Got Clutter? A couple of fab articles on the messy subject

My Unknowing BFF 
One of Thrifty Decor Chick's gorgeous projects
Have you ever come across someone that, without having met them, you just KNOW you'd be best friends with?  Yeah, that happened to me the day I stumbled across Thrifty Decor Chick's blog.  Obsessed with detail, decor and organization; funny and very self-effacing; brilliantly creative and yet extremely accessible and down to earth - I just kinda adore this girl, and, in the best possible way, am insanely jealous of her skill (her name is Sarah). 

I often come across articles of hers that I consider re-posting, but one that she posted last week hit me on such a personal level that I knew I had to share it with all of you.

This particular blog entry is on clutter - something that I  struggle with everyday - and it was inspired by an article pertaining to a study on the link between clutter and depression.  As I read Sarah's personal insights and opinions on the topic, I found myself nodding and "Mmm hmm"ing like I was in some sort of Baptist revival church. (Sing it, sister!)
Read Thrifty Decor Chick's Article Here:  The Matter of Clutter

My Own Struggle 

Got Clutter? Yeah, me too...
Clutter is DEFINITELY something that I wage war on, with varying degrees of fervor (and therefore varying degrees of success).  I LOVE to decorate and entertain, so I have loads of dishware, serveware and decor pieces in every nook and cranny of the apartment.  I love to shop and create and have a tendency to collect things from second hand stores without a clear plan as to what I'm going to do with them just yet.  Then there's the fact that I'm also a bit of a sentimental prat, which means I feel guilty about getting rid of any pieces gifted to me by friends or family.  And we haven't even mentioned my husband's Stuff...

Ultimately, I don't think Things are bad.  But when the excess piles up; when there's no rhyme or reason or organization; and especially when the simple existence of the extra Stuff is affecting my day to day - it's not a good thing either.  (Sarah, you're not alone: I have absolutely found myself going out to buy something extra simply because I can't find the one I own!) 

Things that make me go "Ahhhhhh"
When things are too cluttered, I find myself getting upset more easily, and I'm less able to relax.  I've struggled with depression most of my life, and both of these articles drove home to me how something seemingly small can have a huge impact on my outlook.  In addition to the feelings of being overwhelmed and a lack of control, there's a certain amount of underlying guilt that comes with the realization that some people don't have anything and I'm holding on to things that I May Never Use.  Probably not my most awesomest of traits.

So this leaves me in a state of constantly needing to evaluate and restructure.

SOOOO much easier when I know where to find things...
On the upside, I have found in recent years that I actually LIKE to organize (weird, I know).  It gives me back a sense of control and power.  I find myself in a zen-like state as I sort through piles, creating boxes to donate and new systems to make finding things easier.  And I absolutely agree with Sarah that, for the most part, I don't miss the things I get rid of.  Yes, every now and again I think about a donated object and go, "Man, that would have been perfect..." But that's rare and I'm not sure how worth it is to store something on that off chance. 

As you know, my husband and I have a Little One coming in late April, so the need to streamline and systemize our house has increased tenfold (and to do so on a budget!  Turns out this little freeloader won't be getting a job for a while...).  So the next couple of months will present some interesting challenges in our small, already overflowing space.  But I love a good challenge and I'm excited to start on making some changes to our lovely but cluttered home.

I hope you'll join me for the journey and I'd love to see some of your own challenges and solutions!!

A special thanks to Thrifty Decor Chick for reminding me that I'm not the only crazy dual-personality'd clutter bug out there!

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