Let me start with a disclaimer: I am probably the least qualified person I know to speak of a tidy, clutter-free house so if you were hoping for those kinds of tips you are out of luck.
What I am an expert on is drowning in your own stuff and having it suck away at your sanity.
Stacks and stacks, racks and racks: stuff is piled everywhere in my house. We have so many children’s toys that my house looks like a daycare exploded. I have dreams of a giant dumpster pulling up in front of our house and just throwing everything in it and starting over.
The clutter gives me anxiety attacks but it seems every time I fill up garbage bags and get rid of three bags worth, six more come to take its place.
Am I the only one out there gasping for air in a sea of God Knows What?
Here are a few coping mechanisms I have learned:
- Stop buying crap. If you don’t buy it, you don’t have to store it. Note: this is great unless it gets in the way of your shopping – which it does, hence my problem.
- Leave the house, the longer the better. If you can’t see the mess it can’t hurt you. Try to stay away from stores.
- Invite someone who loves you very much over to your house and again, leave. If you are lucky enough, you may come home to clean counters.
- Visit the house of someone who has even bigger piles than you so you can feel smugly superior for a few minutes. ( Then, start working on their mess. I have always found it easier to clean someone else’s house than my own.)
- Do something nice and truly helpful for someone else. Fix their computer, do their taxes, watch their kids, cook them a fantastic meal etc. Build up your good karma bucket. Such selflessness is rewarded and when you call them sobbing because you have 26 single shoes and can’t find your keys they are more likely to be willing to bail you out.
- Get down on your knees and pray to the God of your choosing. Pray hard. And while you’re down there look around: you may find the iPod you lost last year.
- Buy a bunch of nice storage bins. Stack them to make a fort and hide from your mess. Call it your fortress of solitude.
- Invite your mom over. You may not be any better organized for it but with that kind of threat hanging over your head at least you may be motivated to try and hide it.
- Write a blog post about your woes and hope someone famous inadvertently stumbles on it. Perhaps you will inspire them to do a show on transformation or hoarding and they will invite you on. Yes, your mother might disown you since she knows she taught you better but you might get a good deal.