Cleaning Up, Part 2

Sometimes I'm not very good at listening to my own advice.

Okay, maybe it's more like many times I'm not very good at listening to my own advice.

But then again, that's half the reason I write.  To remind myself of things I am likely to forget.  To teach myself things I am having a hard time learning.  To give myself something to look back on when I am overwhelmed by the very things I thought I understood.

I've been hard at work for the last 10 days trying to bring order to the infamous "storage room."  And every day I have labored until exhausted, trying to tell myself it's okay that I haven't finished yet, that it isn't about finishing but about progressing.  You know, all those things I blogged about last week.

But my all-or-nothing thinking has been getting the better of me.  Telling me that it isn't enough to just keep moving forward, that it doesn't count if I don't finish.  Ever feel that way?  Sometimes I think it's my perpetual condition.  Always pushing for more because whatever I've done isn't good enough.

After putting the final touches on my storage room project yesterday, I pulled up the before and after pictures to get them ready to post.  And I was amazed at what I had done in 10 days' time.  Because if you tell yourself "it's not enough" for long enough, you start to believe that everything you do is small, insignificant, and never going to amount to anything.  And I'll be honest here.  "It's not enough" almost always translates into "I'm not enough."  And even more honest still--"I'm not enough" eventually translates into the kind of deep-down soul discouragement that makes me want to curl up in a corner.

So when I said that I was going to "practice" the art of living well, I meant it.  I'm practicing.  Because, clearly, this is something I'm not very good at.  Something I'm going to have to practice for a long time before I get the hang of it.  With that in mind, I'm going to listen to my heart this week and take a break from my de-cluttering for a bit.  Because right now, I only have the strength to hold my ground on what's already been done.  And I've firmly decided that it's enough.

So enjoy the before and after pictures...and don't hold your breath for Part 3 of my project.  It may just be a while before I get there.

First off is my shelf of miscellanea, before and after:

Even after the shelf was organized, it still looked ugly.  So I found this fun curtain on clearance at Ross for 49 cents.  Yes, that's right.  49 cents.  Even with my non-existent sewing skills, I was able to cut it to length and hem it up quite easily.  And isn't it happy?

Next up, I worked on the shared section of the storage room.  Unsurprisingly, it was far easier to organize other people's stuff than my own.  I didn't have to decide what to keep or throw.  I just had to find creative ways to stack it up to the ceiling.  And that was kind of fun.  Before and after:

Then I moved on to my own disaster area and worked some serious magic.  Before and after:

That magic also involved buying my first paper shredder and spending several hours shredding the last five years of paperwork.  Now I have all this to compost:

At this point, I thought I was nearly done since "all" I had to do was go through my art bins.  Five days of hard work later, I had a slightly different opinion of the matter.  Here's the corner next to my bins that had become a collection point for oversized items, before and after:

(I emptied the corner, then eliminated it by moving the shelf)

And here are my bins, before and after:

I'm still searching for the perfect storage system for my bins, as this current one isn't working that well.  But for now, it's enough.

And yes, I'm going to keep saying that until I really believe it.


  1. Awesome Job, Dear Friend! Your place looks amazing! I really enjoy your happy curtain. What a great fit. =)
    And, is that Buddy in the storage room window? cute. :)

  2. @Rachel: Thanks for the encouragement. And yes, it's Buddy! The cats seemed to know when I was taking pictures and I gave up trying to keep them out of the shots :)


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