(22 intense comments over the weekend, with help from Patrick 2, ebrown, Pixie, Maxwell, Dorianne, Mary Jo, Wende, Randi, Guido, Marisa, JMC and Mary:
Mary jo: HELP! I'm in need of some serious apartment therapy. Two years ago I moved into an approximately 350sq ft L-shaped studio apartment. Two years later, suffering from design/decorating paralysis, I am still living amidst unpacked boxes, tons of full shopping bags, overflowing laundry, empty kitchen cupboards, unpainted walls, no furniture, etc... And it is making me CRAZY.
Wende: Hi Mary jo! I'm not a therapist, nor do I play one on TV, but here are a couple guesses about what's going on with your apartment:
1. You live in a space sized for someone who owns two pairs of perfect shoes, four perfect dinner plates, and cleaning equipment that looks like art when hung on the wall....
Patrick 2: Mary jo, The biggest thing is, before you start, preferably from somewhere outside the apartment, visualize a very concrete, very easy-to-achieve step, such as "I will put all my Summer clothes in one place." Then, go home and don't do ANYTHING but that first step.
Randi: Mary Jo,
There is a really great book that really explains all of the psychology behind clutter and why it is so hard to get started on removing it. It is called "It's Hard to Make a Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys" by Marilyn Paul, Ph. D.
Marisa: 15 minutes, work around the room clockwise. It's worked great for me, and I'm a major slob with lots of stuff.
Mary: I finally started tackling one of my biggest looming projects, after the times published an article today on how to do it properly: How to Prepare for One Really Quick Getaway.
Pixie: Mary, thanks so much for posting this link - I hadn't seen that article, and getting together my disaster plan and docs is on my list of things to do.