Confessions of a lapsed clean-freak

Hang on.

I wrote down my topic for today’s blog on a little slip of paper so I wouldn’t forget what I wanted to write about.

I just KNOW it’s got to be around here somewhere.


Oh wait, no, that’s a little slip of paper that says, “Clean the bathroom.”

Did I do that already?

Yes, ok, good.

Dum, de dum, dum, dum, I am looking…I am looking for a scrap of paper…

Yes! Here it is! Ok, today’s blog is supposed to be about…


Yeah, about that…

Somewhere between being a Chronic and being a Writer, my desk has EXPLODED. There is paper everywhere. Doctor notes here, scribbles that say “Main character should be an orphan,” over there (aren’t all tragic characters orphans?). All jumbled into the mosh pit that is my workspace.

As my workspace is currently in my bedroom and not a home office (#LivingAtHome, #ParentsAreMyRoomies, #PersonalSpaceLimited), all of this paper tends to co-mingle with stuff like laundry and a herd of stuffed elephants (I should really start an Etsy shop- anyone have advice on this?).

So yeah, it’s about time for an Organizational Overhaul.

First thing’s first.

Gather supplies.


Can I digress for one quick second? It’s not an actual digress, as it’s about cleaning supplies, however it’s not actually relevant to organizing so it kind of counts as a digress…

What was I saying? Oh right, my digression.

I love Swiffer Sweeping cloths.

In yet another example of how old I am, I remember when they first came out. (A digression within a digression: Why does this keep happening? I am not that old, however I suddenly sound like someone’s great-grandma every five minutes when I talk about remembering when something was invented. Seriously. Gosh.) As a young neat-freak, these were the coolest thing ever. So much dust-and it sticks to the cloth! I still can’t get over it!

Ok, so I’ve got my supplies.

It’s hard to just dive in. I am a divide and conquer sort of gal, so I’m going to compartmentalize the beejesus out of this project.

Something “easy” (does any of this qualify as easy?) to start with would be my bookcase. I’ve got two, one little one I’ve had forever and one Ikea monstrosity that I am forever grateful to my mom for putting together because I gave up after Diagram 2. Ikea directions are hard, ok? I’m pretty sure my mom made up her own instructions anyway (and they were probably better than Ikea’s, she’s a smarty). It hasn’t fallen apart in 6 years, so I think we’re good.


Someday, I will have a GrownUp room without any toys on my shelves. Sigh.

80% of my books fit nicely into my bookcases. The remaining 20% have migrated- to my nightstand, to my desk, into piles on the bookcase.

I went through them pretty quickly- there are some that I am just never going to read again (a historical fiction about Madame Tussaud? Good, but creepy. Now I understand why the wax figures freak my sister out so much) and some that are outdated (Writer’s Market from 2009- pretty sure half the agents in there have changed their numbers by now).

Next up is my dresser, which means clothes, so I decide to do closet Part 1 with it. The Prednisone I had to take to make my PMLE recede in June has made this a pretty easy task also- I will simply be buying all new pants this Fall season. I’m going to keep my favorite pair- Banana Republic cigarette pants in the prettiest fabric you’ve ever seen- just in case I ever decide to have elective surgery to remove my hip bones and they fit again. But everything else- to the donate pile!

I’ve been avoiding two things- my desk and my closet (part 2). This is where the actual organizing is going to take place.

I feel like I’ve stood in the middle of my room surveying the enemy for an incredibly long time. I’m trying to determine if he has a weakness I can exploit.

That does not seem to be the case.

The pile of papers has grown so much that it’s practically a mutant monster from mars. I resist the urge to give up and go rot my brain with junk television shows instead.

I must be bigger than my disorganization!

Sorting seems like a good idea, so I put everything into categories (compartmentalizing- good, I can deal). It seems like an obvious place to start, making sure that the instructions for my heart rate monitor and my notes on character development are separated. There will be no fraternizing allowed on this desk, no sir!

I happen to have a lot of office supplies (I shouldn’t be allowed within 100 feet of Target during Back to School sales) so I have pulled together some folders, binders, and an accordion file to help my neatly sorted piles remain so.


Let me just say, Chronics, it is really important to be organized with your medical records. I have been slacking, and it has really been confusing, as I juggle a multitude of doctors, appointments, tests, etc. (Want to know who my doctors are? See Avengers, Assemble! July 21) It’s good to keep track of symptoms too, and to keep a list of the medications you take and a record of any changes made to them. I have to update all of these things myself. My last update was probably in May and a <WholeLotOfStuff> has happened since then. I guess I could just tell my doctors to read my blog…


My organizational bonanza is coming along quite nicely.


This is what “better” looks like.

I haven’t had the guts-I mean, time- to go through my closet yet (How does so much stuff fit in there? I’m a little afraid that if I ever actually get to the back of it, I’ll fall through to Narnia). There’s always the weekend.

Now I just have to decide what to do with all this stuff. The paper is basic enough to deal with- recycle, shred, keep. But the stuff? Hmmm…

I guess I will have to plan a yard sale. Stay tuned to hear how that goes…


P.S: Need some help with your own reorganizing, Chronic friends? A great book is It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh. I’m a fan of Walsh, who has appeared on the Oprah show and her network multiple times. He’s pretty no nonsense about clutter. That being said, be forewarned, he will make you feel like a hoarder if you own more than the clothes on your back. As with anything, take the clean-freak radicalism with a grain of salt!

And just as a note to you from me, I give you permission to keep your Sweat Clothing. Except the stuff with holes. Get rid of that. (Have no idea what I’m talking about? See That time I let Sigourney Weaver tell me what to do, July 30) 🙂


2 thoughts on “Confessions of a lapsed clean-freak

  1. Breanne says:

    I totally have the problem of chronically overflowed bookshelves! And I keep buying clearance used books faster than I can read them, so it just gets worse! I just went through again and got rid of a bunch of old books (including my 36 books from the Babysitters Club and a bunch more from the Babysitter’s Club Little Sister’s series!) Gah, there was totally a lot of mixed feelings on that – they were sentimental, but at the same time, it did feel nice to de-clutter a bit! Also, I totally finally just put my bed on a frame so that I would have more space to store books and stuff under my bed! D’oh! It will be organized, though, because a disorganized mess is like “ahhhhhHH!!!!” 😛

    • iamchronicallywell says:

      Oh the Babysitter’s Club! I loved them! A few years ago my sister and I went through our toy chest, and I gave away my Babysitter’s Club dolls, haha. I had Claudia and Mallory- funny that I can remember their names still. I guess a SuperFan never forgets =)

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