Confessions of a Disorganized Organizer

by Tina on August 2, 2010

Years ago, I owned a storage shed. There, I said it.

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with owning a storage shed. It’s just that I used mine solely to delay decisions about possessions no longer of use to me.  After all, I might need them someday.

I used the shed as a dumping ground, rather than a place to store only those items that I truly loved, used and needed, but had no space for inside my home. When our small home began to feel claustrophobic, my husband would bag up clothes that were too small for us and box up toys that my son had outgrown. He would take these bags and boxes to the shed.

And, like magic, we could breathe again! It was an amazingly good feeling to have that clutter out of our way. We had quicker access to everything that we used on a daily basis. And, we could find what we were looking for all the time. (You’d think I would have gotten the lesson here, but I didn’t just yet.)

Neither of us thought about the consequences of just putting those bags and boxes out of sight. Fast forward 13 years.

We were building a home and would be moving in soon. A family member who was moving needed a storage shed to temporarily store their belongings between moves.

I knew that most of what was in my shed could be donated, recycled or in some cases discarded (critters, you know…). We surely hadn’t needed anything in that shed in years. I also knew there were some things in my current home that I never wanted to cross the threshold into the new house.

I wanted to have a garage sale to recoup at least some of my investment, but I didn’t have time to go through everything before the family member needed the shed. So, I had one of those nifty portable mini-storage units delivered– a big one… to clear out my shed so my family member could use it, and to use as a staging area for garage sale items that would never go into the new house.

That was in August. I thought I would rent that unit for maybe two months at the most, before my garage sale. I think you can guess the rest of the story.

We moved into the new house Thanksgiving week. And, the garage sale ended up being in January of the following year. The good news: I made over $750 at my garage sale. The bad news: after seven months of rental payments, I had spent more than my garage sale made.

Here’s one thing that I never anticipated though. And, it is key to my message to you today. I had no idea how freeing it would be to get rid of all that stuff… stuff that I didn’t use, but that I was still holding on to!

I would walk into my closet, and there were no more smaller sizes mocking me. I loved and used the few pieces of clothing I kept. I could find things in my kitchen more easily. I was enjoying cooking. The laundry was simpler and less time consuming. My son could find the accessories to his electronic games without asking me to help. My husband’s tools were accessible to him. And, on and on and on.

Why did I wait so long to declutter? Someone else could have been using and loving those items all this time. And, I would have saved myself all that feeling of “overwhelm” and frustration – sometimes taken out on my family.

What decisions about your possessions are you delaying? What is it costing you in dollars, anxiety, and/or broken relationships? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been putting it off.  I encourage you to address these decisions today. You can do this. Trust me. You’ll be so glad you did it.

“…the God who started this great work in you [will] keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish…” Philippians 1:6 (The Message)

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 Hello, my name is Tina Bonifacio, and I am a Professional Organizer working with residential and commercial clients in the greater Savannah, Georgia area. For more information, visit Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.

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