About two months ago my mother showed up at my House with a truckload of boxes. When she had told me that her neighbor had given her a bunch of Barbie stuff for my daughter, I was initially excited. Growing up I had always loved Barbie and was looking forward to starting off my little one's collection. I had no idea that there would be so much of it, but I knew I would have a good time sorting through it.
The boxes sat in my entryway for a few weeks. The Princess would get into them and pull out a few things and I'd smile. The lady who had gifted this all to us has daughters who are my age, so a lot of these toys were things I had owned as a child. Every now and then, I'd find myself looking up various dolls and accessories to see if they were worth anything. I kept telling myself I'd sort it all out "tomorrow", and eventually I just lugged them all upstairs to be dealt with later.
The next time I visited my mother, she had more stuff for me. She loaded up my car and I was excited to add it to the pile. Now that I had it all, I'd finally get around to sorting it. I drove home with the idea that I'd bring it all inside and immediately start sorting.
It stayed in my car for another 3 weeks or so.
After another week or two had gone by, I finally dragged it all into the house and added it to the growing pile upstairs. And then I ignored it. I'd get to it one day, when I had everything else caught up. I'd not only sort through all the new acquisitions, but I'd sort through all of my daughter's toys and get rid of the stuff she no longer uses. I'd get everything organized and then we'd just have to keep up on it as we go.
|This is actually after working on it for a few days...|
Each week, I made plans to thoroughly clean my house. If I was going to declutter my daughter's room, I might as well do the rest of the house so I could make one trip to drop off the donations. I got it in my head that I couldn't begin on the purge until I had all the other cleaning done, and I couldn't focus on the upstairs until I had the downstairs finished.
Yes, I can hear you laughing.
We all know how the story goes from here. The downstairs is never completely clean, because we live here. On a typical Saturday, I will spend the whole day getting it spotless and organized, and then I'm too tired to get to the upstairs. By Sunday evening, the house looks like a tornado hit it and I wonder why I even bother. I try to keep up on things through the week, but as soon as I clean up one mess, my three-year old has created another. It's never ending.
I don't know exactly what it was that made me realize that I was damning myself, but it finally hit me sometime last weekend as I cried to Almost-Husband about how impossible it was to catch up on everything. Suddenly, it became very clear that waiting for the day when everything else was done to start on that project was extremely unrealistic. If I wanted to get it done, I just had to dive in and do it.
Instead of trying to tackle it all in one sitting, I've been working on it a little bit each day. To say this is a huge change for me would be an understatement. I've always been an all or nothing sort of person. If the project seems overwhelming, I just push it off until I "have the time". If I can't do it all at once, it's not worth it. This mindset has, not surprisingly, done nothing but cause me frustration.
I'm not going to say that it's easy to get rid of this type of thinking. It's hard to change something that has been a part of you for your entire life. But, slowly but surely, I'm breaking out of it. Somedays I may only get a handful of little plastic shoes matched and put away, but it's a start, and it's a lesson I'm hoping will spill over into other areas of my life.
Today I may be drowning in pink plastic and a never-ending to-do list, but it doesn't have to be forever. One day, my life will be more organized and less stressful. Starting with the toy room.