 20, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Anna, thanks!

  11. 11 cupcake November 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Ok so here is what I think you should do: Instead of trying to tackle the entire room, just take five things out of the room at once and decide if you are going to use it at all in the next two weeks. If not, then donate it to charity, throw it away, etc. Eventually, you will not have anything left to move in the room after a few months of randomly picking out five things. BABY STEPS. Focus on only a few things at once and not the entire debacle. Not only will you get it done, but you will be boosting your karma when you donate, and you will have the psychological high of doing something, despite how small it is (progress is progress). Mind over matter. Ok that is my two cents.

  12. 12 yeahsoanyway November 23, 2007 at 1:59 am

    Cupcake, makes sense! Thank you.


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