Underlying disfunction and organizing challenges - but making pro
From my own experience, and reading through some of the other posts here, it's struck me that organizing is often not the real (or fundamental) problem.
In my case, my therapist is convinced I have adult attention deficit disorder when she listens to my accounts of challenges. For years I've been treated for depression, but now it seems like anxiety is actually causing some of the depression-like symptoms. There is always so much stuff to do running through my head that I just can't find a starting place, and although I know the questions "What is the best use of my time right now?" I simply can't find an answer and act on it - there are too many possibilities.
(Incidentally, I have started being treated for anxiety - my psychiatrist doesn't really believe in ADD - and I am incredibly better able to focus in just a week, and a lot more productive). So maybe anxiety, all that internal nagging, was the real problem, and disorganization and overwhelmedness were the symptoms.
And then there's Julie - now she's got a closet, but it's so dark in the room that she can't tell navy from black! There's nothing wrong with Julie, that's for sure. Other people are being used by their parents to offload the stuff they can't bear to get rid of.
I do get a couple ideas from every organizing book I read. The latest was to take my textile collection out of storage boxes and display it on shelves. And while I was putting it on a bookshelf (carefully filling each shelf to leave NO CAT ROOM, but of course one of them got herself up to the top shelf anyway and made a next by throwing down a few choice pieces), I discovered what I never noticed while this was all in boxes: I have some stuff I don't even want to keep! But I was able to keep on task (filling the books shelves) instead of going off to look for a box to load stuff into for a garage sale. One thing at a time. Next weekend I can get a box and pull out the ones I don't want to keep, AND make it more cat proof. So now, instead of sitting around in boxes, making me feel guilty because why should I have it all if I can't see it, yet out of sight is out of mind (much of it was collected overseas), now it's out where I can share it with others, and tell the stories. Plus, clearly there's some stuff that doesn't belong.
I also got rid of an old bed frame and some miscellaneous stuff, off to the thrift shop. I finally am going to give up on some modular pieces that I was conceptually wedded to, but which never quite worked. I think I've had them 15 years. They are comfortable, but honestly they are crowding my space.
I have several suits, jackets and skirts that go to charity, and some others for a consignment shop - things that are perfectly good, and some I paid a lot for, but they never made me feel great when I wore them. They are scheduled to go next weekend.
And I have a huge stack of plastic storage boxes that are EMPTY! I can see the tablecloth on the dining room table for the first time in at least 6 months (the last time I cleaned up for a big party). Or rather, I can see the cat hair on it. OK, there's a huge pile on the ironing board.
Things don't look great yet, but just the feeling of making progress keeps me feeling more energized.