Let’s get organized, Part 1

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10 ThingsLogoI should subtitle this post “10 things you need to know about me, Part 2” because I’m heeding the advice of James Altucher“for the next ten things you write, tell people something that nobody knows about you” — and I debuted Part 1 at Suzy & Spice a few days ago.

Now that I have two blogs, a 10-part series might be a challenge (bouncing back and forth), but I’m up for it if you are.

Also, it’s going to be hard to find 10 things that absolutely no one knows about me, so how about we refer to it loosely as 10 things only the people closest to me could possibly know?

We could also title this “True Confessions,” because I’m about to talk about something I don’t like to talk about: my messy house.

I’m a recovering packrat, but I live with a full-blown packrat (I think they have TV shows about this). In 2010, we moved from a 2,600-square-foot-house to a 1,740-square-foot house. Five years later, I’m still trying to “organize” the chaos. I cannot tell you how many books we’ve gotten rid of, but we still have a ton of books.

In less than 24 hours this week, I heard three mentions of a method, an author — a “cult” (said tongue-in-cheek) — centered on “tidying.”

Except that when I asked someone in one of my Facebook groups, “I’ve read a gazillion get-organized books. Why is this one so special?” I got an unexpected response that hooked me:

“It is not really an organizing book — it is a ‘how to discard’ book. That’s what I needed — I have way way way too much stuff.”

Bruce and I have been trying to figure out how to organize our office stuff. A couple of months ago, we turned our dining room into my office (his office is the living room), and we just haven’t figured out the right configuration. Many obstacles, which also could be classified as excuses:

  • Not enough time.
  • Not the right tools.
  • We never have the same window of time to work on it together.
  • (Fill in the blank.)

I get enthusiastic about working on it, get sidetracked after a few minutes and need a nap. And I have a messy closet, too. And dresser, and bathroom countertop. Ugh!

So … obviously there is another problem.

Marie Kondo would have you believe it’s because we’re trying to organize rather than discard the excess and keep only what gives us “a spark of joy.” (She’s ruthless about papers. Uh-oh.)

I’ll do a book review next week, but let’s just say that this woman has an unconventional method for “tidying” a home. While I don’t agree with every single thing she says, I’ll buy into 98 percent of it.

It’s going to be really weird touching all my stuff and talking to it as I decide what to discard and what to keep.

But I’m keeping an open mind and will be taking up Marie Kondo’s challenge. In fact, I said on that same Facebook page:

KonMariQuoteSuzyOakleyIf you’d like to join me in the tidying madness (er, spark of joy), leave a comment and we’ll tackle it together. Doing weird stuff is more fun with friends!

Check it out: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing


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2 thoughts on “Let’s get organized, Part 1

  1. A couple of weekends ago my husband and I finally tackled our closet. I had pared down my clothes and shoes over the past few years but he is such a clothes whore and still had t shirts he was saving from college. Did I mention the 40 pairs of shoes. It’s kind of my quiet space now. It’s a tiny walk in but sometimes I just go and stand in there. So i understand that recovering packrat that still living with the addict.

  2. My hubby has shirts from … junior high. Also, anything with his beloved alma mater, Notre Dame, is sacred to him, and woe to anyone who even thinks about getting rid of it.

    We have different backgrounds about certain things. I’m way less attached to my “stuff” than I used to be. I’m so glad your closet “sparks joy” for you!

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