Tuesday, September 08, 2009

drag and drop

i think i need a clean up filter for my brain. you know how when you need to clean up your computer desk top, you simply drag and drop all sorts of digital clutter to the trash? i so need this for my brain. this great purge of the casa would be a whole lot easier if i could just point and click at things. where is mary poppins when you need her?

i know i have told y'all that i am a hoarder. i am quite sure it has been shouted from rooftops. i can't help it, it's in my genes. this compulsion to hoard and hold onto things is in direct opposition of my wanting to live a bit more simply. on the one hand, it is great for the environment because i don't throw anything away but on the other hand the real estate in the tiny casa is the size of a postage stamp, customized of course, like from zappos.bags and bags and bags of things have been donated to various thrift shops. niftier things have been passed along to friends. even niftier things are waiting patiently for me to photograph and add to a brand spanking new shop. there is fabric everywhere. in boxes, in bags, in totes stuffed into corners, placed atop tall things, tipping ever so precariously towards the top of mr. a-go-go's head. this tiny real estate is getting a wee bit dangerous!there are odd objects crammed into nooks and all over the floor. there are pez dispensers, vintage pipe cleaners, paper scraps i cannot throw away because they may come in handy for a craft project. there are simply no surfaces left to tuck things away but the good news is that all this stuff, this junk, this crap isn't all over simply because i am some sort of junk fiend, it is all over because i am sifting through it. i am finally getting into the thick of the purge.

why is it always worse before it gets better?

i am stuck in a catch 22. a major catch. a catch like no other yet just like everything else in my life. i can't do this until this is done but i can't do that until that happens. ya know what i mean? i think my problem is that i want to be able to do it right on the first try but when have i ever done it right in that way? when have i ever done it right the second or third times? when have i ever done it right ever? it's that icky feeling of stuck that is creeping up on me but getting stuck when i am so close to finishing is kinda silly. but tell that to my brain. see? drag and drop!so here is what i am asking. hang in there with me and let me know i can do this. let me know i am not the only one who makes things more twisty confusing than they really are. let me know that my brain is okay and in good company. let me know that getting a load of laundry done and baking muffins instead of cleaning is totally normal. it is, isn't it?so i will attempt to go through one box or bag at a time. i will make sure that everything (well, mostly everything) will have its place and that duplicates will be passed along. i will ignore these funny diagrams i have been writing because rather than attack i want to have a game plan but how can you have a game plan when you don't even know what the heck is in all those containers? yes, i will attempt to go through at least five containers. i will. you can ask me tomorrow, nag me even and i will throw things away and recycle what i can and at some point when the clutter threatens to suck my soul away i will bake some muffins. does that sound like a good plan? i think so.


  1. i am trying so hard to purge my house of excess crap too. it's not easy...not at all.

    good luck with your purge!

  2. you are going to feel a load lift when things get lightend up. sorta like a clean kitchen counter :)

    can't wait to see the shop you pull together!

  3. I love the clean kitchen counter comment...so true!

    Making muffins is exactly the right thing to do, my dear. You are in the middle (or near the end) of a huge task and you need a little fun amidst all of that.

    5 boxes...you can do that and make those muffins! :)

  4. Anonymous12:14 PM

    i've been trying to clean out my office closet while working on a t-shirt quilt, and right now the office looks like a hurricane blew right through it. i always think it's a little like playing the parking lot game.

    but i just start tackling that one box, that one bag, that one corner. it always ends up better than ever once i get there.

    there is an end in sight, i promise!

    i love your little casa. you can tell it's a home built by happy, loving, creative people.


  5. Anonymous12:48 PM

    Dearest Jessica: Some of my thoughts of how I get rid of things.
    Take the best of the bunch and give away the rest.
    Think how long it's been since you've looked at the item and will you really use it?
    How hard will it be to use the item, or would it be easier on your mind to let it go?
    Use what you keep before you get more.
    If the items are taking away from the value of your life and living space, be free to let it go.
    Use what you have before buying more and before you know it, this will become a habit.
    Think about the item you want for a day, and see if you still really want it.
    My favorites (for me): How many times have I had to move the dang thing out of my way? And - Think of whoever will be blessed by the item I have been hanging on to.
    You can do it!

