I saw someone comment on Goodreads on the number of unread books they held. It was under a thousand. My number is 3,093. Snort. Chuckles to self. They’re not even in the game.
In my attempt to manage my recent diagnosis of ADHD I saw a recommendation for Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized by Susan C. Pinsky.
Wonder of wonders, the local library had a physical copy. It was a bit of an adventure to get it: first off I had to work out how to make a branch transfer request (cue my anxiety); then it kept saying it was still being read and hadn’t been returned; then it said it was at my library, but when I went to collect it, it was not on the reservation shelf. Not on the normal shelf either. It was gone.
‘I was just trying to get organised,’ I wailed at the librarian. She patted my hand and promised she’d find it. It had taken weeks to get to this point. Weeks in which I had to keep reminding myself to check on its progress.
With two librarians searching, it was eventually located.
Finally, I could read it.
The author said that she ran a professional organisation business and wondered at intelligent, creative clients who would backslide from one week to the next. What was wrong with them? Then her own child was diagnosed with ADHD and she realised the strategies she used with her, worked with clients, too. Weigh, adopt, reject or modify. Some of it was slapdash but if it worked, it stayed.
It certainly wasn’t Pinterest or Instagram pretty. She also recommended against solutions that increased your work burden, like recipe databases or complex filing methods. Rainbow sorted bookshelves give me hives just looking at them.
I also read an interesting Tumblr post (that I now can’t find… tumblr is like that) saying that the whole minimal stuff movement assumes you have money. Let’s choose a pen as the example. You can allow yourself to only keep one pen if you know at any time if that pen runs out or breaks, you can just go buy another one. You have to have the money and the spoons to do it. You have to have a car with fuel in it to get to the mall/newsagent. You have to have a pain-free day or whatever… that’s not easy for everyone.
My hoarding ties into that and also into FOMO [fear of missing out]. I will grab a book when it’s free knowing I can’t afford it when it’s back at full price.
As another example, I bought a couch from Ikea ten years ago. The cover is white. It’s been washed multiple times but it’s not easy to do. It’s enormous - one of those corner ones with five seats - and if the washing machine copes, the clothesline nearly bends with the weight of it. Plus, last time it took two whole days to dry. Let’s not add in the number of litres of water used when 100% of my state is in drought.
Ikea usually makes covers for their products but for a number of years this particular couch wasn’t one of them. To get another cover custom-made would have cost more than the price of a new couch. But recently, they were in stock so I grabbed one. It cost $160. Now I have a huge pile of white canvas in the middle of the living room floor. It’s in pretty good condition; a couple of stains but no holes, and its super soft after a decade of butts sitting on it.
Kid 1 stubbed a toe on it and complained so I know I have to do something with it. The dressmaker in me looks at the huge amount of material and zippers and imagines what could be made out of it. Am *I* ever going to make those things? Nope. It would just add to my unfinished project list, but I can imagine it. It kills me to throw it away.
So it doesn’t move while my brain fights with itself over it. I’ve written this as I sort it out for myself.
Today I will put it in a box with the Ikea diagram of the couch and chuck it in the back of the car. Next time I go past the charity shop I’ll give it to them. Maybe somebody else will use it or make something out of it? If they don’t, it’s out of my hands.
Mostly, it’s out of my brain. And that’ll work.