As much as I love the clear, uncluttered sparkle of my freshly-cleaned kitchen, there must be a darker side of me – my evil twin – who can’t tolerate a horizontal surface untouched by papers or keys or … an ice cream maker.

After I have spent time painstakingly tucking each piece of paper into its correct spot and found a home for even the tiniest tchotchke, I stand back and admire my work. Ah, clean. Ah, vast areas of space!

There is such a feeling of possibility that comes with “uncluttered.” It gives me energy, inspires hope and spurs me to action. I believe I can tackle impressive, sweeping projects:
“I could clean out all the cabinets and put in new shelf paper!”
“I can pay all my bills today!”
“I could make homemade ice cream!”

Of course, if I begin any of those admirable tasks, I instantly banish my previous hard work into oblivion. Three or four hours later (if I have that much uninterrupted time) I’ll find myself with bills scattered in piles according to due date or payee or category. Or I’ll have all the storage containers out on the counter, trying to match them to their lids. Or I’ll be at the grocery store buying ice because my ice maker can’t keep up with the demands of the ice cream freezer.

The remnants of my eager optimism are left hanging out on the counter, creating brand new clutter. When I take a look around, my optimism disappears installs a heaping helping of negative self talk:

“I hate making ice cream. Why didn’t I remember that two hours ago! Now look at that mess; it’s even worse than before I cleaned up! I should know better by now. Why can’t I just enjoy the clean kitchen and tip-toe through without creating clutter OR at least put things away again?”

I become my own whipping post, despite the fact that everything I had told myself is true. So true. Why can’t I simply revel in the beauty of a cleared countertop? Why do I need to fill it up again? Is it some kind of self sabotage? Is it an ADHD dilemma?

My hunch is that my ADHD so loves new projects that when it sees an opening – literally – it seizes the opportunity to start something new. And “new,” as any ADDiva worth her salt knows, trumps “pretty, cleared countertop” every day of the week.

Perhaps I will always have a love-hate relationship with decluttering. But I’d like the chance to stay in the “love” a little bit longer this time!

Do you love-hate decluttering? What’s your solution?