Wednesday, September 4, 2013


It's not good, people.

Tonight at sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of Jewish New Year. In times past I have used this day to make resolutions for the year to come. This year, I have just one resolution. It will encompass a physical, intellectual, and spiritual problem that I have been avoiding for some time now: The floor of my bedroom closet.

My bedroom closet floor is stuffed with grocery bags. These bags, in turn, are stuffed with paper; miscellaneous paperwork, magazines, and unopened mail. In my daily efforts to "organize" the house, the inbox (our dining room table) is cleared of all paper and set in a stack on the counter. When the stack gets too high, it is moved to a grocery bag which is then slammed into the bottom of my closet to be dealt with at another time. That other time never comes. The shame spiral begins.

I can see a manila envelope peeking out of one of the bags that is labeled: Deal With ASAP. Clearly, that didn't happen.

I have tried unsuccessfully to deal with this issue before, moving the bag project from to-do list to to-do list, never being started. The bags are just so darn... heavy. Now, finally the emotional weight of the bags is pulling me backwards.

While I am tempted to throw away the bags and begin my new life, I know that I can't. Buried somewhere in my personal Hoarders episode is, among other things, our 2012 tax return, the Volvo registration, and Bob's passport. No, the only way out is through.

I resolve to go through these bags of crap and make actual files so that the important crap will have a new place to live and what's left will be tossed. In this way, I will let go of things that are no longer meant for me and I will be free. Perhaps this is a metaphor for other things in my life. Or not.

The Jewish Year is 5774. I will start it with a clean slate, my slate just happens to be a closet floor.

L'Shanah Tovah, everyone. 


  1. Good luck! A daunting task indeed. I have a Similar monster in my closet - a storage bun filled with pre-approved credit card offers addresses to my husband and I. This is a massive shredding project that I do not have the fortitude to address. Please pave the way, that I may follow your lead! Happy new year!

  2. This is hard. And you are right- there is no way out but through.
    I have a similar disorder and I'm going to call it a disorder because I truly think it is. I hate dealing with mail and with "official" stuff and business stuff and mostly I don't have to because my husband does it but that's not really a good thing because what if something happened to him? And hey- live long enough and something is going to happen to all of us.
    I wish you luck and I wish you peace and I wish you a happy new year. And please know I'll be thinking of you and that doesn't help you, but I understand. I do.

  3. I hate tasks like this. Those that seem to taunt you with their presence. But, I have found that they usually don't take as long as you think they will, once you convince yourself to start. Just think of the shoes that could take their place on the closet floor.

  4. You are a brave soul! It will be totally worth it, though...

    Good luck (and pace yourself - lots of snack breaks).


  5. Call your good friends at Pottery Barn, they'll help you out.


  6. Ugh, get your good snacks, download some fun podcasts or an audio book and that will help keep you in the room dealing with it.

  7. I recently was turned on to another form of keeping important documents. A binder. A coworker shared her organization with me and I love it.
    I have those plastic slip covers in the binder and inside I now put the registration forms, pink slips, passports, important loan docs. It's all in one binder that I can grab in a rush. I have folders too for other things, but those haven't been gone thru in years. :) Good luck and Happy New Jewish Year.

  8. I read the last two posts at the same time, and they both made me laugh and want to be your new best paper bag friend. Mine, though, tend to be boxes as they stack much more conveniently, and they tend to avoid tippage.

    May I recommend Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth(is there another?), or Battlestar Galactica, depending upon your mood and the number of bags.

    1. Mr. Firth can help me with my bags anytime. xo

    2. In the wet shirt! Damn, that will help me get through my day!

    3. In the wet shirt! Damn, that will help me get through my day!

  9. OMG. This is the story of my life. Seriously.

  10. OMG - THIS IS ME TOOOOOO! Lisa, you are totally ahead of me, though. You are putting it in 1 location and have a plan. My piles are all over my apartment so that I can "see it" and "action it". Wow - that's really working! NOT. So, I went paperless on most of my bills. Now? No paper. No clue. No shredding! LOL. aaaahhhh, :(

  11. As a recovering "clutter-aholic", I'm shining a light for you from the other end of the tunnel. The road is bumpy (it's covered with junk) but so worth it. I take before and after photos of my little victories..."sober chips" if you will. You can do this, Lisa... one bag at a time.

  12. How can mail feel so oppressive?! But it does! All that crap that we have to wade through to get to the mail that really needs to be dealt with just tips it over into overload. I got file boxes and hanging and manila files, a trash can for the paper recycling and set myself up before movies from the library. I open, separate the chaff from the wheat and throw the useless paper directly in the recycle bin, sort like with like and chronologically, read what need to be read and file directly into the file boxes. ***It feels so good to get that weight off your shoulders!*** I am here to report :o). You Can Do It! x0x0 N2