Living with Clutter

Clutter affects fibromyalgia.

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My house is a clutter mess

For people without medical problems clutter can add to the stress of their daily lives. Then you become someone with Fibromyalgia and you know for sure, having clutter around you definitely affects you negatively.
I walk around my house with children asking me where is this toy or shoe or coat. I look around at all the mess around my house and the stress and Fibro Fog start creeping up on me. I also start feeling exhaustion and discomfort which leads to pain. Every time I declutter my house, car or purse I realize life is better without the clutter. Although with Fibro it may take more effort and a longer period of time to clean anything. So to make me feel better about one of my favorite rooms, my closet, I started an experiment today, and this is how it went for me.

I went on an adventure today, I started the process of reorganizing my closet per my husband’s request from several months ago and my desire to like my closet again.

How the mess began

To let you in on why my closet became so disheveled I will let you know, we keep things hidden from our children in our closet. From one child we have to keep extra food out of his reach because he has a fixation on food. Our same child also has a fixation on crafts so we have a cabinet for all of his crafts in our closet.

Our closet is also where our family computer is because another child has a fixation for always being on the computer if he can see it. So that means I also do work in my closet. (No, we are not rich our home is built for those with handicaps so the master bedroom, bathroom, and closet are quite large so a wheelchair can easily maneuver around.) So everything we hide from our children is in our closet plus the clothes I have started buying due to my desire for a new wardrobe has added to an already busy closet.

Since I am going from jeans and a T-shirt as my daily wear, to what I call girly clothes, my closet is getting a little messy. The girly clothes require more accessories and additions to outfits but dressing girly does make me feel good. I have also found that dressing girly is also gentle on my body. I do not buy anything tight or rough on my skin so I do have fewer fibro flares from the new way I dress.

The big accomplishment

Today I was able to straighten up all of the clutter in my bedroom plus the floor of my closet. I have some of those plastic containers with three drawers to put things in but I would really like something nicer to look at. There is still some work to be done but I need to buy more organizational tools to help me with the rest of the closet.

No matter how tidy I make a pile of sweater dresses the pile always becomes a mess and I am very tired of that. I really need help with organization, I have no clue how to organize my house and I think that started when I was a child. My mother is very tidy but I have no idea how to keep my house as tidy as my mother did when I was a child. My three kids are quite a bit messier in the whole house than I remember being.

I have always been this way

As a child, I did have a very messy room. My mother would permit my mess as long as I had a clean trail from my bed to the door. Luckily she did just realize this was one thing about me that would be easier for all involved if my room just stayed a disaster.

When I was older the messiness of my room went down to such a degree that the trail was now a trail of clothes on my floor and the rest of the floor was clean. Mainly I think the mess went down because I had less stuff to clutter my room up with.

Then as a young adult, my house was mostly clutter free. I didn’t have much to clutter my house up with at that time either. To make this story shorter I will go ahead and tell you, I have never been a clutter-free person. I do enjoy organization but I have never understood how to organize things all that well.

My family never had more things in our house that we had a place to keep it and that storage was almost always provided to us by the house. So I didn’t see many containers or shelves around.

In my later teenage years were spent living in different classes of RV’s. If you have ever seen the inside of an RV you know there are tons of storage compartments and there is not any room for anything extra.
As an adult with three kids, I have clutter somewhere in my house every day. No matter how much organizing I do I am always finding things through my house from the kids.

Help me…

Clutter affects fibromyalgia.

Adam (my husband) and I were just talking about how much we cannot wait until our children are a little more independent with their daily routines like getting ready for bed. After spending most of my time picking up the kids clutter after they go to bed or reorganizing my room because of the various things I have to hide in it from the kids, I am saying I want them to start putting things away more than anything else.

I know no other way to organize my house than by buying different containers or shelving. I need ideas on how to organize my house in a comforting and maybe even an eye-catching way. I want the negative side effects of clutter to go away but in all truth, I have clutter everywhere I turn. I consider a few papers on my counter to count as clutter. I need to become an A-type personality and completely organize everything!

I look at other blogs for organization ideas but so many ideas look complicated or expensive. What I really need is a magical fairy to come into my house and take care of all the mess and find a fantastic way to organize my house that I will love the look of. Could you imagine also always knowing where everything is? Maybe one day my kids will stop askin

g me where things are if everyone would just put things back where they got them. My mother used to say that all the time.

