There must be flowers growing in this dirt...

For those of us who can't get it all together, or if we have, have forgotten where we put it

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Ella
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There must be flowers growing in this dirt...

Post by Ella » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:21 am

I am seeking fellowship in the saga of clutter and disorganization. I feel it is a Spiritual principle clothed in temporal rags. My clutter keeps me from doing things that are uplifting to my life and the lives of others.

I would love to start a discussion on tips to prevent clutter and disorganization and cause order and power to settle into my home. (after I dig outta here)

Any ideas, spiritual or temporal??? :roll: :oops: :shock:

Colleen H.
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Post by Colleen H. » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:24 am

Ella,

Thanks for your post! It's so good to see some action on this forum again.

I know in my own life, I've never been too bad on the "clutter" part of the environment upkeep. I tend to shuffle things off into semi-organized ways, but for me the challenge is the "deep-cleaning," stuff--like cobwebs around the ceiling and the kitchen floor needing to be mopped on a more than monthly basis. Of course, at this point---with just Phil and I alone---the kitchen floor doesn't get "really" dirty.

Anyway, I'm not sure what to say. Treating clutter and disorganization as an "addiction" could mean looking at them as behaviors that we've become dependent on to keep ourselves from succeeding.

The reality is that the behavior (cluttering, avoiding putting in the time and effort to create some order) handicaps us, but then the agonizing about doing it is a second layer of having our mind and heart (and focus and energy) drained away from getting on with feeling hopeful and positive about our lives.

It is pretty common for highly creative, right-brained, (spiritually intuitive) people to not be very strong at the left-brained, organizational stuff. And then you have the people who are more gifted or talented in the "left-brain" organizational stuff, and spend their time agonizing over how "anal" and not spontaneous they are.

So, it seems to me---that from either direction---it can be the Liar, Satan, trying to make everyone miserable like unto himself by getting them to ignore their strengths and agonize over their weakness---thus not rejoicing and getting on with contributing their strengths to the world.

It would be good to be more balanced, and the only One I know who has ever been able to give me the ability to be balanced at anything is the Savior. As I've cultivated conscious contact with His counsel---and trusted it---I've found myself behaving much more "functionally" and balanced--even in my housekeeping and organization.

But then, I'm a broken record person---as you already well know.

((hugs)) and much love to you, dear sister and friend . . .

Colleen

PhilH
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Post by PhilH » Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:18 am

I seem to need an infusion of courage and energy in order to tackle the organizing. I have in mind today to straighten up my office and organize our food storage so we can see what we don't have. I can make lists of what to do, but in order to make it happen, I have to have the grace of the Savior. So I hereby invite Him to be with me in these tasks today.

Phil

jump4joy
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Post by jump4joy » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:53 pm

Ella, as an avid gardener, I love your subject line, lol!

I am a mostly recovered clutterholic with residual packrat tendencies. :lol: I have a whole bookshelf on this subject (yeah, yeah, I still need to declutter most of them :P ). I'm still working on my problem of letting go of books and papers...I have ten boxes of papers that I need to organize and declutter. My house is now clean (not perfect, but good enough), and I wouldn't be embarrassed if anyone saw all but two rooms (and they're not too bad). That is a HUGE accomplishment for me.

Decluttering comes in layers, like an onion: take care of the obvious first---clear the floors, get caught up with the laundry (go to a laundromat if you have a lot and get it DONE and PUT AWAY. Throw out the visual trash.
If you're in dire straits, do the Mount Vesuvius Method and get some white Bankers Boxes (you can get these at office supply stores cheaply), and box your stuff up and stack it against a wall. Then set your timer for 15-30 minutes and go through them one at a time. You can google The Organizer Lady to get the details on how to do this. This gets everything off of the floor and looks much better right away.

