Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Project Clean-Up

Project Clean-This-Place-The-Hell-Up continues on. I am determined to bring organization back into my messy life. Wait, that would imply that I was once organized. Um...

I decided today was going to be "Return-To-Sender Day". I have an overflowing box of stuff that was loaned to me, left at my house, sent to me, etc. that needs to go back to its owner. I just ran out of padded envelopes and mailing boxes, but everything is at least bubble wrapped, with a note attached and an address label rubber-banded on. I just need to make it over to Staples and then the post office and YAY, that's another bunch o' crap out of my space.

There are two "dimensions" to cleanliness. I don't know if that's the right word, but you'll see what I mean in a moment.

I am a clean freak. If you looked at my office or bedroom, you would say "uh, no, you're not," but that's because both rooms are awash in papers, shoes, stuff, computer parts, stuff, stuff and stuff. My bathroom and kitchen, on the other hand, are spotless. The pots and pans are like mirrors, the counters and stovetop are crumb-free and never sticky, the sinks are sparkly and you could perform surgery on the toilet seat.

See where I am going with this? I like things clean. I can barely bring myself to use a grubby bathroom. I can't deal with lumps of toothpaste in the sink or hair in a shower drain. Yuck. I can't deal with grimy kitchens or food encrusted cookware. I'd rather not eat. But when it comes to clutter and mess, it's an endless battle. Despite the fact that I relentlessly shred like a maniac and try to do as much as I can online, I am constantly drowning in papers. I visit a great gemach in Brooklyn (email me for the address, if you like, it's really a great place) at least three times a year with huge garbage bags of clothing, shoes, pocketbooks, toiletries, computer parts and other assorted stuff I don't need, and yet, my closets and drawers are always overflowing. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "she's living in a material world and she's a material girl." Well, wrong again. Except for my handbag,
ahem, issue, I'm hardly a big shopper at all. I think my stuff just multiplies. Like, for the life of me, I cannot figure out, why do I have three printer cables sitting on my desk right this very moment? I have only one printer. Where do these things come from? Why do I have two spindles of CD Roms? Why two? Why do I own four denim skirts? I have no memory of buying at least two of them. Why do I have three hairbrushes that are all exactly the same? Is that my book? Where did this desklamp come from? Why do I have four boxes of paper clips? Good grief. Aliens have landed and left me all their stuff.

This was a huge issue for me and The Ex. He was neat and dirty, and I was clean and messy. If his hand stuck to the kitchen counter, or there were cobwebs in the corners of the garage, that did not bother him in the least. But tripping over my 4,000 pairs of shoes in the bedroom drove him insane. "Streamline, WebGirl, streamline!" he would scream.

I am finding that I am growing more clean and more messy as I grow older. I am more compulsive about dirt as the years go on, but my stuff seems to be spiraling out of control. If I were a graph, I'd look like a 45 degree angle.

Project Clean-Up rages on. I am determined to change.

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