Hot Weather + Sunday = Closet Cleaning

Finally! After 2 1/2 years in the new house, I am unpacking the closet in my junk room - oops, I mean office - and all I can say is WHAT A MESS!!! See for yourself:

This is only a small portion of what was in there. I had so much crammed in to this closet, I could no longer walk into it by more than a few inches. And my office is so crammed with stuff I need to get into that closet, so there's really no place to put the junk from the closet, except all over the rest of the house. So one little project now has my entire house looking like the proverbial tornado whipped through. It's discouraging because I spent all of last weekend cleaning the rest of the house.

Criquette likes to supervise

Do you ever feel like you've caught a tiger by the tail when it comes to getting your home organized? Us folks with ADD are already challenged in the areas of organization and space management. We frequently employ a system of "horizontal organization" as a coping technique. Let me explain. When you have ADD (or ADHD), you are probably a visual processor, you have a better memory for things you've seen. When things are put away out of sight, they are promplt forgotten. ADDers tend to collect things in piles, and then lay those piles all over every available horizontal surface. It looks very chaotic to the non-ADDer, but to us, it is the only way we can remember things we need to be able to get to. They're out in the open where we can see them, so we won't forget. And most horizontal organizers will be able to tell you exactly what pile an item is in, and even approximately where in the pile the item is lurking.

My office is usually a model of "HO", with piles all over the furniture and floor. But I'm so disorganized that I now have vertical piles on top of the horizontal piles. This is like disorganization taken to an exponential level and even I, an ADD poster child, have forgotten where things are. Usually I get to a certain point of sorting the piles into piles, then get distracted by something else, such as life, job, spouse, critters, and knitting. Then I get sick of looking at the mess (or company is coming over), so I shove it all into boxes or bags and stuff it back into the closet. At some point, I need something that I know is in the black hole, so I drag it all out, and the fun starts again. And I wonder why I don't get more knitting done.

This time, however, I am mad. Mad about how all of this "stuff" runs my life, wastes so much of my time and my physical environment. Mad enough to try something different. It's called "Throw the crap away." It's amazing how well it's working. After 4 huge trashbags full of crap, I have approximately 3 square feet of clear floor space in the closet - progress! Ummm, that is, if you don't look at the floor of my office or the dining room table.

But this weekend, instead of getting overwhelmed and quitting, I persevered, because I have a higher purpose motivating me and leading me on. I have to find a permanent home for my stash. The growing stash needs a place to call its own, a place that's convenient, easy to access and with plenty of room to unpack the bins and see what I will use next. And now that I have cleaned it all out, the stash is happily living in the new and improved closet.

As a reward, I did some knitting for Greensburg. I used soy wool for the first time and even though it was very splitty, I still enjoyed knitting with it - it really flew off of my bamboo needles! I love the colors because they remind me of sunflowers on the prairie. A happy sign of hope for those who are rebuilding.


Anonymous said...

Love the soy wool such pretty colors! I sent my 15 squares & 3 facecloths off yesterday to Mrs. Laura for the Rebuilding Greensburg.

Lapdog Creations said...

OMG - are we long lost twins, separated at birth??? I was reading your posts thinking that could've been the same thing I'd have written if I had blogged about last Saturday when I too tackled a hellish closet and tried to get some of my stash organized! I too have adopted the THROW IT AWAY philosophy as I'm realizing I just don't NEED so much "stuff" -- and I too am queen of the piles (maybe I do have ADD???). I know what's in them too! :) WOW... seriously... long lost twins??
Oh - and I got 3 bags of trash and 3 bags for Goodwill out of my tiny closet I cleaned... now its full of plastic bins & bags of stash, although the stash still doesn't all fit in one closet (oopsie!)

Lynn said...

I dont have ADD, but I AM a pile person. Always have been. And I agree, it may look messy, but I can find anything I need. Until I had kids and they mess with the piles. Or piles get knocked over by the dh and he puts it back together, but not really. However I do love your new outlook, "throw the crap out!" LOL!!!

Sonya said...

Love the colors of the squares!

Organize?? That is what I have my husband before.

Laura said...

Gorgeous Squares!! Did you use Patons SWS?

I'm with you - ADD here (I think) and definitely a PILE PERSON! Thank heaven I'm not the only one. I want things to be very well organized in a very visual way. It's hard to get it all done at once when there are kids and budget limitations!

Laurie said...

I am coming out of my lurking as I browse through blogs for KVVS to say: So funny saying that everything is now spread throughout the house...ok, you live in Kansas and I can't pass up the opportunity to connect the scattered mess (oh, I mean collections) to having one of those famous tornadoes slamming through your "office" and spreading the good stuff for all to see. Again, too funny.
I, too, have an office that I crawl over a box or two to get to the corner desk (isn't that why I have a second desk closer to the door?). I NEED more book shelves! Yarn and books are my demise.
Love the colors of your "Greensburg" squares. Yes, they do have the shades of the prairie.

Laura said...

Ditto on the lovely colors, horizontal organization, and ADD. I've always been 'smacked' for my lack of focus, but dang! There's so much distraction, especially in a messy house, who can focus? It must be something in the water, because I've been in a 'throw it ALL alway' mood today.

The only time the ADD is a problem for me is watching DVDs of TV shows. Once that commercial break hits, it takes a while for me to get back to watching the show. By then, I've missed a couple of minutes.

Spinning Jenny said...

Is that why i have piles. I always know where everything is in my piles. I can find anything in them, put them away and I am in deep doodoo.. I have ADD something we knew as a child but never really took care of.

monnibo said...

I love your cat! He/she looks so at home there on the piles. My cat does the same!! Sleeps in the middle of my tidy-messes. (I do the pile thing too... both vertically and horizontally).