  6. I know what you mean about not being able to do this until that is done and so forth...

    I had a friend come help me clean my bedroom and closet (and she didn't even judge me!!!) and it was amazing help! She's gonna help me with my craft room next. I think thats the way to go - have someone help you that can help you make those touch decisions! Good Luck!

  7. i'll be there with waders and a shovel and a ginormous coffee or two once the kids are back in school - 1.5 more day!!!!


  8. I agree, have someone come over and help, if you have someone to talk to, it helps keep you from over-obsessing on each item, and if you know someone who's half the hoarder you are, well, they might just take a big chunk of it home with them! (and if I weren't all the way up here in Portland, OR, I would totally come help and take some of that off your hands, nevermind the quagmire I'm sitting in as I type!)

    My own casa purge crawls along as well, and it's just a little bit at a time, but I'm starting to see progress. Like those sliding puzzles where you only have the one open space, and then suddenly the numbers start lining up!

    You Can Do It!

  9. I've been watching that tv show on A&E called Hoarders and it really does motivate me to purge my house of piles of stuff. I know you can do it! When you get rid of old things and supplies, you make room for new wonderful things and creativity!

  10. We are planning to downsize to a very small studio apartment in San Fran. To do so, I must get rid of much stuff. I've been doing well this summer. Boxes and Boxes of books have left the house as well as clothes and stuff. There are now empty drawers in the spare bedroom. All of the closets have room now and are easy to manuever. I still have boxes and boxes of books to pack and haul away. Guess I'll buy a Kindle when we move.

  11. That is exactly what is happening with me - I can't get through this until THIS is done- but I've also got two small people climbing over it all and pulling stuff out as I go. I tend to give up on whatever sorting task I'm on and bake something instead (creating more mess!).
    I think I'll take some tips from your commenters...Hope you get thru' yours!

  12. Stuff...it is a curse and yet so gorgeous at the same time. I live in a 3 bedroom with Sophie my dog, a cat who only comes to demand food and a parakeet that my cat caught which has now had a stroke or something. I do not need this large of a house since my children are all on their own, but selling right now? I may have to pay them the way the economy is at the moment. So like you, I am attempting to rid myself of so much and simplify. I actually have 6 sets of flatware! I also have an extra bedroom that my ex called 'the mystery room'. Eleven years later he would say the same thing. I just store everything in there. But how much do I and 3 small animals need? I decided that I would donate everything I wasn't actually really truly today using. And I am the queen of project half way done, so I have lots of craft supplies that I am letting go of. They go in the box, then back out, then in, then out, you get the picture, it is fighting the urge that I might need it tomorrow. There has already been a lot of tomorrows. It does feel good each time progress is made doesn't it though?
    I try to think of it as making the world a more beautiful place, through someone else's hands. That helps. Sometimes I pray a blessing for the reciever on something I am giving or giving away.
    You are extremely talented and bring so much beauty...you know what to keep and what to pass on to someone else who may need to find their gift of beauty through you.
    Go slow, think twice, and after a defined progress, reward yourself. Just not with more stuff, perhaps a massage or Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream or okay, maybe a killer pair of shoes.

  13. I forgot this part. I looked around one day and thought OMG, if I died tomorrow they would all talk so much shit about me because of my stuff and my lack of organization. Then I would have to haunt them from Heaven and I think I would get in trouble with God for that. You know, the whole turn the other cheek thing.

  14. Ya know, we creative types are hoarders. We see the possibility in things and grab them.

    And, unfortunately, I find that as soon as I get rid of something, a need for the dang thing comes up. Never fails.


  15. Anonymous12:01 PM

    oh man. I know what you mean.. right now I literally can't walk in my 9 square meter room. And indeed so torn between wanting a more organized, well ordered life and loving all that is interesting, pretty and/or has a story. Sigh. You probably got ADD too.