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Spring Forward... Southern Hemisphere Style

by Gillian Lesley Scott 9 months ago in house

It’s Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere But the ongoing Spring Cleaning struggle is still real...

Spring Forward... Southern Hemisphere Style
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

I’ve been trying to get organised for 60 years, I may be getting somewhere now and below I describe a few things I’ve found helpful for doing just that.

I’m not a tidy person.. I never have been... I’m not sure why this is, was it a deep subconscious rebellion of the daughter of a neat freak mother? Or simply the outer manifestation of a chaotic mind, who really knows? I’ve always been the one who couldn’t find what I’m looking for even though I know it’s somewhere, the one who got sent to the principal for a messy desk and “dog eared” jotters.


I’m not a true hoarder but I have one room in the house where things pile up and I’m afraid to throw them out because I think I’ll need them one day. But then sometimes I freak out and shunt things into the garage where they get ruined by damp or thrown out by tradesmen. A fate I think befell my wedding photos. I’m not kidding. I dare not investigate it further, because I’m heartbroken. If I search again I’ll be confirming the worst.

Anyway it’s Autumn or Fall here and thank goodness it’s getting cooler, because summertime here or even Spring is muggy and uncomfortable... not inspiring for rolling up one’s sleeves and sorting piles of who knows what.

The wedding photos did it. I had to organise ... my stuff, my kids stuff my brain, my life!


I started scripting this year. Literally scripting my day like a film script and factoring in what I wanted to do, so that included finding new ways to organise and tidy. To keep things of value safe and to keep the surfaces clear enough to clean. After all they say as within, so without.. so in a circular fashion getting organised on the outside will help me on the inside.


This will make you laugh and I certainly dismissed it myself until I felt it make a barely perceptible shift ...but a shift nonetheless. I make my bed every morning! Big deal, the tidy amongst you might say. But I’d never done so before... and I feel that it just gives a scintilla of control... I CAN be neat.


I have always tried to have a place for everything but somehow those things haven’t always stayed in that rightful place (eg wedding photos!) My new strategy is to be very strict about this. It’s easier, now my equally disorganised son has moved out. I did wonder how he’d fare in a share house..but he seems to be coping by leaving most of his “stuff” here!


In a neat reversal of my own scenario my daughter is a neat freak to end all neat freaks. Another of my strategies is to plead for her help! I disgust her apparently. But even she would concede I’m getting there. Meanwhile her room is a temple of perfection...


It’s too easy to shut the door on THAT room. You have time to do it now and I have to remind myself yet again, I won’t get all hot and sticky, the worst of the Australian heat has passed.


Use those charity bin bags they leave in your letterbox. They give a deadline, further motivation, some one is looking for a dress just like the one you’ll never wear again.

I’ve spent the last five decades struggling with organisation.. but I’ve been chipping away at it .. and I’m probably much better as a virtually elderly adult than I was at 15... still not good enough.. but I am getting there and the simple strategies I have listed above have been a great help to me. We can’t all be Marie Kondo and I can’t help but think that’s going too far really. It makes messy people like me feel we have a mountain to climb. But a few simple changes, as detailed above and breaking the task into smaller pieces, will help the messiest of us take control of our environment, even if we do our Spring cleaning ... in Autumn.


Gillian Lesley Scott

Scots born Australian. Tales of being human. Despite aiming for the highest good of all, not always successful

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