Friday, June 22, 2012


I've been ignoring my house for too long. It's a mess. OK, let's be honest. The house itself is in fine shape, it's the clutter and lack of good housekeeping that's the problem.

Between my tendency to over-shop, my hatred of housekeeping, my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and lack of ability to make quick decisions anymore, all the 'stuff' has stuffed my house to its limits (actually, I could fit a lot more in here, but MY limits have been reached).   I'm tired of not being able to find things. Who knows how many rolls of tape, pens, tubes of Neosporin, and scissors I've bought over the years, only to suddenly find 5 rolls of tape after the package is wrapped?  I don't need to try every brand of shampoo sold on QVC, or own any more jewelery, pans, or clothes that might fit me when I lose some weight.

I'm tired of nearly breaking my neck walking through the house - it's bad enough the 3 dogs and 3 cats own the floor, but throw a couple of bags of recyclables into the mix and it's a true obstacle course. And who can clean when there all this 'stuff' in the way? I want to love my home again and feel comfortable instead of frustrated at every turn.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and I hired an organizer to come in and help me decide what to do with the good, the bad and the ugly. She'll be here Saturday.  I told her I need someone who is compassionate but firm, who will understand if my energy fails and I have to 'work' laying down. She will. She'll help me really figure out what to keep and where it will go. I don't want to keep something because its cute, but unusable; not because it might fit 'someday'; not because I don't want to hurt some one's feelings (like dead people? Come on, Mary!!) - but because I need it, love it, will use it, etc.)  Kind of like a normal person would do.

I'm having some real mixed feelings about it - it kind of reminds me of when I quit smoking back on 10/30/2000. Will I like this 'new life'? Will it last? Will I be sorry I did it? Will I miss all my stuff? I'm prepared for the worst, hoping for the best.

The first thing I'm going to do when she and I are done (and it may take more than one or two sessions) is hire someone to come in and clean it top to bottom - even things like the tops of the door jambs, baseboards, all that stuff that doesn't get done when you hate housework or are too sick to take care of more than just the basics. 

Finally, I am going to sit back and enjoy the beauty of my home. I've got some great art work here, some beautiful furniture, all sorts of nice things that are hard to appreciate now. It'll be good.


  1. This is a great idea, Mara. I've also decided to do something about the clutter in my house, but I find myself just moving it from one room to another. I'm not sure what an "organizer" does, but I'll be interested in hearing about your experience!

  2. I'll let you know how it goes, Toni! I'm impressed that you move it from one room to another - that sounds like a lot of work to me ;) I pile it up, or put it in a bag with the good intentions of moving it somewhere else, but it often doesn't make it to it's destination.

  3. mary,

    well-written expression of (at least some of) your feelings. i understand perfectly what you're saying about wanting to love your home rather than feel frustrated about it. it sounds like you're taking some good steps in the right direction, please raise your hand if / when you need some additional cheering & support.

    life ain't for sissies, that's for sure :)

    1. Thanks so much, Hal! I've been in my house since 1994 and the day I moved in I said to my son, "I love this house, this is where I want to live forever". Despite years of battling serious construction defects, black mold and gypsy neighbors, I have never wanted to leave. So, I'm looking forward to a clean and shiny future! Thanks for being a cheerleader!

  4. you're quite welcome, mary. i know the feeling you expressed to your son ... we feel @ home in our place, too :) glad to cheerlead!

    so, how did your initial foray into this new era go?

  5. It went very well, Hal - although it's a slow process. Grace, who has a perfect name for this job, was non-judgmental and had the patience of a saint. Because of my severe lack of energy I mainly sat in a chair while she sorted through stuff, checking with me before tossing, recycling, donating or keeping (and finding a place for what was kept). I kept waiting for her to look at something - most of which had been on the floor and was covered with cat and/or dog hair - and say "What in God's name are you keeping this for???". But, bless her heart, she never did. She suggested several organizing and safety ideas, including a new side table that is actually useful instead of just sentimental and a way to keep cords away from my feet so I don't break my neck. We managed to get through a lot of things, but there's more to go and she's coming back on Friday to keep going. Despite mainly sitting through the process, it was emotionally and mentally exhausting for me. Decision-making is not always easy when you have Fibro and Chronic Fatigue syndrome, as both effect your cognitive function. I've done a lot of sleeping the last couple of days and hope to be well-prepared for the next foray into that great dark abyss known as my kitchen!

  6. Why is it that we all need so many things? I have often wondered is it to fill a void of some kind or is it just stuff means comfort? Or so we think anyway. Teena and I have stuff, some stuff is useable other stuff is just clutter. We need to de-clutter ourselves. The Good Will store needs more stuff on their shelves......


    1. Howie, I think it's both for me. A large part of it, at least since I've been so sick, is that I've purchased a lot of things that I think will make my life easier. And often it hasn't hasn't, so it goes by the wayside and becomes clutter that piles up so quickly! But the Goodwill is going to know me by first name pretty soon! LOL!


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