Posted by: navalanche | March 3, 2011

Right back where I started from

I thought I had found a reasonable solution to finding the space for the dresser that I had recently acquired.  All I needed to do was to swap one dresser for another larger dresser.

This is the dresser that I wanted to replace.

Because it was located in a dark and narrow hallway, it was impossible to take a picture that showed the dresser and the area around it in its entirety.

The drawers of the dresser were full of clutter.

And the first picture was cropped in a way that excluded the clutter on top.

And the clutter on the floor beside it.

And the area across from the dresser was cluttered.

And the closet, in the hallway, was filled to capacity with health and beauty products.  A navalanche had occurred, which in turn prevented the door from closing shut.

And that wasn’t all the clutter that I had stuffed into the hallway.  There was still a small decorative table at the entrance to my bedroom that had so much clutter surrounding it that it barely resembles a table any longer.  Since I could fit the new dresser without clearing that area, I chose to leave that project for another day (sorry, no picture).

Since it was such a small space and there was more clutter than I could tackle in one day, Mike suggested moving the dresser, drawer by drawer, from the hallway, into the living room.  Then I was able to start sorting the remaining clutter.  I only found one surprise among the clutter, Mike’s work light.  It had gone missing a year ago (or two or three) and he thought he must have lent it to another family member and would often grumble to me about how much he missed it.  He wasn’t exactly surprised when I found it buried in the hall clutter.

He won’t make the mistake of leaving his things anywhere near me again.

Most of the clutter on and around the dresser could be sorted into piles of like items.  I kept the vintage hats, matchbooks, broken watches and the antique curling irons, I can sort those later.  I left them on top of the new dresser.

There were some Partylite items and a small pile of Tupperware that I boxed for Kat.  I found more health and beauty items that I sorted and prepared to take to the local food bank.  I moved the towel rack into the bathroom and managed to close the hallway closet door.  When I finished, the surrounding area looked good.

But I still had the old dresser to clear out and donate.  Currently, it occupies the space behind my front door.  Mike used the top of the dresser to store Luke’s DVD’s which is an improvement from the plastic garbage bag that Luke used before.

Yet again, I have a big mess by the front door.  And despite my best intentions, I still have the same two dressers in the house.  I haven’t had much time to ruminate about it as the last month as there has been more than a few extended family issues.  But things are starting to return to normal and I have a short trip away planned with two of my sisters.  I hope I return refreshed and ready to complete the task.


Responses

  1. You can do it. Forget one area at a time or one section at a time or whatever. Do it one ITEM at a time and take pride in each one you make a decision on. That’ll get you really going trust me. One item. Keep or toss? Move on. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking you need to get a dresser done or a corner or a pile. Just an item. And then the next. And then the one after. And then you’re tired and you can stop.

    • Timely advice! Being a perfectionist, I set aside time for big decluttering projects (and of course everything is a big project) that seem to be interrupted soon after I start them. These suspended projects become bigger messes which is disheartening. Over the past six weeks, time has been at a premium and the only thing keeping me moving forward was making sure that I did ONE thing, usually at the end of the day. And I found that one thing turned into two things and so on until I dragged myself to bed. The best part was that in the morning, I could see the difference and often had a small pile of outgoing items neatly stacked by the door ready to go when I headed out. Very slow but steady progress! Thanks!

  2. although dispossessing single items one at a time would be a good baby step start under ordinary conditions, i fear the navahland empire of clutter is simply too vast an empire to conquer without a more drastic battle plan.

    • I respect your idea that drastic measures are necessary to resolve my clutter situation but it is important to me to explore the reasons that I do the things that I do, is it my past or the OCD or the perfectionism or dyslexia or is it a potent combination of all these things and more that manifest themselves in piles of clutter? I’m really trying hard to identify my thought processes that trigger these urges to collect and/or keep more objects than any one person should have. Just like other bad behaviors, like smoking or drinking, I have to want to change and make it happen. I think gag gift shopping at the thrift stores with you over the last few weekends confirms that I have more restraint than I had previously but it remains to be seen if I can continue to build upon it. However, if I change my mind, I know that I can count on you to be there in a moments notice to load up your truck and head to the nearest donation point. And that means a lot to me!


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