Thursday, August 26, 2010

Physician, heal thyself! With Pictures!

Clean closet!!!

Some rarely-used heels, a couple of handbags, and old tax records.

My summer robe hanging where I can easily reach it. The white spot is where the wall was repaired when the bathroom behind it was renovated.

My beauty stash - it's been significantly culled down, but it still causes me a bit of embarrassment. I feel I should be more monk-like in my wants.

Hi all! Sorry I did the disappearing blogger thing. I broke up with my boyfriend recently and started school, so those took priority.

However! I have been cleaning. Mostly in my own bedroom. Because you know my motto - "Sometimes, in a crazy, backwards, dysfunctional family, you have to content yourself with being the one normal who gets out alive." In this case, I also feel hypocritical dejunking my mom when I know I have junk of my own hoarded quietly away...

I am starting to get truly ruthless with myself about possessions. I unplugged the mini-fridge my dad brought in here a year ago - it's sitting on the side porch now, waiting to take the spot of the other, older, crappier mini fridge in the house. It had been using energy and junking up my space for way too long!

Clear space where the fridge used to be stuffed:

Then I initiated a cleanout of my most personal closet, complete with skeletons. My closet was truly shameful to me, as the daughter of a hoarder. It was the black sheep of my personal organization empire. I had...

  • an old, stained white down comforter I had told myself a million times I would take to the drycleaners "someday"
  • a crappy old printer which made me pull my hair out every time I tried to use it
  • paperwork dating back to 8th grade (I'm in college now) that I couldn't bear to throw away
  • several dozen crappy wire and plastic hangers with nothing on them
  • some old purses I didn't even like any more
  • a bunch of shoes I never wear but couldn't bear to part with because I spent so much money on them
  • some clothes I kept around in case another depression hit...80% kidding
  • pictures of me and my abusive ex (not the guy I was just dating, the guy before him)
  • one of those cheap pop-out mesh clothes baskets

My closet was like the place junk went to die. When something seemed unmanageable to me...I shoved it in the closet. When I couldn't make a decision, the closet seemed like the ideal spot. Unfortunately, this also meant that things that are supposed to go in the closet - clothes, jackets, etc, couldn't actually fit in there any more because there was just. So. Much. Junk. So, I started chucking stuff into bags to donate, recycle, or (I always try to keep this bag the smallest) throw away. After a couple of day's work, my closet was totally free of junk! Once again, I advocate the "take everything out and then put only what you really want and use back in" strategy.

I realized a few things about myself that contributed to my room messiness:

  1. I hate putting clothes away in drawers.
  2. I hate hanging clothes up on hangers.
  3. I can't be bothered to do anything except chuck clothes into a basket.

So basically I invented a totally rudimentary 2-basket system. I bought a 2 dollar blue clothes basket at Walmart to supplement the one I already had. Clean clothes go straight from the dryer to the basket on the right, dirty clothes are taken off and immediately chucked in the dirty clothes basket on the left. It's simple, but so far it's been AMAZING how much less time I spent rooting around looking for clothes.

Of course, this meant that my dresser (which had sat collecting paper junk and jewelry junk on top, since I didn't put my clothes in it anyway) was now completely obsolete. Cleaning off the stuff on top was daunting since so much of it was sentimental to my relationship. I ended up making a small keepsake box just for the relationship's too soon for me to get rid of any of it. The box went on the newly clean shelf of my closet, took up very little room, and made me feel significantly better.

Clear space on top of dresser that used to be PILED with papers and stuff:

I found a stack of my old Cicadas (a literary magazine for teens) and posted on facebook, asking if anyone knew a smart young voracious reader who would like them. The next day I walked them over to my friend Alvin's house - he said his son would love them. So I got to pay something forward in addition to getting rid of a stack of magazines I would never read again.

I had to sort through my jewelry collection, and let me tell you, I thought I had 1 or 2 pieces to get rid of...turns out I was happily able to put 1/2 my jewelry collection in a big plastic Ziploc bag to be donated. Stuff I'd been holding onto for YEARS because it was "too nice to give away" but too ugly to wear! Oh, the webs we weave...

I had acquired a 3-drawer organizer thing, and I put it in sideways. piled my beauty stuff on top of it. I admit - I really need to dejunk my beauty supply. I have way too many body sprays and face washes for any reasonable person. At least I've sworn off buying any new cosmetics until I run out - which at this rate could be another year! The organizer holds "office clothes" (I work as a nanny during school, but I won't be in college forever and need SOMETHING to wear to job interviews), "rarely worn but still precious to me", aka my grandmother's silk robe that she brought back from China and a few nice dresses for wearing out to dancing, drinks, a night at the theater, etc.

Since all the stuff was off my pole now (either in the clean clothes basket or the organizer), I was able to see the back of the closet, and I decided to install my mirror on the back wall of the closet. I wonder what a feng sui master would say about installing a mirror inside a closet?

I hung my bras and headbands over the closet's pole. I looped my scarves and belts around the pole as well. On the far end, a few nice wooden hanger hold the stuff that's too bulky to fit in the organizer's wee drawer space - my BJJ gi, a couple of fall jackets, and my 2 often-worn robes.

The top shelf now holds special occasion shoes (I have a couple of pairs of heels I LOVE), vital documents (I finally gathered them all together in one safe Manila envelope! Go me!), and extra reusable bags ( I use them frequently as travel bags when I'm staying the night at a friend's).

And the best thing is - there's EXTRA SPACE. Ahh, the luxury of space...

The whole interior of the closet needs priming and a coat of paint (who thought pistachio green was fashionable, again?) to cover where it's been repaired, but still, I'm over the moon about how much cleaner and more organized my living space is with all the clothes semi-neatly put-away.

So in addition to a closet revamp, I bagged up tons of stuff in my room that was junk to me but treasure to someone else, found several peices of clothing I had lamented losing (including a T-shirt with Obama's pixelated face on it), and even found a few things nice enough to take over to the consignment shop.

And it only took me...oh, a week and a half. And I'm still working on it - I asked my brother to help me move out the dresser in my room, and I need to take these bags of junk to be donated before they start to mate and make little junk babies. Why on earth does this process take so long!?

I also unearthed an adorable blue-and-white painted China dish which I decided to use to dejunk my bedside table. Now my car keys and petty cash have a place to reside which is both pretty and functional!

(The table is dirty there, but at least it's organized, right?)

And here's one of all the stuff I'm giving away...

May it inspire you to do the same!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, awesome destash. I just took a trunkload of stuff to Goodwill (literally) and I'm inspired to remove more. I do not need all this stuff hanging around. (My semi-hoarder mom gifted me with a "crapabonanza" a few years ago and it feels so great to get rid of item after item I never asked for and don't want.)

    So sorry you feel trapped by the crazy. I hope you are able to get out soon-seems like you have it together. You've mentally separated yourself, which is really important.

    My SO has some hoardery habits but she is starting to part with things too--I'm so proud of her!