…I decided to sell my house. We had lived there for 14 years… longer than I had lived anywhere my entire life. I moved around a lot as a kid, 30 times between kindergarten and high school, but that is a different story. Moving a lot as a kid though had never prepared me for living somewhere for that long, and the amount of clutter that can accumulate.
During the sale process, it was a bit of a struggle to keep the house in pristine condition for showings, but we assumed it would only be short term… however we listed the house late in 2007, just before the housing market started crashing. We ended up having our house on the market for about a year, chasing the housing prices down, before finally giving up. We listed the house 2 years later and it sold in 8 days, which was a big relief. The one realization I had though, was that we were capable of keeping our house clean and clutter free, but only for someone else. This made me a bit sad. Why could we not do this for ourselves? This thought has stuck with me over the years.
With the new house, my husband and I decided that every few years, we would pretend that we are moving, and look at our house with a fresh set of eyes. We have been in the current house nearly 10 years now, and we haven’t really done this yet, so I will be journaling my process and progress on this path.
There seems to be a project in nearly every room of my house. My oldest adult child moved back home a few times before they officially launched, and my middle kid started college, resulting in a lot of reorganizing the house to accommodate everyone’s evolving needs. Then came the pandemic, and the clutter has really gotten out of control… more rearranging to make office/school spaces for everyone. I also had undiagnosed ADHD, which I am sure was contributing factor. I would try to declutter, and I would make real progress, but then sometimes the clutter would just move from one room to another, getting lost on its way to the door. I used to apologize for my mess, saying “that if I waited until the house was clean to have anyone over, it would never happen” and “that at least my clutter would make everyone feel better about their houses”. This will be a real test of that philosophy as I share this journey with the world.
I have a friend that started a group for “A year of living Organizationally” where they will be working on 12 rooms in 12 months, so I will likely join her for inspiration as well.
Hopefully, sharing my process will help everyone feel better about their house, and ultimately know that you are not alone.
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