I hate cleaning, and it’s no great mystery why. When I was growing up, I found all my siblings had perfected the fight or flight instinct while all I seemed to have was freeze. My Dad would come home from work, take one look at the chaos created by nine (count ’em, nine) unsupervised children in our small, story-and-a-half house and he’d start yelling. “You kids clean up…”, all the others would scatter and I was left with the deer in the headlights look, “…Laurie Ann.” You know, even the most menial jobs have some sort of training, not just a command to “Do it!”

Now I read books on organization and de-cluttering. De-cluttering, what a charming, innocuous word. It makes it sound like I have a few too many figurines on the mantel, rather than boxes and bags of junk that have no home.Of course, the de-cluttering books just add to the clutter. The most common advice is to make 3 piles, “toss”, “keep” and “donate”. I can do the toss and donate, but it’s the “keep” pile that throws me for a loop. A good number of boxes I’ve been going through are “keep” boxes from previous attempts at purging. And, as my bedroom gets cleaner, my living room gets more cluttered with the “keep” items that don’t belong in the bedroom.

Donate, toss...

Donate, toss…

I need a deeper type of sorting. I need a “keep in the bedroom and put away immediately”, “keep but belongs elsewhere”, “keep and file important papers”, “keep to sell on e-bay”, and “belongs to someone else so give it back already”. I may need to come up with more as I go along.

Keep. keep, keep, keep...

Keep. keep, keep, keep…

But I got 4 more bags out of the house.

Stay tuned…