Among the bug-a-boos of life, dealing with stuff is the one most likely to lay me low. Never mind all the reasons -- and there are many. I simply have not found a way to get my house in order.
Some of you will have no idea what I am talking about because it comes so naturally to you, and you have my permission to quit reading now if you'd like. I have envied you and hidden my stuff from you when you've come over. Somehow, though, that doesn't seem too healthy, nor does it resolve my problem. So I am taking action. I am going to share my progress with you, not so that you can see what a mess I am, but to encourage others who might have a similar issue, and to help keep myself accountable.
It's mostly the paper work that gets me. It's been piling up for years as there have been extraordinary amounts of forms, reports, information and just plain junk that have come into our home. I lack proper systems for dealing with it all, so one of my first goals is to figure out appropriate systems.
I am not doing this alone. Perhaps that is one of the biggest mistakes we make, to tackle a project for which we are not well equipped on our own. There are times when we need to think something out with another person (or persons) so that we can see the project with fresh eyes.
I have two people. One is helping me get started and will be available if I need her for counsel along the way.
The other is my accountability partner, Glenda. We've been friends for 40 years and we love and trust one another. She has her own project that she is working on and we'll be in touch on a weekly basis, sharing our progress, our disappointments and successes, and maybe a scripture for the week.
OK, so here's what I'm going to do. I plan to turn this room into an office. Those boxes are full of tax records, medical and school reports, paper supplies, and past and current paper work to be finished, filed, or shredded. All of our son's books, toys and games are still in the room that he moved out of a couple of years ago. The room needs a thorough make-over. I'm excited and I'm nervous. But I am ready.
If you are still reading this, I suspect you somehow identify with the need to get a part of your life in order. So here is a look into how I am approaching this massive, potentially overwhelming project that has taunted me for years.
1. I have brought it to the Lord. My worth is not gauged by how well I can organize my stuff. He loves me, pure and simple. He created me with gifts and strengths, but organizing stuff was not one of them. I have accepted that.
2. I have found people to help me, one with expertise in this area and one to cheer me on.
3. I am making a plan*.
4. I am breaking it down into doable tasks.
5. I am going to put one foot in front of the other until I have come to the end of this journey.
6. Then I'm going to celebrate! I've already invited Glenda over for tea in my new office on Monday, June 2. It's a date I don't plan to break.
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*My plan includes making a mind map to help me think through what I need to do to see my vision for a new office a reality. I'll share it later. In the meantime, here's a link to 11 free mind mapping apps that you might want to check out.