Four Steps to Clean: Step Four--Reapply and Reassess

So you have decluttered, organized, and now you're maintaining your systems.  But maybe you've noticed that some things just aren't working out the way you thought they would.  Or maybe you've gotten a little bit too much more stuff and now things aren't so neat anymore.  If so, then it's time to reapply, and reassess.

So we're going to start back at step one and do it again.  And when we do, we need to see what's working, what isn't, and keep changing it until it does work.  Being organized as a person with ADHD isn't easy like it's for those who are type-A personalities whom organization comes easy to.  So for us, we have to keep at it, especially in the beginning.  It's an ever evolving process for us.  Eventually, it will become second nature, but it takes work, especially in the beginning.  

But it will become second nature if you do it long enough, I assure you.  If my brain can adapt, anyone's brain can.  And if you can apply your systems for long enough, your brain will not only adapt, but eventually you won't even remember what it's like to be messy.  

Imagine that!   I know I can't.  Then again, I never could imagine me not being afraid of snakes, as I had been my entire life up until 2020, when my kids got a snake that completely cured me of my phobia.  Granted, it's not quite the same thing, but both are just certain habits or ways of thinking that can be changed.  And they both are things we identify as, whether we're phobic of something or we're messy.  It makes up part of who we are.  So when we all of a sudden change those ideas of who we think we are because our habits or thinking changes, it's hard to remember being otherwise.  Like, when I see a snake in the pet store, I barely remember was it was like to be so freaked out I'd run to the other end of the store (once, at Petland in our mall, a large boa got loose and I thought I was going to die LOL).  Now I just think they're freaking adorable and want to hold them.  Imagine having a house so organized that you can't remember how you'd make it messy in the first place?  I'm not quite there yet, but I am working it and I do look forward to that day.  

But how do you know when one if your organizational systems isn't working?  Because it's messy, that's how.  So if you find a messy area of your house (or you find a messy pile of stuff that doesn't have the right organizational home yet), and you say "Huh, how did that happen?"  So you pull back, and think.  Where is this stuff supposed to be?  Does it have a home?  And why isn't that home working anymore? 

Now, an organizational home for an item may not be working anymore because a) you already have too much stuff in that home to begin with and now there's no room for this stuff, b) it's too complicated to maintain (or too far away from where you use it), or c) it just doesn't fit the space you assigned it as its home.  So, you reapply and reassess.  Reapply new or old rules to the item.  And then reassess its home.  

Eventually this step will become few and far between, the longer you have something that's working.  So the trick is to keep doing this step until you find something that works perfectly for the items you have in your home.  So eventually, your house organization will all just flow like water.  This goes here, that goes there, simple as pie.  

But, and this is a BIG BUT, (and I cannot lie), this will only happen if and when you stop bringing extra stuff into your house without purging the old.  Because if you don't, you will run out of homes for your items.  So maybe your reassessment will be that you still need to purge more if you're finding that your messes aren't going away.  Which I think is my problem right now with my pile of new books on my bedroom floor.  I need to go through and purge even more books that I already have.  But that's it.  You can purge and purge and purge, and then realize, you still haven't purged enough.  But that's the way we ADHD creatives are.  We accumulate too much because everything sounds great to us.  But we have to find a way to release our emotional attachment to our items.  And a way to release our emotional need for excess.  Which is what I'll be talking about in the next post.  

So, every so often, take a step back, look around, and see what's working and what isn't in your house.  Where are people dropping things that should be put away?  Where are you putting new things that come into your house?  Is everything running smoothly?  Or are there kinks to still be worked out?  It can take a year or more (or less) to find exactly what works for you and your family.  But like I said in the last post, just stick with it and eventually, your house will transform into a space that's easy to find your stuff, as well as something that saves you time and money (and sanity!).  

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