December 27th, 2014

Stubborn Storage: December 27th, 2014

Way back on November 23rd, I made a mistake.  Instead of counting 5 down from my initial list of 1825 items, I accidentally added 5.  This immediately threw everything off by 10. Because I am dedicated (and a teensy bit of a perfectionist) I went back and diligently fixed that error, right up until today.

The funny thing is, I was prompted to begin this because I could not believe how much progress we’ve already made…and it turns out we are further along than I’d even thought we were!

I was going to make a big philosophical post about how one little thing can snowball and take over without us even noticing, but that would just reiterate how bad I am at math, so I decided not to bore you with it.

Instead, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  See, when I was a little kid, I was always trying to invent things.  I have an extremely clear memory of my best friend, Natasha, sighing and saying to me “Oh Cheri, why are you always trying to invent a new game?  Everything has already been invented anyway!”

And this was in the days before the Internet.

She was (and is) right, for the most part, though. It is exceedingly rare to have a truly new idea, even if it pops into your head entirely out of the blue.  Today, getting back to the secret, I had decided to do a little poking around the Internet for tips on how to de-clutter.  It turns out that almost everyone has the same idea – sort into keep, throw, sell, trash – then organize what is left.  In the midst of all this poking around, I stumbled onto a less-ambitious version of our project. She downsized by 1 item per day for 1 year and I’m giving you the link, not the title because the glaring grammar error in the name makes my eyes bleed (okay, it’s called 365 less things…but you know it should be 365 fewer things, right? Right!).

So there you have it: I was not inspired by this blog, and I did not read it (it’s far too difficult to find a starting point), but it exists and it proves that Natasha was right!

In any case, I feel as if we’ve hit a new stage at this juncture in the process.  We’ve mostly plowed through all of the low-hanging fruit and we are primed for some more major shifting of items in order to attack the more deeply concealed crap.  The storage room is an excellent example.  It is full of stuff, much of it piled on the floor (I was going to say “stacked” but that sounded far too purposeful and far less hazardous than the reality) and yet there are empty shelves.  There are several other empty shelves with stacked stuff beside them throughout our house.

As you may know, it is in the midst of organization that things appear the most chaotic.  This is an issue that has arisen due to the process we have instituted to divest ourselves of our stuff: because it’s not a giant do-it-all-at-once purge, we need to find a way to minimize the mid-project chaos.  So…I decided to pile stuff onto shelves without worrying whether it is organized at this stage.

This has been an issue for me in the past.  Getting back to the perfectionist part of myself, the idea of putting things onto a shelf before I knew where they would actually reside permanently would throw me into spirals of agony and I’d end up abandoning the project.  I am deliberately muscling through this and telling myself it’s okay, I’ll get back to it.

In the past, this would not have worked because I would not have been able to convince myself because it’s pretty hard to trick yourself with lies.  Nearly 2 months into this project, however, I am not lying to myself.  I will get back to it. It’s a great feeling.

And here we are, at the correct calculation:

Day 57 Scorecard: 285 down, 1540 to go.

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