I’ve been living in chaos. For the past two years, my home in Boulder has been in a state of remodel for both aesthetic and defective reasons.  I’ve dealt with it rather abstractedly because I’ve been fortunate to have my beautiful loft in LA to reside in while construction took place in Boulder. That all changed a few months ago when my daughter and many of her belongings took up temporary residence in my LA loft, while my husband remodels hers. My husband is the talented and busy contractor with just a couple of helpers for both locations. He originally anticipated a move in date for my daughter a couple of months ago,  but the challenges of remodeling in a 1920’s building and typical construction delays, running three other businesses and remodeling our home in Boulder as well, has put him way behind schedule. The completion of the remodel of my home in Boulder was hoped for many months ago as well, but has been delayed for many reasons and now nears completion.

Given the state of both homes, it’s gotten hard to put on a happy face and pretend that the chaos doesn’t affect me.  In LA, my daughter’s clothes are stuffed in drawers not meant for so much overflow and items I usually have ready access to are lost in the abyss. Her furnishings and boxes fill the corners of my loft and while I love having her around, I am ready for her to move into her own space as soon as possible. (It probably goes without saying, that she is ready too!)  In Boulder, my home is filled with the usual construction debris including furniture and household items that should have been packed away, but are covered in drywall dust, and scattered throughout the house in rooms they don’t belong. The fall out os such chaos surrounding me is that I feel cluttered, disorganized and out of place.  I would have a hard time getting things done and found myself circling my to do tasks like a buzzard waiting to attack its prey

So on a visit home to help put the house in order and get ready for 18 family members to join together at my house for our Thanksgiving celebration, with some staying the week in guest rooms and on sofas, I LOST IT! I entered my home in Boulder around midnight after arriving from LA about a week ago and I totally and utterly LOST it! I looked around at items openly exposed, randomly placed and piled high on every available surface, covered in inches of drywall dust, and I cried. I cried big crocodile tears. I cried for hours, completely embracing my woe, and feeling the overwhelm in every fiber of my being.  I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore and then I made the decision to take control and reframe my situation. Even though my house truly looked as though a hurricane had come through, causing destruction and chaos in every room of the house, I realized the true victims were the ones that had experienced Hurricane Sandy just days before. While my home was filled with drywall dust, their homes were filled with sand.  I could suck, blow or dust off the drywall dust.  Sand wasn’t that easy. I realized I was strong and able and had much to be grateful for. While some items were a casualty of the construction, victims of Hurricane Sandy lost much, much more. So I rolled up my sleeves, (actually I told myself it was time to put on my big girl panties) and I thought entrepreneurial.  Tackling the problem one step at a time. I got to work and room by room, I found my home again.

As long as our life is filled with chaos and clutter, we have little room left for anything else, especially looking at life with new perspective and allowing new opportunities in. Reframing a situation helps you get a new mind set and allows you to move forward with a solution. Cleaning up chaos or decluttering opens the door to new possibilities.  You can diminish that feeling of helplessness and overwhelm if you can do just one little thing. It can be a simple gesture, like clean out a purse or ignore your negative thoughts.  But doing this allows you to open up your mind to new possibilities and look at life in a brand new way. It works.

Jan McCarthyComment