ME, Myself and I:Sorting and Tidying

I feel like I need to get better at thinking of titles for this part of the blog. I know I said I was going to do this a while ago but I finally got round to sorting out my room, at least sorting through all my OU things and getting the three or four boxes of course work and books down to one so now my room looks even messier than it did before. I didn’t realise how much of the work I did and the books I had won’t actually be much use now especially as, having done three levels in the same two subjects, so much of it was repeated in each different level.

It’s sort of started a chain reaction and now I want to sort through everything in my room and get rid of all those extra things that you keep ‘just in case’. I think I must have a few drawers and boxes full of things like that. I still keep sentimental things but all of those extras that will never be used and don’t actually mean anything to me like the prizes you get in crackers are going to go.

I guess it’s the idea of a spring clean, just not in spring. I have so much stuff that has just piled up and as I’ve lived in this same house my whole life I’ve had no reason to streamline it through moving or getting rid of things going off to Uni. The main down side to this sorting spree is that I’ve ended up so sore and achey that I’ve not been able to do much the past few days afterwards. I’m not sure that I was properly over the virus I had and it seems to be coming back. I should really learn to rest more when I’m ill, I know I’ve said about resting and pacing so many times, but I ended up being ill for weeks and having spent the time in hospital I finally felt like I could do something physically and I overdid it so now my room is full of half full and empty boxes of things that will probably sit there until I have the energy to sort the rest of under my bed before I put them all back under there.

I’ve said about planning in past posts and I think that’s what I need to do with sorting. I tend to just go and do it whenever I suddenly feel like it, which does mean I’m motivated but doesn’t exactly help with keeping my energy levels steady. I hate how much getting something as simple as a cold that doesn’t even affect a lot of people very much means I have to spend ages recovering. It was supposed to be that when I finished my degree I’d have a sort out, clear it all out and have a fresh start to go onto the jewellery making and other things I want to do but it seems like I’m doing even less than I was before. Maybe that’s why I ended up doing so much, it’s just so frustrating to still be stuck at the same point and feeling worse than I was when I finished, even though I know logically that it’s not my fault and that even my dad, who’s immune system seems to keep him going through all sorts of colds and viruses, has been ill with it and not up to much and it’s going on for weeks so I’m not exactly surprised it’s affecting me this much but still, it’s probably the worst timing it could have been.

My plan for now is to try and recover, to get better by resting, though I do have a few things I need to get done as soon as possible and research things for starting a business. If I can get over this virus that seems to be hanging around for ages then maybe I’ll be able to get back into the pacing and properly working on things. I’ve got to learn to break down this sorting things out into smaller chunks, maybe make a timetable and include things like one day work on these two drawers and then that’s it, don’t be tempted to do any more than I timetable in no matter how good I feel as it’ll just have a knock on effect.

One thing about sorting, I find, is that if I don’t do it in bigger chunks when I feel motivated (normally at 2 am when I can’t sleep, why does that always happen?) is that I can’t get the motivation to do it and then it just seems to suck even more energy out of me when I actually do get round to doing it. I think I need to try some of the strategies that have worked for me in the past when I was tidying things, though most of them are from before I had ME so I’ll have to modify them.

I always used to have something playing in the background and that seemed to help. Having something on that I don’t have to concentrate on again might be a good way of doing it, pick a TV show or CD or something that I’ve heard so much that I won’t have my concentration split between the two. Also if I know how long an episode is, like 20 minutes for the Big Bang Theory or Friends, will mean I know how long I’ve been tidying for without having to look at the clock or my watch all the time. That’s another thing that always makes these things last longer; when I keep checking my watch and I think it’s been fifteen minutes and it’s only five, it doesn’t really help to motivate me.

Making sure I have breaks between whatever tasks I’m doing, rather than just having ‘tidying X and Y’ as my thing for the day I’ll have ‘tidy X’ then schedule in a break, or even a break in the middle of it. It’d have to be something relaxing and not too long so I don’t just get totally distracted. I guess a longer TV show might be ok or go and sit outside for a bit if it’s warm enough. I’ll just have to make sure I don’t have a ‘break’ of walking the dog or something or that’ll just tire me out even more.

The tidying will have to be my physical thing for the day, at least to start with, or I’ll end up getting worn out if I try to do too much. It always seems that tidying means a lot of reaching things low down and putting them away higher up which is never good for ME with so much moving around so I’ll try to sort things into piles, or maybe boxes. Then, when I have the box to go on a certain shelf I’ll either make sure I keep everything in that box on the shelf if there’s room or put everything up there in one go. I guess something like a chair or the small two step thing we’ve got will be good then as I can have the box at waist height and there won’t be so much moving, though there will still be lifting my arms.

I’m not sure if there are any other strategies I can think of, do you guys have any tips for making tidying and clearing things away more ME friendly? I know that when I’ve sorted it all I’ll try and keep everything tidy as a weekly thing again but it’s these big tidying sessions that I just find drain me so much and I end up not able to do much after so any tips you guys have that I haven’t thought of would be very helpful.

Does anyone else do this around the lead up to Christmas? I know this year it’s partly been sparked by me finishing my degree but I normally find that around now I want to sort and tidy things and move everything from a certain drawer or shelf to another one. I think part of it might be that I want to have an empty drawer or two so that when I get things for Christmas I can put them away on the day or within a few days rather than having them all on my side until I have the energy to properly sort them into their proper places. I’m always exhausted after Christmas so anything that means my room is kept tidier and doesn’t use as much energy to do so is always a good thing.

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