My husband’s string was pulled out too far on the bottom of his swim shorts. As we were walking he noticed it and proceeded to pull it all the way out. “Nooooo!!!” I exclaimed yelling that he could fix it but before I could get that out he had quickly pulled both strings out of both of his shorts’ legholes. (Is that the official name? I don’t even know!)

Here is a photo of an identical pair of shorts. Notice the strings on the bottom…

So since we are walking, my husband balls up these nice long “shoestring-looking” laces in his hands in preparation to chuck them in the nearest trashcan he sees. I instantly say, “Don’t throw it away. We can use it.” He looks at me and laughs. I say, “no really we can.” He asks me how and I say we can make something out of it. He just glares at me. (Yes, we have been down this road before.) I offer that we could give it to our son and he can be creative with it. How about we can let him play with it until we leave (from our vacation.) My husband says that is the problem that I’m passing on all these bad habits to him too- he’s just like you! Then he starts scratching his neck like a crack fiend and says you’re telling me you want to use these shoelaces for something??

https://goo.gl/images/0eUKFD

I say, “Yeah! It’s perfectly fine. Someone can use it.” He says no one wants them. “What? You don’t know that.”

On the drive home, this comes up in conversation because this IS a problem of mine. In trying to think through the root of my problem, I thought out loud “I think the problem is that I have a problem with throwing things away. I just can’t. In fact when you did whatever you did with those laces, I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to see it.” I reminded my husband that when he “helped me out” years ago by cleaning out my office (aka dumped everything in the trash when I wasn’t there) I admitted I DID love the clean-ness of it. The unclutteredness of it. I was just amazed at the difference the room felt when it wasn’t packed full of boxes and papers. But…he made the mistake of leaving one of the huge garbage bags in my sight. When he wasn’t looking I peeked in the bag and – sigh- yes, I did grab some of my things out of there. They were a few papers of personal interest. I remember one of them was my cadence notebook from Basic Training. I wrote down the cadences we sang because I wanted to remember them. True, I hadn’t actually reviewed them since that day I found them in the trash, but there it was needing to be rescued. I wanted to dig deeper in the bag but I knew that would have negated all the loving effort he had done to do this for me. I did give my permission after all for him to ‘do what he needed to do.’ Sigh… It’s now 2018 and here we are yet again and it’s all returned. All that clutter is back full force. I would add a photo to give you an idea but it’s a bit embarrassing. I mean, come on over and you’ll see. You may think – oh she is busy she doesn’t have time with all those kids and volunteer activities… yeah. I know right? You’re right. I don’t have time. I find time for many other things but not that. It’s so overwhelming. I just take a look around and I see burdens and I feel like ugh. I wish it would all magically go away.

Seriously, I need help.

We laughed in the car on the long drive home as I eventually, I mean waaaay later admitted (after I really realized) that yes. I “might” have a slight problem if I am arguing about not throwing away some laces. What is wrong with me???

If you can relate, tell me what’s worked for you. I am not incompetent people. I know in my head what to do and how to do it but actually doing it is another thing. The motivation is there (well the desire is here) but… ugh. Where to begin!!!! I think I need some professional help.

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6 comments

  1. Yeah I’ve experienced just throwing something away and then feeling pretty good about it once I realized I don’t have the Clutter. so go ahead, toss it and wait for the good feeling to come.

    1. Hi Patricia, it’s been over a month now. I’ve found I don’t wait for any feelings afterwards, I just see the clutter and it bothers me greatly so I just do something about it. It’s costing me more, because it’s on my mind and it bothers me, to keep it lying around than to just deal with it and get rid of it. I guess once I do ‘deal with it’ that irritation goes away. I suppose that could be what you were alluding to in your comment!

  2. Sejana you sound just like me! My next goal is to have an actual home for all the recyclables I’d like to keep, i.e. shoelaces, old plastic flowers, nice boxes. When the home is full, they go in the recycle. I’m not there yet, but I envision it will be good!

    1. Hmmm that’s an idea- thank you for sharing. An allowed space (with a set limit of space) for these items. If one sticks to the space limit, maybe it would work! Hope it works out for you soon to do that.

  3. I’ve been there. It’s hard to live in a throwaway society. What worked for me was forcing myself to FEEL the discomfort of throwing something out. I would sit there until that bad feeling passed and it does pass. Then I noticed I actually felt good purging, unloading and getting a house that looked nice and easier to clean. There was this sense of freedom in not needing EVERYTHING.

    1. Hi there- thank you for the suggestion. I will try that. Actually, during our talk on the ride home I said maybe I needed exposure therapy where I would watch people throw things away but your suggestion is better because I would be the one throwing it away. I do want the freedom you mentioned in not needing EVERYTHING. Yes, I definately want that. Thank you again.

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