The 30 day bootcamp deal is killing me. Not because I'm not cut out for the work involved. Oh, no! I am. It's just that she is going about it so differently than I ever would - and probably why I have failed with the major decluttering task up until this point.
She has you categorizing things - junk drawer, music CDs, underwear drawer, shoes, etc. And it is quite possible that some people think like this naturally. I'm not one of those people. See... the above assumes that you have all of your music CDs in one spot. Your shoes... in your closet. Your socks... in your sock drawer. I'm not one of those people, either.
The way I would do it is like this:
"Today I am going to declutter the laundry room". I walk into the laundry room with three things. 1) laundry basket (keep), 2) box (giveaway), 3) trash bag (duh!). Starting at one corner of the laundry room I dig through the pile finding a shoe with no match, a folding metal chair we use when guests come over, an old kids apron from Home Depot building days, and some safety swimsuits (you know, the floating kind). I decide to keep three of the 4 because I don't know if we still have the other shoe or not and if we do... why would you get rid of a pair of shoes a younger sibling could wear.
Then I move over to the freezer and discover that everything in there is great but we need to defrost it. I need some towels on the floor to defrost it. I start to sort the towels out of the dirty clothes and discover an overflowing mound of clothes that need to be sorted and washed. I sort the clothes and realize at the bottom of the pile is that shoe. Go back to the laundry room find the original shoe, try it on the owner, and discover it doesn't fit. Try it on the younger sibling. Oh, it will work in about 3 months. Go put the shoe in the closet. Wow. This closet is a mess. What are these dirty clothes doing in here? Grab the clothes, head to the pile. Big pile of towels? Oh, yea - for the freezer. You see?
So, even though it is killing me, I'll keep going with this thing. It seems to be more successful.
However, we don't seem to be dealing with the stuff that is spread out all over the house. We seem to be digging through drawers and cabinets and closets. While it looks like I really am making some headway, all I can see around me is clutter clutter everywhere.
Through all this I am realizing how debilitating clutter really is to me. It is absolutely paralyzing. I was thinking about it today, actually. We have all these bookshelves in our living room. I really love them. I love all the books but sometimes things start coming off the shelves and there is no room to put them back. So the stuff gets put on the floor right next to the bookshelf. No one thinks much of it at the time, but as you probably know, clutter begets clutter and sooner rather than later we have a major malfunction - a large pile.
At this point all I can see IS a pile. I can't see what's in the pile because the pile itself is so overwhelming to me. Totally overwhelming. Like depressing type of overwhelming. In order to escape that feeling, we end up leaving the house and sometimes we come home with more stuff to fix that feeling. It's a horrible vicious cycle.
But the 30 day bootcamp deal is working because it is forcing me to find that junk that I need to find anyway. I had to sort through the entire laundry basket of socks today to find Pete's socks so that I could cull them. I have avoided that dumb sock basket like the plague.
In the process my plan has been altered a bit - or at least added to. I will continue the 30 day plan and then I will go back through the house with The Joy of Less plan - as she goes room by room. I needed it in babysteps because I think the room by room thing would have killed me worse. Technically you can only be killed once, but you get my drift.
Even more profound, I'm seeing how those hoarders end up on TV. I will not end up like that. My thinking has to change. That's why they make them deal with it instead of sending in a crew to pick it all up. They have to see their stuff for what it is and then they have to make changes in their heart and thought process to keep it from getting that way again.