Let Operation Declutter begin

standard June 11, 2008 7 responses

We’re pack-rats.

There. I’ve said it. I’ve laid our shameful secret for all to see. What? It’s not a secret? You mean you can tell? Was it the car that tipped you off? Or maybe the house? Don’t tell me it was the three year old tin of Nesquik powder sitting on the shelf in my office, I totally threw that away last week.

Well, secret or no, it’s still a problem. Every single nook, cranny, cupboard, and shelf in our house is overflowing with, well, crap. We have stacks of old mail piled up on the coffee table, under the coffee table, in the corner of the bedroom, in the kitchen, and who knows where else. We have bags and bags of outgrown baby clothes and toddler clothes in C’s room, in our room, in the hallway, and in the garage. We have toys everywhere. The laundry has erupted all over the bedroom, the bathroom, and the laundry room. And, and…

and I’ve had ENOUGH.

We have stuff covering every possible surface of our house and I just. can’t. take. it. any. more. I want to be able to sit in a chair without having to clear it first. I want to let Little L crawl around without cringing every time she pulls a pile of papers or worse off a table. I want to cook a meal without having to clean the kitchen first. I want to enjoy my home again. I want to sit in my house and not be constantly distracted by the chaos that surrounds me.

When I gave notice at work a million years ago five weeks ago I decided that I’d spend the first two weeks of my newfound freedom systematically going through our house one cluttered corner at a time, cleaning things out until I could see clearly again. Then, having regained control of my environment, I’d get to work on taking control of my career.

Sadly, as the more regular readers know, I haven’t exactly been able to leave work when I’d planned. June started up and Operation Declutter wasn’t put into motion. And because I had planned it all out so carefully the mess started bothering me more and more. Or maybe it’s just getting worse. I can’t tell any more. I’m too busy trying hard to avoid stepping on sharp little toys.

Yesterday I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer. Seriously, at this point who knows when I’ll be on my own. I headed to Target in search of a few key cleaning products (Nothing like brand new products to get you motivated.) and I got to work.

Day one lead to a sparkling bathroom with cleaned out cupboards. I chucked at least two trash bags of old products and ridiculously old cold medicine. Dude. We weren’t even living here in 2002. Some of the stuff I chucked was French. Do you know when I last lived in France? 7 years ago, that’s when. I’m pretty sure hair gel doesn’t last 7 + years. Am I wrong?

Day two lead to an organized garage, boxed up baby clothes and a somewhat cleared out bedroom. I even dead-headed some rosebushes. I know. Shocking.

There’s still so much to do. It’s a lot overwhelming actually. But I’m trying hard to focus on tiny, tiny portions so I don’t talk myself into giving up. Next weekend I’m tackling the corner of the living room and maybe, just maybe, one of the baskets of toys. Or not. That might still be a bit too daunting.

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7 responses

  • i’m actually quite motivated by your post, but what is likely to happen with me is that i’d head to target and buy more stuff i don’t need. hence, the art of the pack-rat.

    damn you, target. damn you! 😉

  • My mom is a serious pack rat and I’m afraid I’ve inherited that gene from her. Although I DO try to throw things out when I get a chance. The problem is, when do I have a chance? Our house is seriously out of control right now. Worse than it’s ever been, EVER! And it’s also driving me nuts. I think it makes hubby and I grumpy. Ohhh… now I wish I could go home and clean…

  • I am right there with you on this one!

    We’re in serious declutter mode, or at least we are on our better days. Best of luck to you!!!

  • Nesquik never goes bad! You can save that powder FOREVER!

    I’m inspired too… good approach to do a little each day.

  • Wow, I am also a major pack rat, and recently it has begun to drive me crazy! I am trying to get help, but it is hard. I have a friend who comes over once a week and that is the only way I get motivated.

    I am in awe that you can self-motivate and accomplish so much at one go.

    Good for you!!!

  • @gemmerzz – I KNOW! There’s always something we don’t need, but just have to have at Target. Why do you think I have so many hair products?

    @shere1 – Time is definitely my big enemy. Oh, and kids, who want to “help” me clean up.

    @colleen – Good luck! I hope you’re finding it as freeing as me!

    @chefdruck – Really? Never goes bad? Damn. I should totally have kept that tin. Darn. Now I want chocolate milk.

    @RivkA – Oh! Can she come help me too? I have a friend like that, but she lives on the other side of the world. I could really use her “encouragement” these days!

  • Sun

    Rose, maybe we can motivate each other. Our house generally looks ok, but that’s b/c I throw things into closets or 1 of 2 rooms & all the closets before people come over. It’s gotten so bad that no one can even walk into the office & I can’t find anything anymore.

    I told S that for Father’s Day, I’d clean out the office. I guess I should get started…it’ll probably take the rest of June.

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