---the Mt. Vernon Method is a favorite of mine, which is an idea taken from housekeepers at George Washingtons Estate....you enter a room and declutter clockwise. You need three containers: Put Away (belongs elsewhere), Give Away, and Trash. Set your timer, and then work on one area at a time. Don't take out more than you can put away in an hour. Take the trash out immediately, put your donation bag out in the car, and put away the stuff that belongs elsewhere in the vicinity where it should belong. If you don't have room for your Put Away pile, don't worry, you'll get to it when you Mt. Vernon that area later. You're then done for the day, so the next day start where you left off the previous day.

Try not to get overwhelmed, or worry about doing it perfectly. Just do it one room at a time, 15 minutes at a time.

Things I've learned:

--Clutter causes C.H.A.O.S. (Can't Have Anybody Over Syndrome)
--Clutter is often an outward manifestation of what's going on inside you. The roots of it are spiritual, I believe. I know in my case, it was.
--You can't organize clutter....you can only get RID of it.
--Clutter weighs you down. It depresses your mind and spirit.
--"Clutter is simply undealt-with junk. Usable things are used, valuable things contribute value, you'll seldom find good things cluttering life---it's the junk, the non- or little-needed that is hung onto for the sheer sake of owning and having. How long it stands and mows you down is only up to you." --Don Aslett
--It is the result of many unmade decisions, i.e.--"I'll just put it here FOR NOW..."

Well, I could go on and on....I've worked on this for years. And if I can dig out, anyone can. The reason I didn't do anything for years was because I was so overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. But the Lord led me to resources that resonated with me and WORKED...one babystep at a time. With regular routines that have become second nature, my home practically cleans itself...well, I do it, but they became second nature, like brushing my teeth...just building habits that are done without much thought.

If you want to, just PM me and I would be glad to share a couple of the best (free) resources that were the greatest help to me.

Hope this was helpful dear sister,

Joy

Elliemay
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Clutter

Post by Elliemay » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:55 am

Thank you Joy and all of you who shared on clutter. I am so grateful to have the forums to read others experience and Hope. For 8 years I had most of my possessions in boxes wating until we settled down agian. I have now been in a somewhat settled state for 3 1/2 years and of course still have most of my stuff in boxes. I have been feeling a great desire to start the dejunking process. I feel the weight of all this stuff. It clutters my soul, makes life complicated. There is a lot to be said about simplicity. I want simplicity in my life. Organizaton is a gift I have been given, however it cannot come when ther is clutter in my life. Thank you for all of the ideas and truths shared. I am boyed up. Thank you agian! First things First for me Much Love, Ellen
Joy, I hope you will keep posting to this thread. You have some clutter soberity :) Your experience, strength and hope is wanted.

TimA.
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Post by TimA. » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:59 am

I was thinking about this subject and my visits to Nauvoo came to mind and I remembered that most of the houses there did not have closets. I remember one that did and they were just large enough to hold maybe two or three suits of clothing. I think struggling with clutter is harder for us than it was for our ancestors because they just did not have as many things as we do now. Thinking back I can remember things I used to consider a luxury(cell phone, computer, VCR/DVD) but now have become a necessity or so I think. They are not really it is only in how I think of them that makes them a necessity.

Several years ago I read a series of books called the "Foxfire Books" They are accounts of how people lived in the apalation mountain areas. I was struck by one lady's account of her childhood and her families home. They lived in what we might call abject poverty today, her, her parents and five siblings, lived in a 12 foot by 16 foot cabin. What struck me though was instead of speaking of hard times and suffering she described her childhood as very happy. She talked about working hard in their garden and playing hard in the woods and medows and picking berries. She told about leaving home before daylight to walk to school. They took a lantern and left it in a hollow log to be picked up on the way home. She talked about her loving parents and what she learned from them. The joy she described didnt seem to fit with her circumstances but really it did because joy is not in material things. They had sufficient food clothing and shelter for their needs and they had loving parents and siblings. They had work to do and goals to work toward. Those are the things that bring us joy and when we remember that these things that clutter our lives seem less important and are easier to let go of.

Anyway just some of my thoughts.

Tim

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