Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Buck Stops Here

Three months have now passed since my friends and I began our 31 Days to Clean Challenge. In the past three months we have scoured out homes from top to bottom {several times over}, conqured our laundry, and most importantly discovered a little bit more about ourselves, and why we do the things we do.

I remember somewhere along our journey reading an article that I identified with immediately.  It spoke of perfectionism and how some perfectionists avoid tackling tasks because they don't know how to complete them perfectly.  {Insert "Ah ha" spotlight shining directly down upon me}

They were talking about me.  I love to have things perfect.  I love things neat.  I love order.  I love to know exactly where to find things, but for the past thirty something years I have avoided everything because I didn't know how to do it perfectly.  I wanted ten-step solutions, precisely drawn out, telling me exactly, and in which order I should to things. 

After reading that article, I finally knew what has been plaguing me for so long. I now had a diagnosis for this disorder I had been struggling with my entire life, and now all I had to do was address it.

My friend, Katie found this sign that sums it up perfectly.

So there I had it.

The buck stops here. 

No more excuses.

No more unrealistic expectations.{because let's face it, nothing's perfect}

No more more procrastinating.

No more waiting for someone to fly in and rescue me. 

The time was now, and the task was our basement disaster zone. 

*and this was after two days of sorting.

After receiving a tip to just start, I did just that.  I sent my friends this picture, told them the date I would have it done by, and asked them to hold me to it. 

I started and there was no turning back.  I unpacked each and every tub, sorted them into five piles: keep, maybe keep, donate, sell, trash. 

It wasn't pretty but I did it. 

Once I had taken the trash to the curb, returned many miscellaneous items to their original homes, and decided what to donate, I then began to place the remaining gems into bins.

I made labels for each bin,

and made them interchangeable by attaching them with Velcro.

I created one area for crafts,

featuring a neatly organized drawer system,

that now explained exactly where I could find things.

I re crafted an old Rubbermaid drawer system into storage for the boy's art,

saving a special spot for the baby we are so excited to meet,

 wrapped the project up by stacking everything else in one organized spot,

and bounced up the stairs with sheer joy to tell Steve that I had done it.  For the first time in my life, I conquered my perfectionist tendencies and just did it.  I finished a project all by myself, and I was darn proud of it.

Is it perfect? No. The bins don't match.  The font on the labels isn't exactly how I want it.  The bins are not stacked on a shelf.  However, in a monumental decision to let it go, I used the bins I had, I didn't reprint the labels, and I let Steve off the hook in making a shelving system.  Why? Because I needed to let go and realized if I was waiting for everything to be perfect it would never get done...thus the cycle would repeat itself, and I would continue to be unhappy.

...I think I like this new me that is starting to evolve. 

You're have you grown lately?


  1. brilliant. and to think you figured this all out at age 31. SO much living left to do ;)

  2. boys look out, this woman is on a mission!!!

    very humbled, and very nice work luv!

  3. I absolutely adore those labels! You did such a fantastic job! And that last picture just makes me all happy giddy inside!

    Great job, I bet it felt amazing!


  4. Congrats!
    I admire your challenge to the rest of us. Our family is physically, emotionally and spiritually "growing" through foster care.

  5. Thanks for the inspiration! Two days and multiple trips to Goodwill later, our garage is finally sorted and cleaned. When we moved in we seriously only unpacked about 1/2 of our stuff. The rest went in the garage. We decided if we haven't touched it in a year, we probably don't need it. :)

  6. Love it Sarah!!!! Freeing isn't it?


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