I was chatting with a friend yesterday about decluttering. She is a tremendously busy woman, with a tremendously busy family and they have been running at full pace for years, at a pace I can't even imagine keeping up with. She has a large house and three kids that keep getting bigger and busier, and she needs to declutter but can't find the time.
So I started to tell her what I do and a lot of what I do I take from Flylady. And it's a constant and ongoing struggle for me. When the kids stay home from school, it's like the whole apartment takes two steps backward. I can't keep up with all the water colors drying on top of flat surfaces, on top of the books that I have stacked on those surfaces, the toys that migrate to the living room and office/playroom. Most especially, I have a book problem and the recent shipment of 6 boxes of ARCs from BEA hasn't made it any easier.
Then, this week we made the decision that T2's adenoids really will need to come out and thus we needed to have this and this. And I read a review that made me think I needed this (can you imagine ll 10 books in one volume?). So, more books enter the house. I did pack up two boxes that will go into the Kellar and empty shelf space, so books can move from horizontal spaces to shelves.
The German was laughing,because all of the things I was talking about and suggesting were things that I struggle with. But the thing about clutter and housework is, one can't do it and be done. It repeats, grows and expands. The goal is to maintain and to increase the area of control and to, slowly, try to bring order out of chaos. Toward that goal, it helps to create borders and boundaries because the psychological benefit of expanding the cleared space is great. It also allows one to overcome the despair of believing that the chaos is insurmountable when one starts with the concept that 15 minutes a day is all we need to start with.
In my friend's honor, after hanging up, I did 30 minutes of the more fine decluttering, before sitting down with the German and watching the second episode of the fourth season of True Blood.
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