This is what the other side of my room looked like after I cleaned out the closet:
Part of my goals with this room-by-room approach is to not just tidy up, but to find a permanent fix, get things out of the way that need doing.
I tackled the mending pile over the weekend (using the same invisible patch technique I used in this typo-studded post). Happily, the boys are perfectly content to wear patched, or even holey jeans (I found at least two more pairs in need of repair when putting away the laundry).
I finished one small, nagging project that I have been putting off for half a year. It goes in the mail tomorrow.
And I sorted the reading materials into piles, which did nothing to diminish the fact that I'm never in my life going to have time to read it all. I did forge through two old Sun magazines (I'm making myself read all of the Sun and Orion magazines I fell behind on--back in 2009--before I'm allowed to renew either subscription) and figured out two others that I had read at least partially. Those all went to work with me to be handed off to a friend. One box contains books I either read and don't remember reading, or never read. I'm trying to find a way to make it OK to just pass them on to the library book sale, regardless. I tend to be a book hoarder, and I just might want to read one of those particular books, someday. But I can always get them at the library. This is the kind of mental dilemma I need to shut down before I tackle our big bookshelves.
I also have a box of every letter and card I've ever received in my life (practically) and various other sentimental nonsense. I'm trying to find four decent boxes, one for each of the boys and one for me, into which I can place mementos like cards and letters and their school papers and three of the four plaster-of-paris handprints M made through his preschool years, etc. If I can get it down to one folder per year, tucked neatly in a box (out of sight/mind), I will be happy.
I keep waking up in the middle of the night, my brain turning all of this organizing over and over. I wonder if I'm focusing on it too much in my waking life, or if bringing order to my bedroom will open the door to better, more relaxed sleep.
Also, I am not unaware that while I'm focused on clutter, half a world away people have been swept away in waves and are attempting to stave off a meltdown in one of many nuclear power plants. It seems callous, but sometimes I think focusing on our own personal minutia is the only way to avoid crawling under the bed and weeping.