Coming Out as a Clutterer

My name is Jeanette and I am a clutterer.  There, I said it.  That’s NOT the same as a hoarder, by the way.  My piles are only knee-high and they don’t invade every room.  There’s only one room in my house (a small one) that isn’t useable due to the clutter, which is a huge improvement.  Do I like it this way?  No.  Do I find myself watching HGTV and wishing my house looked like the ones they show on there.  Yes.  Do I do anything about it?  Sometimes.

This is really in my house.  If you came over you'd never see it.  But it's there.  And I just noticed that (how funny is this?) that the blue book on the right is "One Year to an Organized Life".  Yeah, like that worked.

This is really in my house. If you came over you’d never see it. But it’s there. And I just noticed that (how funny is this?) that the blue book on the right is “One Year to an Organized Life”. Yeah, like that worked.

It takes time.  I like to devote a large chunk of time to organizing.  Do I need everything that is in this picture.  Probably not, but MOST of it I do.  I just tonight was looking for a disk that I needed and…HA! I found it!

There’s are professional organizers.  And there are psychologists that specialize in helping hoarders (which I’m not) get rid of their shit.  Both in their heads and their actual THINGS that they are keeping.

Why do I keep all this?  I think it has something to do with the fact that I am an Army brat.  I moved every three years of my life (a few times I moved after a year or two).  “They” say that can create some issues in people that they either keep almost nothing or they hold on to a lot of things.  I’m the latter.  I have notes that I passed in class in high school.  Recently I did throw some of them away but my friends Celianna and Autumn will laugh out loud someday when they see some of the things they wrote and drew back in those days!  I have papers I wrote in high school, college and grad school.  What the hell do I need those for?

What I find the funniest is that when I do organize and purge I feel amazing.  It’s fun to do, takes way less time than I thought it would and I feel like my space is one I don’t want to leave.  But yet it’s been years since my whole house felt like a zen space.  That’s the goal for 2013.

Tell me I’m not the only one.  Share an organizing tip.  Interested in sharing organizing energy?–I’ll come to your house for a day and you’ll come to mine for a day?  Just holla, girlfriend!






9 thoughts on “Coming Out as a Clutterer

  1. I love to organize and throw things out! I find it to be very therapeutic. I also love to hang on to every little thing which can make organizing a bit more difficult. I have lived in the same house for 8 years. It used to be my grandparents’ house. It housed them plus 3 children and it’s somewhat small compared to today’s standards. When I moved in after my grandfather passed away it was still filled with their belongings plus a lot of my brother’s things, he had passed away while living with my grandfather. Not only was it hard to move into a house that was already full but it was filled with things that held a lot of meaning to me. Over the years I have had to learn to detach myself from all sorts of material objects that belonged to my family. There are things i refuse to part with, like my grandmother’s old fashioned handheld mirror i used to play with as kid, which by the way I have dropped on the floor many times and have taped the glass back together (Sorry, Gram!) But I have also thrown out a lot of things recently that i couldn’t bear to part with when I first moved in. It hurts but I have to tell myself that although the object holds the memory of a loved one it did not make them who they were and just because I’m letting go of it doesn’t mean I am letting go of them.

    It’s been 8 years and I still have a lot of sorting to do but now most of that sorting is of my own junk. That junk moves from one room to another as I organize, it’s definitely time to come to terms with the fact that these items are not what defines me and I’ll be just fine without them…and I won’t have to keep doors closed to hide my clutter! Thanks for posting this, Jeanette, I am officially making 2013 “The Year the Clutter Disappeared” in my house!

    • MB, I need to remember those points, too. I’ve been to your house, though, and it’s SO not cluttered! And although I never saw it when your grandparents lived there, it certainly seems to hold some style from the past mixed with your styles, too!

  2. Yup…that is me…my room is a bit bigger with a path in the middle but there is a desk in there *somewhere.* I can actually sit down and use it every 2-3 years- and remember how nice it is.

  3. I love organizing and purging! But life generates piles and I need time to sort through and organize those piles. That has been a huge challenge of becoming a mom, not having time to sort those piles… I am constantly trying to not feel overwhelmed by piles and constantly trying to not create more piles!

  4. Ditto on a smaller scale. My husband has helped stall my collection over time. HOWEVER, I still find myself creating those temporary piles and “things I will file later” stashes. I know we are not the only ones!

  5. I love how the book “One Year to an Organized Life” is right in the front of your clutter shot. 😉

    The older I get, the less I feel the need to hold on to things. I’ve purged so much stuff lately (including junior high and high school notes that I also held onto). I don’t even keep all the kids’ papers and things from school. I actually SCAN their art and things I want to save as PDFs and keep them forever and ever on my hard drive (backed up, of course). I’m starting to embrace a minimalist lifestyle in a way. It’s really freeing to let go of things, purge and remember that people are much more important than objects and “stuff.”

    That said, there are a few bins of collectibles of a certain favorite band of mine (and yours) that I will never, ever “purge.”

    And I would be happy to help you de-clutter sometime. It’s always so much easier to de-clutter someone else’s stuff than deal with your own.

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