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Announcer's voice: This is The Motley Fool's World News Today. Breaking news just came over the AP wire that Hell has frozen over! Yes, folks, you heard correctly. Hell has indeed frozen over. With a late breaking report, here's The Motley Fools's own Jester...

Jester: I am here in Hell speaking with an eyewitness, Mr. Satan. Mr. Satan, exactly what happened here?

Satan: I notice a small chill in the sulphur scented air last night. I awoke this morning to find snow on the hills of Hell and the Lake of Everlasting Fire had frozen over with ice several miles thick.

Jester: Yeah, I noticed. Condemned souls have taken to the ice with makeshift ice skates. What do you think is responsible for this snowglobe-like scene?

Satan: Uh, I don't.....oh no. It couldn't be. No. Surely not! (primal, agonized scream) It must be. She said it would be so!

Jester: What Mr. Satan? What do you think happened?

Satan: ARRazorback must have become organized!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is right folks. As it stands today:

At work:

My hood is clean and organized.
My bench is clean and organized.
My desk is clean and organized.
My files are organized.
My chemicals are organized.
My emails have been archived and saved.
The computer has been organized and the hard drive cleaned up. All files have been backed up.
Hmmm, research has been going well too lately. Coincidence?

At home and elsewhere:

My car is clean and organized.
All nagging repairs and maintenance on the car have been done.

My finances are organized including the checkbook.

My laptop is up to date, clean, and backed up.

My house is organized. There is no crap in the hallway. There are no dishes in the sink. The cabinets are organized--no more junk drawers in the kitchen. I have gotten rid of any duplication via Ebay, Freecycle, and Goodwill. I ended up emptying close to 10 plastic storage containers and several boxes of stuff. Any other plastic containers still containing stuff were replaced with one that have lockable lids (a lifesaver if you move). These containers were organized and labeled with a list of the contents.

The bathroom, mudroom/laundry room, the balcony, the storage room (a 10x10' room that use to serve as the linen closet for the B&B that previously occupied the premises), the kitchen, the living room/dining room, my bedroom and my office are all clean. Yes, that's right--the office is clean. The Black Hole of all Junk Rooms(TM) no longer exists!

That's not to say I don't still have stuff to do. My recipes and photos still need some help but they are currently stored neatly out of the way--I have asked for some software for Christmas that should make these chores easier. I still have some shredding to do---it has taken longer than I thought because I didn't realize how much there was to shred. (It is unbelieveable the amount of paper I have schlepped around in the past few years.) There are projects like repainting that table I found at a flea market that I never had time for because the house was a mess.

So I leave those to be next year's resolutions. And I do so without guilt or worry because I have gotten so much done this year in regards to organizing and taking back control of my life. It may sound melodramatic to some, I know. But the chaos has for a long time now really bothered me. It was overwhelming but it was a symptom of a larger problem. Call it depression or avoidance or self-doubt. It was all three rolled into one. The process of organizing and cleaning involved more than just picking stuff up or throwing stuff out. I have been working on changing old habits and attitudes. I have started taking better care of myself--if you are too tired to make it through the day, you can forget about having the energy to get your butt off the couch and getting anything accomplished. Now I look forward to the challenge of maintaining not only the clean and organized state of the apartment but my life in general. Whenever I feel like NOT doing something, I just recall the state of everything prior to this point and the feelings the chaos invoked.

For the first time in a number of years, I will be leaving for vacation and will be coming home to a clean, organized apartment. I never realized how much it stressed me to leave the mess that was my apartment and come back to it. I actually find it easier to breathe now in my home. I'll even confess, only between us Fools of course, to skipping down the hallway in my apartment the other day. (As an aside, skipping is a bad idea if you have socks on and have hard wood floors.;->)

So next week, as I lounge on Waikiki beach in Hawaii, I will be thinking of how beautiful the beach is and not of what I am going to do with all that crap in my apartment when I get back.

Thanks for inspiration and support.

I am ARRazorback and I am a reformed packrat.
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