Daily Prompt: Shoulda Woulda Coulda
Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.
Ok, here goes…I’ve got a confession to make and I hope you don’t run away. Lately this topic has been coming at me in all different ways so I guess this daily prompt was the last straw because you see, I’m a CLUTTERBUG. There, I said it. I’m not a hoarder (at least not like what you see with garbage piled up everywhere). Oh no…that’s not me at all! I’m not that far gone! But I have slid from the girl who was always well organized to one where I have stashes of clutter in boxes, in closets, under the bed and in my office. In fact, I have to tell you honestly how much it bothers me that I can’t throw things out. Now again, let’s be clear here…it’s not garbage that is piling up in those places, it’s just stuff ~ memories ~ my prom gown from 25+ years ago, my 2 wigs that I wore when I lost my hair to chemo, old clothes that I think I shouldn’t throw out in case I gain or lose weight, old shoes that perhaps may come back into style, books that I would like to someday read, old toys of the kids that they adored, tons of paperwork that I think I may need from my cancer diagnosis over 11 years ago, I could go on and on!
I have old calendars, I have old letters (boxes of them), old notebooks with stories written in them that someday (ahem) I may make into a book. I have pony tail holders from when my hair was long, I have stashes of “what if I need this” piled high in closets which are finally driving me crazy enough to do something about them.
Because I am finally feeling like I have the energy to tackle this stuff…albeit I”m not sure I can really do it on my own. Because to me, those things evoke memories and I’m afraid that if I throw them out or donate them or sell them, that the memory will vanish when the item is released as well. And it’s a fine line for me considering that I’ve been living with chemo brain fog for a long time and it’s never come back much to my disappointment.
I just did a tapping seminar online which dealt with clutter which really opened my eyes to the reason for my clutter. Because I”m not a lazy person at heart. Honest. Although to others who are not clutterbugs, it does seem like I am just too lazy to put things away or to throw out what’s not being used. But that’s not the case and it was a huge relief in my heart to take this seminar and realize that I’m not alone in my feelings nor my situation and that yes, it can improve and be solved! In fact, it delved into the psyche of a cluttered life and I think I’ve realized the beginning ~ 11 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer! That was the start, although it was gradual, but it just piled up to the point of immense sadness, trauma both to my body, mind and heart and it was earth-shattering to me to realize what the catalyst was for it and how it can be changed and fixed and solved. I can’t even begin to explain to you how this seminar simply cracked open my heart with tears and emotions flooding my being because I hadn’t realized how much the clutter and the guilt of the situation was hurting my psyche, my daily life and affecting me in such a profound way.
To others, it’s clutter….just clean it up. To me, it was something else entirely and with the tapping seminar (which was free that day), it just came to me in the most healing way. Now I just need a friend to hold my hand and help me to continue on my journey with it so that I can get it done and move on! Because even though I’d thought I’d moved on, I was stuck and I’m just now unsticking myself from the trauma of being diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m not making excuses for myself, but I am learning more about myself and discovering that I had covered up much pain with the clutter. Like a protective shell around my life and heart and I want to be free of it now. It doesn’t serve me anymore and I want to be clear, to be happy and to be clutter free.
Part of the shame, the sadness and the fear in clutter has to do with control. It’s almost a punishment if you will (I’m loosely quoting this online course) to the person who is the clutterbug because we don’t feel worthy of having a perfect house or of knowing where things are or of being able to live with the memories and not the item to call them up. I’ve read of people who take pictures of their gown so that they can remember it, but knowing me, the picture would end up in a pile somewhere and I’d be finding it in another 10 year (although a snapshot would certainly free up the closet space!)
Do you have this issue? Do you hide it as well? On the outside, I try to keep the public rooms of the house in a tidy condition. With an active family and pets it’s a bit difficult, but I manage. But I don’t want you upstairs in my house. I want it private for fear that you’ll think badly of me because of my unorganized stock piles! What would you think if you walked into my office and when you opened the door, a barrage of paperwork greeted you? I know how I’d feel if you saw it ~ humiliated, sad, upset, ashamed, guilty, unloved, aggravated.
So my public flogging is over ~ I’ve aired my clutter laundry and I’m going to continue on my quest for a happier, clutter-free me. I actually started throwing out paperwork yesterday. I spent 3 hours in the office and I have 3 huge garbage bags to be shred. I am also getting rid of a bunch of the kids’ toys and now my job is to find a place which needs gently used toys.
