In a way, I’d first like to dedicate this post to someone I recently met online through Twitter. Her name’s Linda (@beautiful_again) and she has two inspiring blogs. The one that’s inspired this post is titled Making Things Beautiful Again, highlighting her fight to reduce the unnecessary clutter in her home which, as I’m sure many of us are aware, can have a debilitating effect on our mental state. Her other blog is titled Walks With Cookie, where she talks more openly about her battles with three forms of mental illness that I’m sure we can all relate to. A beautiful person doing beautiful things. On her first blog, she set out to do something small each day for one month. It could be as simple as tidying a small area within the bathroom; whatever it is, it helps and, as the days go on, you start to see a greater improvement while feeling as though it has required less effort.
This is a snapshot of the desk where I sit at with my laptop. I’ve had it less than two months and, I’ve only been back at mum’s since August but, already, I’ve allowed the mess behind to take over and it bothers me, each time I sit here.
This pile mostly consists of stuff that needs recycling or shredding (packaging and unimportant sheets of paper with my name and address on it), plus the box and instructions that came with my digital camera. Underneath my writing book for my evening class, it’s not a huge pile and, it really wouldn’t take long to sort out. It just feels like so much effort, as if I almost don’t have the time…
When I lived on my own, I made a habit of piling everything up and then dealing with it at the end of each month. This actually worked quite well. But now, living back in mum’s house again, I don’t know; I almost feel less in control. It’s almost as if I’m concerned for disturbing the others who live here. Maybe I’m just afraid of them discovering my routine habit? (In truth though, this mess is far more embarrassing).
I wouldn’t attempt to clean it in advance unless I was expecting company (ha…). I don’t actually like the thought of doing something like this prematurely, as it would affect my routine. Would I then continue to it again in another week or so, even though there may be less rubbish to deal with? ‘If I leave what’s left until the following month then, the effort require will be more worthwhile…‘
I didn’t find a perfectly convenient clothes solution that suited me when I lived alone and, even now, with twice the wardrobe space, I find myself living amongst piles of clothes that have ‘only been worn once‘ and are, therefore, deemed as being suitable to wear again this week, if only in the evenings at home.
Some of this stuff may only have been worn for one evening in a week and I am still used to my routine or only organising a wash at the end of each week. You can see a pile of books in the background as well… I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a folding clothes horse, which would allow me to hang things comfortably without the risk of creases, etc. I just don’t think I could put any of this back in the wardrobe, once it’s been worn, with all the clean-smelling softness in there. That would be wrong but then, to me, it’s still to clean to go out for a wash.
Among other things, this reminds me that I need to get another mirror to go on this wall, as mum’s ex-lodger had the one that was here (actually, I took it for my former-bathroom, as he didn’t want it…). I’ve got a space on the right for my ‘grooming’ essentials and, as seems to come naturally to many people; whenever I see a free space (as to the left, here), I end up dumping something to fill it. In this case, it’s more clean clothes. Although, this pile usually consists of stuff that needs to go in to the drawers.
So, that’s a peak inside the ‘chaos’ I regularly live with. If I opened the wardrobe doors (and, those of the cupboards above), you’d also see stacks of boxes from the house move at the end of July (in fairness though, the majority of this contains essentials that should stay there, like items for the kitchen). I consider Linda to be a friend and I’d hate to let her down by staying in this state while she is making so many strides forward to improve her own life. I will begin to make a difference and, as I walk around the house, I notice little jobs that need doing in areas outside of my own room (I’m quite handy with DIY…).
To many people, who do not understand about mental illness, this appears like plain laziness. Inside the mind of someone who suffers though, it is a constant struggle that cannot easily be explained. I’m not actually sure if this would be classed as a minor form of OCD or anxiety or what. It’s another issue I’ve not discussed with my counsellor.
Perhaps my next ‘thirty-days‘ challenge will be one that consists of making my home space a more comfortable place to live in, as Linda has already begun to do. 🙂