The reward,

Besides me liking the space better due to de-cluttering, Adam came into the bedroom and closet and noticed right away that I did something! Don’t you just love it when you do something and someone else notices without you saying a word about it?

Why I can no longer be a mother

 I can no longer be the mother I once was

I really thought I could no longer be a great mom anymore. As a parent we have all wondered at one time or another “Am I parenting correctly?”. This started happening to me after our youngest child was born, we have three children all together. My eldest is on the Autism Spectrum and has ADHD, our second child is our quick to temper antagonizer who also destroys things. Our daughter is the light in the darkness. Very sweet and always smiling.

Why I thought I was no longer a good mother

After she was born my health problems started acting up even more. I thought me being the mother I wanted to be was done. Sitting in my chair whenever possible. No longer cleaning the house as I once did. I no longer found the bright side of being a mother. Family times were painful and stressful for me. My stress effected the rest of the family as well. Our eldest became dangerous for himself and the other children. Our second child started destroying things and we had a baby who would not let us sleep. (We were able to sleep in five-hour shifts and that was it.) I was having the side effects of sleep deprivation and was not just tired but every part of my body was exhausted. Comprehension of conversation was beyond me.

Things I tried for me

I tried doing other things for myself. Things like going to school for a career I could perform at home. Due to the Fibro Fog that started a month into the educational program, I was unable to retain any information in my studies, even the information I already knew, it was lost. I studied harder and still could not get the information to stay in my brain. Life was hard at that time with the family dynamic and I thought I could find happiness in a job for myself. Something that I would do for me. Something I could be good at and also have as an escape from all of my stress.

My life changed

Many of you may think I am ungrateful for my children but you would be wrong. We prayed for our children and I suffered miscarriages and still believed that one day our prayers would be answered. I knew I would receive the children I was supposed to. Even if that meant I would never receive the gift of a beautiful baby girl.
I was unhappy because of the undiagnosed Fibromyalgia. Understanding anything that was happening to me was impossible to me, for years the doctors did not know what was wrong with me.

My glorious new beginning

I was even asked to take a mental health assessment. Right after the Doctor asked me to take the mental health assessment I felt insulted. Then I turned the table, (in my head at least) and I said yes. At that moment I decided to look at the assessment as a way for the Doctors to finally take me more seriously. They finally did take me more seriously shortly after they received the results of that assessment. I do have a family history of mental health issues which may have been one reason the Doctor asked me for the mental health assessment. Although I think it was mainly because I was sleep deprived and went into his office exhausted. He said my tired look made him think I was depressed. I was exhausted! I am sure any mother with a child who will not sleep would understand.

Our perfect day

So today I am a newish mom, in the sense of I am able to do more now with my family than I could four years ago. Especially due to having less stress in my life. Now that I know my diagnosis and what to expect things are better. Plus, my children are each four years’ older.
So, this morning I looked at my calendar and it turned out I was free today. That was when I decided it was a Gracie day. (My daughters name is Grace.) I told her as soon as she woke up. She asked what “What is that?”. I told her how we would do anything she wanted to do today. Her face lit up with excitement. I felt very blessed in that moment to be able to give it to her.

What we did together

Today we started our “Gracie Day” with coloring and popcorn. Then we traveled to her room to cuddle and watch the movie Hercules. My younger children have VCRs because VHS is harder to destroy than DVDs are. After that we finally dressed ourselves and took our dog for a walk. Where we ended our walk at a park in our neighborhood. Then we had lunch and did yoga together. After that it was time to end “Gracie Day” by rolling her window down as we drove to pick up her brother.

Why I did nothing else

I did not clean our house at all today. I wanted all of my “spoons” to go to her. My day with my daughter was a true joy. I hope this post reaches out to you and encourages you to accomplish the same experience. I believed at one time that I had to do all of the high energy things with my children still in order to give then memories and fun. After today I realized I can give them just all of my time and focus and they will be happy. 

My wishMake a wish

My wish is for me to never think that I am not enough. I never want the thought of me not being a good enough mother to enter my mind. The children just want my undivided attention and time. I do not have to do the exciting, fully stimulating and energy draining things I used to.  Although my day may seem small to some I know what I did today was huge. Grace will have memories and continue to ask for “Gracie Days” in the future. Today I gave memories, my time and joy to one very special little girl.