Friday, January 21, 2011

Daily Declutter Challenge #8 - A Special Kind of Chaos

For the last  4 & 1/2 years my life has been filled with a special kind of chaos.  We were so blessed and thrilled to have our third daughter Elianna Rose enter our family, but along with all the love and joy, she also came with her own unique set of differences.  She was born with a rare genetic syndrome called "Fraser Syndrome".  Instead of having you go to "The Google" to find a bunch of info that will seem scary and intimidating, I'll just tell you the basics.  She was born with only one, itty bitty functioning kidney, really narrow airways, webbed fingers (oh her little froggy hands - so tiny & sweet!), narrow ear canals resulting in moderate hearing loss, slow growth, low appetite, a high palate, dental issues, fused eyelid, kidney reflux, strabisimus, far-sightedness, malformed tear ducts, ummmmm....there may be more that I'm forgetting right now.

But she was born with oh, so much more than that!  Joie de vivre!  Love of singing & music!  Sense of humour & show offy spirit!  Sweet yet stubborn temper!  Daredevil attitude and willingness to try new things!  And the love - how much love she has carried with her into our world!  She is, without any doubt or bias, the best thing that has ever happened to our family.

But of course, having Fraser Sydrome means Drs, therapists, surgeries, appointments, appointments, appointments....did I mention appointments?  And paperwork that is generated by all of the above.  Ellie's pediatrician recommended that I get a binder to hold all of her medical paperwork.  Since I was a little preoccupied at the time, it took me a while to get one.  Like, about a year.  Then another two years to buy a three ring whole punch.  By then the paperwork was so overwhelming and all encompassing that I would feel anxiety symptoms any time I had to fill out some sort of forms for Ellie, requesting this, that, or any other thing.  My heart would start to race, my mouth would get dry, and I'd feel overwhelmingly.... overwhelmed.
This is only the stuff that was ON my desk - the other half was in a folder in the filing cabinet.
But I was determined to lessen the chaos in this area of my life.  So while Ellie sat on the floor with me and sang songs from her preschool, I went through all the papers - reread, sorted, piled, and tossed.  It was no small Declutter Challenge, let me tell you.

I got rid of this much paperwork.

And this was the end result!  Goodbye paperwork induced anxiety!
The red one is the medical reports binder.

I cannot begin to tell you what bliss this triumph has brought me.

But I know you can experience the same bliss!  We all have some certain paperwork clutter that has gotten the best of us. It's gotten out of hand, and it needs to be conquered.  I know you can do it.  It took me four and a half years to conquer mine, but I'm hoping that you can do it in less!  Buy some binders, buy a whole punch (very important!), go to that pile on your desk & start sorting.  Make sure to only keep what is absolutely necessary.

And let me know what you take on!


  1. oh... you have my heart. I am also a ped nurse and did supervising for the peds home care cases. I actually did a post on organizing for the special need family. You all have So much... I know, I have seen many homes with all the "extra" you get to have.
    I love the binders you made! I bet it feels so good!
    I found you from I'm an Organizing Junkie. I'd love for you to stop by my Organizing Mission Monday and link this up. I am working on offices this month so it would be perfect.
    Hope to see you there.
    I'm not on blogger, so I'll give you the link.

  2. I wanted to let you know that I am featuring your blog post on my Organizing Mission Monday link party tomorrow. Be sure to stop by and pick up the "Proud To be Featured On Organizing Mission Monday" button to put on your blog.

  3. Great work! God bless your family.

  4. Wow! Very inspiring. My heart goes out to you and your family. So glad you were able to tackle all of that paperwork!