And as I sit here tap tap tapping away on the keyboard and alternating tapping on my pressure points on my body, I want to do a shout out to Elisa at http://elisacashiola.com/ who inspired me to work on my office over a year ago with the promise of helping me Feng Shui it (which is still on hold but not for long)! Check out her blog because she’s got some amazing tips on how to make your house a home! In fact, she helped me move my mirror from my front door and I felt the change…now imagine how powerful I’m to be when I am clutter-free!
Woo Hoo! Fellow clutterbugs unite ~ or better yet
Let’s UNTIE ourselves from the bonds of clutter!
I’m so proud of you!!! 🙂 I just happened to click on your blog post via Twitter to read it (the word confession got my interest) and so sweet of you to mention me! I know it is not easy to do it all alone and it can be overwhelming, and I’m holding your hand through it all via this wonderful piece of technology! 😉 I have tried the tapping method before, years ago, and it does help to release the emotions that have been inside for so long. Taking a picture of the item will lessen the pain of letting go, and far less “stuff”. Stay in touch and hugs!!!!!! 🙂 ~ Elisa
Oh Elisa, it was YOU who with your blog and subsequent chats via email who showed me how the energy in my hone could be changed! So my heartfelt thanks to you! I wanted to share your gift with others as you didn’t make me feel badly, you simple supported me ~ just as you are doing now! Hand holding makes the connection that much stronger even via technology and it’s knowing that someone connects with you that gives you courage and the umph to do the work even when it’s hard! Hugs to you! xo
I am sure you are not alone in this matter. I have taken on a new frame of mind to de-clutter as much as possible. In fact I have been able to monetize some of the clutter through selling on Amazon. I understand much of the items you describe are not like this, but just know you are not alone in feeling you should de-clutter.
Joe, thanks for your support and your kind comment. I am happy you have a bit of found money when you’ve sold your items! What a great treat to de-cluttering! Thanks for stopping by ~ I plan on stopping by your blog as well! Happy Wednesday to you!
I did a huge spring cleaning (in the fall!), and I was amazed at how much better I felt just being in my house. Can’t wait to hear all about it when it’s done!
Thanks! Me too…it’s a huge deal for me as you know! 🙂
Oh, I can so identify with your clutter. I’m in the same boat. There is an excellent book called “The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Good Housekeeping.” It’s by Sandra Felton. It really helped me to understand WHY I’m a clutter bug. I realized I’m a sentimental messie (sounds like you are also). Every scrap of work or pictures drawn by my young sons have been saved (and they are both in college now)! I saved all my college notebooks and somehow feel if I throw them away, I’m throwing out my brains. I’m also a perfectionistic messie. I “wait” to clean my house until it can be done “perfectly” (which is never). When I clean a room, it’s always a deep clean instead of a quickie run around and pick things up and tidy up. This drives my husband insane. I’ve been slowly over the past year or so working on my clutter. I’ve made some progress, but still have a long way to go!
I wish you the best in your decluttering endeavors. I’ve never heard of tapping seminars. What exactly is that? Just curious. I asked my husband and he didn’t know either.
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You’re not alone. I have all the same things you do. I have toys that my kids enjoyed .. MANY of them… and my ‘kids’ are in their 30’s! I’m trying to sort through, but it is difficult.
You should keep some of those toys for your grandkids! My kids love our old toys and games. Monopoly never changes ~ well except through technology! Ahh nostalgia! It makes me keep items all the time!
I suffer from the opposite issue… I can’t help myself from throwing everything away! Which makes for a very streamlined household but one that leaves some of its inhabitants at a loss to explain where things go.
Whenever I need to go through my closet, though, I get a trusted girlfriend to help me part with “the pink taffeta dress I might wear again”. “Over my dead body” (her standard answers) always helps me to let clothes go!
Do you think I can borrow your friend? Or perhaps you could come visit me for a few days? I think that’s all I would honestly need ! 🙂 It’s so interesting how everyone is wired differently. My bestie is just like you!
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I get in my moods. I have stuff – probably always will. But – when things start to clutter it bothers me & I go mad crazy getting rid of things left & right. Those are the days everyone needs to make sure there things have a place or it’s outta’ here 😉
Oh yes, I go on frenzies like that too, but not often enough obviously! So happy we’ve connected! Hugs!
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