Neurotic Not Organizing

I’m totally procrastinating right now. I got up this morning with the intention of doing household chores and… well… I managed to pick up my laundry from the laundromat today and I washed the dishes, but I haven’t done anything else.

I just sit here, looking out from my chair feeling utterly overwhelmed with the idea of getting up and actually DOING something… and then I start to stumble down the path of analysis paralysis. Why do I feel this way? What’s wrong with me that I can’t pick up my own house? Why can’t I keep anything straightened up? Why do I just randomly throw things on the floor? Why why why why why?!

Breathe, Nikkiana. Breathe.

I set my timer, and do 15 minutes.

A few things get moved to the rooms that they’re supposed to be in. I get distracted by preparing myself cheese and salami. I get distracted by the music and shake my ass. But I did something, even if only a little bit of something.

If I keep doing little bits of something, eventually it’ll get done.

I really don’t know what it is that makes me struggle so much with the cleaning and the organizing. It’s always been a problem. As a child, my room always looked like a toybox exploded in it. I’m not entirely sure why, but my parents rarely pushed the issue of cleaning my room with me. I’m guessing it probably had something to do with the fact that they weren’t the most particularly organized people themselves and I suspect that I probably pitched an explosive fit or two, got banished to my room and just sat there and cried for hours and hours on end rather than using the time to you know… clean my room. If the kid’s that inconsolable about the idea of cleaning her room, I mean… I guess I can see why a parent might give up the fight after awhile, just to keep the peace.

The only times that I can remember when my parents pushed the cleaning my room issue were the fewer than half a dozen visits from my grandparents, my mother’s parents, who lived in Arizona. The house had to be cleaned and organized to avoid the shaming that would inevitably come from my grandmother. Even I knew better than to fight the “houseclean for Grandma” because those shaming blue eyes would be staring straight at me. The room would stay clean just long enough for my grandmother to believe that it was always that way, and when she had gone I’d dump all my toys back onto the floor again.

As I got older, it was less toys and more clothes.

I’ve always had a habit of just dropping things on the floor next to me when I’m done with them, instead of getting up and putting them away.

These days, I try and just go around and pick stuff up before I go to bed, though it doesn’t always work. The more anxious I seem to be erring, the harder it becomes to keep up with. But at least I’m trying.

4 thoughts on “Neurotic Not Organizing

  1. I have the same tendencies, but learned a lot when I moved into a house with better storage and well positioned hooks, nooks and cranny’s that a big part of the problem is the planning of the space you live in. When you think about it, when you’re a kid you have lots of stuff but you only have one room for it all to live in, and usually just a bed and maybe some shelving or a few boxes for it all. When you grow up and get a bigger place, you can be prone to treating your house in the same way. But if you adjust your thinking and view where you live as a home for you and everything you own, you can start working towards making spaces within your house where things you own ‘live’. It’s about planning it out and having pride in how it all fits together. If you are prone to chucking your clothes in a particular place, why not put a basket there to catch them, or a hook to hang them on, or move your closet to that spot so you don’t feel like you’re going around in circles. Try to create a sort of workflow within your house and you’ll find you end up putting things back where they logically belong. This kind of thinking helped me a lot!

    • This is definitely one of the things I’ve been trying to work on. One of the things that’s tricky about my apartment is it kind of has a weird flow to it… When you walk in the front door, the bedroom is on the left and the bathroom and clothing closet are on the right, and the kitchen and living room are at the end of the hall.

      The natural flow of things when I come into the apartment is to go straight down the hall to the kitchen and living room, and the natural place where I want to leave my keys, drop my purse, take off my coat and shoes are at the end of my counter that separates the kitchen and living room. It drove me crazy for awhile because I thought I wanted to put all of these things in my bedroom, but when I decided to just embrace it and make it work, things went a lot more smoothly. I’ve now got a hook for my purse there, there’s a spot under my keyboard stand where I can put the two pairs of shoes I use the most, and I usually just leave the keys on the counter.

      The coat’s still been the tricky one, because I have a bad habit of taking it off and putting it on the couch or on the keyboard, but I’ve been a little bit better since I moved a set of over the door hooks onto the outside of my bathroom door for my coat… but I’ve been more consistent about putting it on it’s hook eventually than I was when I was hanging it in the closet.

      So, I’m getting there. :)

  2. I too struggle to organise, to clean. I am in a cafe right now, with the rain pouring down outside and an empty bottle of apple cider telling me it is time for me to get myself home. But home is where the dust is so high on my steep staircase I am surprised we can’t toboggan down them. Home is where there sits a room occupied by wall-to-wall stuff of which there is no where to put it. One day that will be my bedroom, rather than the attic playroom I now sleep fitfully in. Home is where no homework can possibly get done.

    So in a cafe I sit. I’ve just left the hump-day (half-way mark) of a writer’s workshop I am taking at a friend’s behest and home is messy enough to ensure I will procrastinate the writing I need to do to move forward. As I sit, nursing my cider, I ponder the feedback others have given to me on a personal memoir piece where I actually and at last dug deep. Kind feedback, good feedback, feedback that I am in a place where it is easy to take it in. And rather than waiting till the day after this piece is due, I am churning out the next draft a mere hour after the weekly class is due. (Yay me!)

    Because when I get home, that mess will mock me and my inability to pass on to my daughters and son the skills of organisation and basic tidiness. Although I will forge forward, I will set me flylady timer for that proverbial 15, and chip away at my stuffs, inspired by you, in your corner of the world, maybe chipping away at yours.

    <3 thank you for visiting my blog today and leaving your mark. I loved your story (you know which one) as my comment indicated.

    karen (in wet Vancouver)

    ps. just a warning, if you don't love epic comments, let me know. I can make brief pithy statements if requested, but they aren't my forte. ;)
    karen recently posted..Kids who give: the panacea to chronic worry?My Profile

    • Oh! Don’t worry! The epic comments are my favorites. There’s nothing more boring than a bunch of “Oh! I totally agree / disagree!” comments.

      You actually did inspire me to get up off my butt and do a bunch of chores that I’d been meaning to do as I sat down to start writing a comment back. It was probably only about 30 minutes, but I managed to change out my laundry bag and get the dirty clothes off the floor, hand wash a bunch of clothes, put the clean dishes away, was the dirty dishes and put away a handful of stuff I’d just left out over the course of the day, so I’m feeling pretty accomplished right now.

      Now.. Just making it more of a habit.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the comment on my post at Band Back Together. :)

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