Friday, 15 March 2013

Organization Muscle

I long to be so much more organized. But it is such a tedious, never ending, difficult to follow through task. Where does all this stuff come from? I try different straightening-up strategies. Sometimes an idea seems wonderful, but when attempted it just does not work. I can't seem to figure out a way to put unopened mail somewhere it will be seen but kept from adding to the clutter or getting mixed with piles of random papers. And the biggest task in organizing the home is deciding when to throw something out (and whether to bring it home in the first place).

I used to lean toward throwing everything out if it wasn't being used. Well, kind of. I am not a minimalist at all and I need to take the time to thin out many areas. My closet is packed with clothes I may fit into one day. But now, having less finances has given me a desire to file away more stuff properly for later just in case (though I'll never be an extreme couponer. I don't need a large storeroom of perishable goods). There is nothing worse than investing in something to discover that the item was already on-hand somewhere in the house or garage. Objects kept but forgotten about.

Today I went through my filing. It contained many forgotten items. Cards I'd bought specifically but never gave out. Photos I'd stuffed into an album until I had time to insert them. And piles of to-be-filed-but-where? that I'd put aside over and over again. Maybe it's motherhood and its need for change and growth. Maybe it's Pinterest and blogs and the contemplating my brain does through writing again. But in that 1.5 hour nap time I achieved a record amount of organizing the files, thinning them out, and arranging items more efficiently. I grouped things so that they were easier to find than so many random papers. Instead of invitations spread throughout under last names, I made a "Wedding Invite" envelope. Now I'll be more likely to put them away, and keep them. What a cute momento to look back on. And with changing technology I am sure invites will differ in style and composition down the road, making looking back even more intriguing (oh, and look at those color choices, and how they were dressed!).

Going through the filing I found so many memories. Concerts, musicals, and plays watched. Courses taken. Inspirational notes received. Vacations enjoyed. Unique tours encountered (walking the ocean floor in a heavy helmet, ATVing in the desert in the rain, dogsledding across borders through sparkly snow, climbing pyramids in the heat). Church conferences experienced. Large items purchased.

Where do the years go? I have already been married for 6 exciting, tumultuous, enchanting years, Numerous trips taken to see family, to revel in the outdoors, to enjoy the warmth of Mexico, to explore the casinos of Vegas. Butterfly worlds, history museums, gift shops, and restaurants of all kinds. Blessings I didn't deserve. Memories of lives progressively changing in a two-steps-forward and one-step-back growth (really, as 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day).

In my files I found notes from counselling when I was about 23. If you would have told me then what I would be doing now I would be in disbelief. Not that anything about me is any good, but I am married with a drivers licence, a career, a marriage, a baby, an exercise routine, goals, hobbies, friends. All impossible concepts at one point. I was a different person then. So scared, hurt, shy, and confused. It took a long time to organize my scattered feelings, my capacious dreams, my undiscovered strengths and weaknesses. To forgive, knowing that holding on hurts oneself more than anyone else. Life has remained a process of choosing what to keep and what to let go. Remembering that it gets progressively easier. Filing hurts and opinions gradually get faster. Throwing unnecessary and harmful waste in the trash becomes more natural. Concentrating on what truly matters becomes more second nature the more it is practiced.

So, I can believe organizing my home will get easier too, right? I am on my way, right? I guess I have to exercise the correct muscle. Step by step.

Now, if only I could get my daughter to stop throwing random objects in the hamper, spreading shoes throughout the house, throwing toys down the stairs, and emptying cupboards. Or, maybe she is the trainer stretching my organizing muscle.

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