I am not a very neat person, and neither is my boyfriend. We both have demanding jobs and mental illnesses that don’t help us stay neat. So you can probably tell that our apartment is not the ideal, clean, uplifting haven that Martha Stewart tells us homes should always be.
Sometimes I have a day where the planets align for me, and my depression and anxiety don’t bother me, I’m refreshed, I’m inspired and ready to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! But once I clean all the things, the organizational dragon that’s been fueling the fire in my soul goes “fuck this” and slithers back into its cave for a 100-day slumber. And I let my clean house go to pot again. This is the cycle that’s been repeating since I was old enough to clean my own room.
I also feel deeply guilty about being able to tackle an organization project, but not being able to maintain it. I have had many clever and functional Ikea storage solutions gather dust because I can’t help but let my clothes pile up on the floor. So when I moved in with my boyfriend I knew I could’t let stuff pile up, but I also knew I would never be able to fight my piling ways forever. I knew if I did I would just end up miserable so I would want to clean even less. I would get what I didn’t want — a cluttered apartment that we would not want to come home to, and worse, end up arguing about.
So just like you do in any relationship, I compromised with myself. I bought cheap hampers to separate my clothes into contained piles — keeping them clean and within reach. I’ll be able to find stuff without having to worry about folding it nicely and putting it away unless I want to.
I’m breaking the notion of how we “have” to organize and making it work better for me and my family. Slowly but surely, I’m making our lives better by just working with what I am instead of lamenting what I’m not. I’m also feeling empowered as hell and it feels great.
I guess in the end, baskets will always be the answer.