Anxiety about the mess

For years before I finally found the right combination of meds and cognitive therapy I was alternatively morbidly depressed and hypo manic, just hyper enough to be detracted and deeply deeply depressed and it showed in so many aspects of my life but especially in how I lived and how messy my house was.
To be honest often calling the condition of my apartments from my teens until my mid 30s “a mess” would be a vast understatement.  Seldom ever really filthy, my places would look like a tornado had hit inside, too many things and nothing resembling order. There would be pathways amongst boxes and piles of stuff and a few times a year I would spend weeks trying to clean it all up, finding things had been ruined in the mess and never getting anything really finished.
Even when I would move things often got thrown in boxes that never should have and the mess just moved with me.  I have been learning new ways of thinking, learning to like having a clean house but in the meantime my garage went to hell. 
Originally when we moved everything was carefully sorted and packed and we had plans to put things in specific places, yeah that went to hell when I was sick during the move and could not direct where things went so everything was piled randomly in the garage and our spare room (my studio until recently)  we eventually organized the boxes in the garage into at least sections based on what they were.
It took me 7 months to organize my art room and destroy any order in the garage.  Something would come up and we would need something and search for it in boxes dumping them into other boxes until nothing was sorted.  We would need space for something or to get to someone’s stuff and everything would get piled together.  I kept collecting odd supplies for art because “we have space” and I inherited my grandmother’s sewing supplies and had to get the material I had bought and stored at her place so more stuff filled the garage and my anxiety about ever dealing with it got worse so I just avoided trying to fix it partly due to spending more than half of last year recovering from 2 knee replacements. Mind you at the same time I have developed habits because of the Unfuck Your Habitat Tumblr page that have totally changed how I care for my house…I have gotten used to a clean house even if not perfect.
We finally decided to rent out our spare room and so I am having to move out a couple 100 pounds of supplies and I just can’t  bring myself to dump them willy nilly in the garage and we also needed to supply our roommate with garage space where his moderate collection of stuff would not take over way too much space.
So despite it being January and cold in the unheated garage we have been organizing things in there.  Sadly this means dragging box after box of mixed stuff into the house and my sorting it all into bins by type, tossing damaged stuff and being very brutal about giving stuff away. This first rough sort will just group stuff by Art, Decor, Household, and material and it will need further sorting when I finish the other half of the boxes to go.
Finally this week we cleared about half the space, gave him 1/5th of it (another friend has 1/5th as well) and started organizing the partly sorted boxes into one area with shelves and started pulling bin after bin of my personal material including old clothing to be altered into the house.  Thankfully I had already given over 200 pounds of grandma’s material away because there is at least that much now of mine.
12 full washer loads later I have it sorted into craft pieces, fashion yardage, clothes to take apart or rebuild and give away but it still needs folding.  The kitchen is full of it as is the front room which is also full of art supplies from the spare room.
And my new found anxiety over having a messy house is running rampant so things will CAREFULLY be put away in the garage for future sorting and I will be able to actually clean the house and feel less anxious.
I think of it as a tactical retreat not a failure.


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