Why is the urge to purge so fleeting?

alisandeMarch 4, 2009

Right now I'm in Purge Mode. I'm acutely aware of all the stuff that's either out of place or shouldn't be here in the first place. I feel ruthless. This is good. My house needs ruthless action.

But why don't I feel like this all the time? Or even most of the time? Why do we allow stuff to accumulate to the point where we need to feel ruthless?

I guess I should be grateful that I feel this way even part of the time--and I am! But I'm curious about why the whole process is so cyclic.

Any thoughts?


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Because life and death is cyclical? The seasons? Hormones? What to have for dinner? My exercise patterns?

You know, one thing I've noticed is when I'm focused on other things, my home becomes the first place where the signs of creativity or boredom are evident. I have a high tolerance for mess and clutter at certain times of the process, and a low tolerance at others. The good thing is when my tolerance is low, I can really clean it up, and in pretty good time! Which will be this week, where the focus will be on my home office, lately a very low tolerance zone.

...you know the ''other'' explanation is that it's spring in most parts of the country, which is always a good time for me to lighten up the messes in my life. The additional sunshine helps the process along for me immensely.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:25PM
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Because life and death is cyclical? The seasons? Hormones? What to have for dinner? My exercise patterns?

LOL Good point, Claire. And I agree with you about the sunshine, too. If I plan to clean on a certain day, and it dawns grey and cloudy, I almost always find something else to do.

Yes, I think creativity plays a role. I know only one highly creative individual whose house is always tidy. And she has a cleaning lady. And a separate studio.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Well THERE you go! I'd love to have a cleaning lady, but she is me. At least I know where I put things after they disappear.

One thing I'm noticing (now that I finally have some sunshine), is a few minutes of exercise (hello treadmill) morphs into more energy to get other things moving. It's amazing what a ten minute walk will move around my house. And I find I can't use the treadmill if the room it's in is a mess. (That one big circle in and of itself!) If I just don't know where to start, I make my bed and go from there.

Frankly, I think I let it get that way just so I'll feel good once I clean it up.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 2:20PM
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yeah I know, you gotta grab the bull by the horns.
i put some bedding on Craigslist day before yesterday as well as some appliances, all gone..$ in hand..yeahhh...made me so happy i ran to computer to put more on craigslist, got one item on but batteries died in camera..waiting for recharge to take more pictures and put more on CL

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 4:09PM
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I must be a bit different. I have a constant urge to purge I think. The urge to clean now? That's as elusive as ...well, the most elusive thing you can think of. At least by maintaining the purging, I keep the things I need to clean to a minimum, and that really helps.
But I definitely have "housekeeping" moods and yes, I'm sure it's hormones, weather, seasons, news, radio waves, tides, the moon....... or just the plain fact that I get bored and easily distracted with most routine things.
But I have cooking, sewing, gardening, shopping, filing and drawer sorting urges which can last a week or an hour... I just enjoy doing whatever the mood urges me to do, and plod through the things I have to do.
Wish I could get a more even balance though.
I do find though that I can get in the mood for things by simply beginning.
Then I can have the opposite problem. I get out in the garden, not really feeling in "the mood", and then I find once I've started, I don't want to stop, and I'll be out there till dark and dinner hasn't been started!
So yes, my urges can be fleeting, but they can also take over and become addictive.
Not cleaning though.... Ever! I do it because I'm fussy, but not because I enjoy the process.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 10:36PM
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I caught the "decluttering fever" from FlyLady in July of 2007. Perhaps it's no longer a fever. Instead, it has settled down to a new set of habits. Every now and then, I ask myself whether I am doing enough decluttering lately. You see, I still have some small pockets of clutter. A health issue sidetracked me from the decluttering for a while. But now, I'm going at it again with renewed insight. If I don't need it or want it, I try to find someone else who will take it off my hands. I love Freecycle!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:17PM
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Everyone is right about habits and cycles. If it's a habit to purge, and then go back to collecting...you will need to purge again. Some have to purge again sooner than others. And so it goes.

If you can try something new...not collecting or re-filling the space you just cleared...you should not have to purge it again. Commit to only collecting and/or keeping what matters, maybe purging won't need to happen as often.

Easier said than done sometimes...but I think that's it in a nutshell.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:11PM
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