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Why have I felt so irritated lately? What is going on that I feel so edgy, and just want to get rid of everything we own?

Remember I mentioned there was a fire in our apartment building about a month ago? Thank G-d everyone was fine, including the family in who’s apartment the actual fire occurred.

Well life has it that after that fire, the Fire Department has been hounding us. Like every apartment in the building, to make sure we are up to fire code. Which of course we were not. So..basically for us it comes down to the fire escape/porch. Each apartment has a small fire escape, which is sort of like a small porch, which for us held all our storage. Not anymore….

How could you have storage if you are an organizer?? Wouldn’t you have decluttered everything and only had what you use regularly on hand??

Well unfortunately, that is just not reality. Perhaps the experts, like Marie Kondo, are so organized that they don’t own things in “storage,” but we for one kept big things out there (my bicycle) and stuff we use once per year (boxes of seasonal & holiday items).

Time to bring it all in….EEEKK!!! MAJOR EEEK!!!

Because basically, if we were on our own timeline, I would leisurely take things in when I had the designated place for them, one at a time, over months.

This is more like a prod in the back – the Fire Department will fine us if the things are not moved ASAP.

Basically my apartment looks like a storage facility right now 🙁 🙁 🙁

In order to avoid the fine, we moved most of the things in already, without a place for them. Thus started the big rearranging, decluttering, getting rid of/selling, project.

That I will go into later. What I wanted to touch on here, was how all this made me feel.

At the time that we were bringing stuff in, going through things, I was excited to be in the midst of a project, and going through things that would otherwise sit for more years to come I’m sure. However, after the original dust settled, now walking around in a crowded cluttered apartment has really begun to wear on me.

In fact, it’s a conscious and subconscious thing. Partially I didn’t even realize it was the clutter – I just couldn’t figure out why I was so down and anxious. After some introspection, realizing thank G-d I was feeling good, was not in an argument with a friend, work was ok – it dawned on me that my space is overtaking my physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. That stepping over things, lifting and moving things, and cleaning things has all stressed me out, most of all the things that are still sitting here with no place to be. I placed some ads for sale for the large items that I realized I would like someone else to enjoy at this time, and while I wait for someone to purchase they are simply stressing me out and taking up valuable space and breathing space in my tiny apt!!! Ugh!!!

So what do we do in this situation? For your health – this is worth addressing.

  1. Get it out

Obviously what you can dispose of/donate, do so as quickly as possible. Your space is worth it. These items are not paying rent to you are they? And if you are through enjoying the items, don’t build a negative memory of them now that they are taking up valuable space in your apartment. List everything you can on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Apps like Letgo and Varagesale, etc. Do shifts to the local donation bins in your community.

2. Relax & acknowledge “this moment will pass.”

Sometimes #1 is not possible, or at least not as fast as you want it to be. So what do you do??? That folks, is the question of the day. Well you could stress-eat chocolate…NO lol just kidding. What I’ve concluded is, to take a deep breath, and say “this moment will pass.” To relax with the what-if’s (what if my neighbor is furious that my bike is now blocking the hallway), do your best efforts (updating craigslist postings, posting realistic prices for the things YOU think are worth millions but most would pay $50 for), and honestly if it’s really taking a toll, post that it is free for the taking – your sanity is worth it.

For example – one of the things taking up space for me was a piece of furniture, that I not only bought new from Amazon AND paid someone to build, but even in a couple short years had enough wear and tear that I couldn’t mark it at such a high price – forget about even coming close to getting my money’s worth. After less than 2 weeks of posting ads, getting zero bites, I finally listed it for free in a local community chat and have someone scheduled to come pick it up (think good thoughts they will come!) Basically it came down to the realization that for this piece of furniture someone will need a truck/large car, and will need to disassemble it themselves and in my apt – so all those things already cost the person in their time and effort and perhaps even financially if they rent a car to pick it up. I realized I wasn’t going to get paid on top of that – and especially when it came down to it, I decided I was not posting this on the worldwide craigslist since it involves someone coming into my home to disassemble it and I couldn’t bring it safely to a public place to sell – I preferred someone I know in my community to pick it up. So the payment to me, not cash in this example, will be the newfound space in my apt and the endless possibilities to use in this space!!

3. Hunker down and declutter/reshuffle.

The other thing I do is focus my efforts on other areas of home organizing and decluttering that I can make a dent in, even if the big items from the porch/fire escape can’t be dealt with right away. Perhaps it’s almost to feel a little sense of control amidst the chaos (though control in general in our lives is a fallacy when it truly comes down to it). I’m purging other things that haven’t been touched in months, throwing out old and read magazines, etc., and overall beautifying the home in other, smaller ways that I can right now. I’m also reshuffling things from the porch/fire escape into more manageable storage methods in our home, such as taking items out of big bulky containers and putting them into under the bed storage, like: https://amzn.to/2RWotWy, or shifting the couch and putting the vacuum cleaner to the side instead of storing it on the fire escape (more about this later, and how cleaning utensils are much more usable when close at hand).

Space affects our wellbeing – it’s a fact. That is why people pay premiums to live by the ocean, and why people will bring cheerful decor to decorate someone’s hospital room. The colors, objects, and atmosphere around us affects us, let’s have it affect us all for the better!

Until next time, I’m deep breathing in my *temporarily* cluttered space and acknowledging that this is how it is, right now. 

Successful centering!

~Shirit