I must confess I am a pack-rat. I used to keep all sorts of papers in my office and home. When I got married we rented this three bedroom house. There was the master bedroom which is ours and two other singleâ€™s bedrooms. We both moved out of our parents house, have never lived on our own. So he brought all his stuff, that was kept in a 8square meter bedroom to a 90 square meter house. I did just the same. Oh, the space to be filled!!! That was in 2003.
We filled the entire house with furniture, old computer parts, papers (lots and lots of it), and all sorts of clutter. The two spare bedrooms were our throw away stuff place: throw away and close the door! They were filled with boxes, old books, VHS tapes, two monitors in one, three old CPUs in other, and old furniture my husband brought from his parents house. The bedrooms were so crammed that sometimes there wasnâ€™t space to walk into one. I managed, one or two times, to empty one of the bedrooms, but the other, well…letâ€™s just say that if the clutter wasnâ€™t going out, it had to go somewhere else.My garage was also packed, we couldn’t walk acroos it. I always thought I had too little storage space. No, I had too much clutter, but I didnâ€™t want to throw anything away, because I might need it sometime later on. I never threw away old magazines, nor articles because sometime I would get around to read them. The time never came.
The house was a mess. I never wanted anyone to come over because cleaning involved so much work that I would spend two or three days cleaning before the house looked acceptable. And I had to hide the clutter somewhere. So the living room looked ok, the kitchen was fairly clean, but ALL the bedrooms were packed with stuff, that I had removed from â€œok roomsâ€. It was very stressful. I wanted to get pregnant, but how I was going to have a baby living in this mess? Then, one day, in 2007, I read an article in old Readerâ€™s Digest magazine whose title lay on the front in big capital letters: â€œCLUTTER? GET RID OF IT, NOW!â€. Shea Dean wrote it in 2002 about her experience with a personal organizer, and how it solved her paper clutter problem. So I read the article over and over again. I had found my solution!
One night I went to my office and started sorting through the mountains and stacks of papers everywhere. I got a big garbage bag and went to work. At first I filled only one bag. A few weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. That is when my decluttering really began. To have a baby I needed to have a tidy house for him. So I had to declutter so my little baby could have the space. Clutter was taking the room that would be my babyâ€™s room. My husband thought it was some kind of â€œpregnancy hormones crazinessâ€, because I wanted to clean, throw rubbish away, get the room painted, get brand new furniture for the baby, and have clear floors so my baby could play, just like I did when I was a child. At the end of the pregnancy I had a whole room decluttered and just some old stuff in the other room. I took out of the house about 7 or 8, big (100 liters) garbage bags FULL OF PAPERS AND CLUTTER!Â But by no means the clutter problem had ended!
I still didnâ€™t have any idea how the clutter got generated, so in just over 6 months, after the baby was born I had clutter problem again. The second bedroom was still there, empty, just calling my name to store clutter there and forget about it. And store stuff I did. On my son’s first birthday, I had a party at my house. No one could go into that bedroom, because I cleaned the rest of the house and threw everything there. I canâ€™t remember what most of it was, but there it was taking up a WHOLE ROOM IN MY HOUSE! I didnâ€™t know what to do. I read that article about clutter again. But I felt overwhelmed by the mess. One day I was at a virtual magazine and found a link to a blog about happiness (The Happiness Project), and there had a link to Unclutterer. I went to the blog and just browsed looking for inspiration.
Well, inspiration came slowly, but, as I got pregnant again decisions had to be made. So I decided that I had decluttered one bedroom for one baby, I would declutter the other for the coming one. First of all I took everything out of the room and cleared it to be painted. I decided that nothing that had been there would go back. Everything went into my bedroom. I swear I felt like I was in one of the â€œHoardersâ€ episode. The room was packed. But I had to sleep, and soon I would be heavily pregnant so I got a person to help start the cleaning and purging process.
As before I was single minded and focused. I wanted a nice house. I wanted my babies to be able to crawl, walk and run without risking injury because of clutter. I was ruthless. Everything I thought wouldnâ€™t be used ever again, good, rusty or broken, was recycled, donated, thrown in the rubbish. I took me two weeks to get my bedroom looking normal again. But there were still clutter spots. Last year I bought a car. I cleared the garage so I could park it inside. Before I discovered 365lessthings, I found the courage to recycle all my teens magazines. It was odd, and I realized how old I was. I mean River Phoenix was still alive when I collected those magazines and heâ€™s been dead for ages. So thatâ€™s how my house went from â€œfor Godâ€™s sake never come here unannounced!!!(with three days to spare)â€ to â€œsure come now and letâ€™s have some coffee!â€.
I am, by no means, finished, but now I can afford baby steps, going and sorting out one cupboard, one drawer, one small space at a time, and seeing how things get better. I struggled with items that have a special meaning, but because of decluttering I can analyze and decide with care what goes and what stays.
Thanks for continually supporting my journey, because no matter how far I have come thereâ€™s always space to go a little further.