At the times my life has felt the most out of control, my home has also been in a state of disarray. During periods of depression, the responsibility of keeping things neat and tidy just seems too overwhelming, and organization goes out the window. This becomes a vicious cycle, where the more down you feel, the less you do, and then you become more depressed because everything is such a mess and so on and so forth.
As part of my quest to gain inner peace, this issue is one I have been working on over the last several months. There are so many things in life that are beyond my control that making the decision to organize my home has led to a feeling of empowerment.
There is a difference between being cluttered and being dirty. My home is not dirty. I am fortunate to be able to afford someone to come in and clean every two weeks, so the floors are regularly mopped and the kitchen and bathrooms are kept clean. That being said, when I started this project, every storage place was disorganized, either filled with things that belonged somewhere else or stuffed far beyond capacity.
Once the decision was made to do it, the question was: How? I have tackled tasks in the past that were too big and ended up being quickly abandoned. I decided that I needed to start small so as not to get overwhelmed. I vowed to organize just one cupboard, closet or drawer each weekend. I work full-time and I just don’t have the time to make a commitment of more than that each week.
It has been working out well. I started in the kitchen and usually do more than one cupboard, but I don’t beat myself up over it if I can’t. It has been an enlightening experience to say the least. In one of my purges, I found a cake mix that expired in 2004! Now this is not only gross, but dangerous. The thing that amazed me about it the most is not that I had a cake mix in my cupboard that had expired 12 YEARS AGO, but that when I moved to my current home in 2009, I brought with me a cake mix that had expired 5 YEARS PREVIOUSLY!
Each week I feel victorious and accomplished. I have found it is easier to keep organized areas organized, because I can see what’s in them and put things away in their proper place.
As strange as this may seem, I have found a sense of serenity going through this process. On these cold winter days, I put on my music and go to work. In each space I organize, I find a small fragment of the authentic self I am putting together, piece by piece.
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