Saturday, July 18, 2009

Organizing, Cleaning and Decorating.

Three separate things.

One does have to be a tad organized in order to begin to clean: and one does have to have a fairly clean and tidied space in order to decorate. But once you have decorated, it is perfectly possible never to wash the floor or vacuum the furniture. Nor will you suddenly acquire mail management skills and enthusiasm for the laundry. So, these activities are separate. For a long time I have thought that if the room were "nice" I'd be motivated to keep it clean. Well, it certainly is pleasant when a nicely decorated room is kept clean and tidy: but it isn't a sufficient motivation to overcome my innate--what? laziness? perfectionism? depression? inertia?

In an effort lately to address my housekeeping deficiencies, I have been searching the web for help. I came across "The Organizing Junkie." It's a frightening place, really. In November, 2007, the OJ set a 30-day organizing challenge for individuals to tackle a whole room (or a small space). The participants were encouraged to post before and after pictures when the challenge was done. They provided direct access to these blog posts via Mr. Linky.

First of all, "organizing" was an all encompassing term for de-cluttering, containerizing and tidying. Cleaning the space wasn't mentioned too often (though I'm sure that once the surfaces were bare it likely occurred) and there was no noticeable decorating. Which wasn't the point. but, to me, overall, looking at their spaces, it is oddly dissatisfying and disheartening. Perhaps because although beauty is orderly: mere orderliness is not beautiful. But their posts certainly are motivating!

And I too wonder if these posts and web activities reinvent the old "coffee klatch" Wende referred to in her comments in the last post. Sort of. I'm more of a voyeur than a visitor when I "drop in" on these women, but I'm sure at the time of the challenge the women who participated felt connected and were socializing--as far as the web allows. It reminds me of the fun I had doing AT with lots of like-minded individuals.

I don't know. And I don't know if my difficulties will ever disappear. I believe I know everything there is to know about keeping up with the house. My problem isn't a lack of knowledge. No, it is most likely a lack of good habits. That's all. I just don't have the habit (or routine) of getting up off my duff and doing something I may not be remotely interested in doing for ten minutes or 1/2 an hour.

Speaking of which.....


drwende said...

This is a brilliant post -- I want to quote every second sentence or so.

The Organizing Junkie site is indeed terrifying! I agree with you that the cleaned-up rooms are weirdly depressing due to the sole focus on organizing.

You -- or it -- or something has, however, inspired me to tackle the house's only real closet, which is becoming a bit of a pit.

Anne (in Reno) said...

I think we are definitely our own little coffee klatch now! That site was a little sad, but most of the emphasis seems to be on organizing and purging. I try to do this on a very regular basis in small areas of my house (just did my desk area and about to do my dresser area, but the office closet is calling...) so about once a week I end up fighting with clutter and getting rid of mail and recycling random stuff from a certain area. I don't think it's so much having a schedule for these things as having the motivation for them (hence the desk/dresser areas stay much tidier than the closet does).

I do think it's easier to keep an organized space clean though. Has nothing to do with decorating or feeling homey, but it's much easier to decorate somewhere when I've kept it organized and clean. Does that make sense? It still takes getting in to the habit (since there is so much more fun stuff out there to be doing). Sigh.

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