Some background information:
- I'm a lousy housekeeper. If there's housework to do, I'll come up with fifteen things that are much more urgent, and I'll go and do them.
- I like to have things in the places they belong so I can find them easily next time I use them. That also means I don't spent extra time cleaning/tidying. Unfortunately paper doesn't come under that rule. I never know what to do with paper.
- Books are sometimes an exception to that rule. I have about one-third of my library catalogued according to DDC. Those books are in order and in place. Except for the ones that aren't. I have more books than bookcase space. Sometimes it's difficult to find a book because I can't get to the bookcase I know it's in. There are piles of books in the way. When I finally get the book off the shelf, I don't put it back where they belong because that's a repeat of the previous battle, in reverse. I end up with books shoved in wherever they fit, with shelves being layered and jammed full of all sorts of mismatched titles, the combination of which made sense in my head at one time.
- I like "shiny" things. I'll often buy things, particularly stationery items, that are shiny and new and I might use one day. Other things I'll collect, just because, are knitting wool, and fabrics.
- I'm also sentimental. When I make something, I'll keep a remnant of the wool or fabric so that, once the item has gone to its intended home, I can still touch the fabric and remember the experience.
Finally, I'd had enough, but I still didn't know where to start. Luckily, I have friends who have lots of skills I don't. I enlisted help.
Yesterday, I spent the day in my office, alternatively flitting from one end of the room to the other saying, "I don't know where to start", throwing things out I haven't used in ten years (am I ever going to use these pens that ran out of ink three years ago?), and gasping at the colour of my desk (I haven't seen it in a while).
My friend was ruthless. The first time I held something I liked but had never used and didn't know what to do with it, she smiled, patted me on the back and held out her hand. "Don't worry," she said. "I'll find somewhere safe for it." I handed it over.
And she tossed it into the charity bag.
Once I'd finished hyperventilating, we got back to work. We're not finished yet. I have homework - things I need to sort through in the next two weeks. Then she'll come back and we'll impose more order onto this part of my life.
I'm not comfortable with it yet but I can see the potential. Already, walking into my office isn't something I need to build up to. This is going to be a good thing.