I was very resistant to having help with this project. I finally had to get out my journal and ask myself what was so scary about enlisting a helper. A couple things came up:
- It's my mess, my doing, and should thus be my responsibility.
- Accepting help means I am a failure at organizing. (Just to be clear: NOT TRUE)
- I can pretend the mess is not really as bad as it is, as long as no one else sees it.
Well, a therapeutic hour of journal time later, and I was ready to tackle the mess. With help.
Just like on the tv show Clean Sweep, we spent time taking everything out. I always wondered how long that process takes (on tv, it is a brief montage, usually with catchy music playing). Well, for this room: 1 hour.
The key to this process taking only an hour was to not try and do any sorting, or make any decisions about what to keep or what to toss. Also, I had to keep the judgments at bay, or I would have been an emotional wreck from continually beating myself up for letting the space get so cluttered.
I was reminded by my darling Sweetie that 90% of everyone has some form of mess like this, somewhere in their life. I am not alone. And in fact, by confronting my mess head-on and without fear, I am actually going to make things better. Not just a little bit. A LOT.
After the haul-out, we spent some time looking for "low-hanging fruit" -- items that are easy to categorize as keep or toss. Not as easy as I would have hoped, and I quickly became frustrated.
I have been listening to an audio course: Get Organized the Clear & Simple Way by Marla Dee. She breaks the "do it" phase of organizing (after "see it" and "map it" have been accomplished) into steps, starting with SORT.
So that's what I have been doing the past couple days, working on my own without assistance: SORT.
Just sort things into like categories, with bold labels on each category. Don't make decisions about keep or toss (that's why I can be trusted to do this step on my own), just sort.
There you have it: on my way to a cleaner classroom. And I'm pretty sure that this year, it's gonna get WAAAAY cleaner than it ever has been before.