Sunday, June 6, 2004

Brainwashed by the Church of Home Improvement

I am convinced that I am addicted to DIY shows. From This Old House to Clean Sweep, I watch them all. I adore Trading Spaces, Changing Rooms, Room Rivals, Designer's Challenge, Design for the Sexes, This Small Space, House Doctor, Sell This House, Life Laundry (see, I told you!)

I would wager that I have spent as many hours studying decorating and design as degreed decorators have. There is just one difference though . . . the shows haven't rubbed off on me. My attempts at decorating and organization are mediocre, at best. I never can quite bring things together to make a room look like the ones on TV, not even the 2-day, $1000 rooms (sigh).

The shows about decluttering particularly hit home for me - I am a bit of a packrat, I am afraid. OK, that may be a slight understatement. I have been known to downright hoard . . . masses of useless junk that I somehow thought I needed at the time of purchase.

The last couple of years have been a steady struggle to declutter, simplify, pare down, and live simply. When we bought our house in 2001, I vowed to put my hoarding days behind me and left a cubic ton of junk at the Goodwill on the way out of my old house. I have read books on organization, watched the shows (of course) and even implemented some fairly complicated and costly storage solutions in an attempt to tame my house. None of it has worked. I still have piles of laundry everywhere, little piles of things scattered here and there, and I keep a shovel handy to unearth the floor of the kids' rooms on a fairly regular basis.

I think that watching the shows gives me hope and keeps the dream alive. After I watch a good instructional show, I am inspired once again to take a crack at domestic domination over my crap.

The only thing that I have accomplished with a certainty is that I have ended my hoarding ways. I am completely unsentimental about papers, clothing, books, knick knacks, and little collectibles that used to fill my house to the rafters. I no longer haunt thrift stores and come home with bags of "treasures".

Baby steps . . .

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