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A cleaning spree

standard November 22, 2010 2 responses

Two nights ago I had a fantastic dream. I don’t remember the gist of the action or the characters involved, all I remembered when I woke up was how delightfully clean the house was in the dream.

To say that it was a rude awakening is putting it lightly.

As always piles of stuff greeted me when I got up. I stopped by the girls’ room to say hello and was greeted my more chaos. I closed my eyes for a second to revisit my delightful dream and without thinking I started cleaning up.

Hours later each doll was in its place, each block in its bin. The shelves were stocked with rows of toys and the floor was amazingly clear of clutter and toys. I had even unearthed the Command picture hanging strips that were given to me at BlogHer to hang some coat hooks on the back of the door. Outgrown shoes were either chucked or tucked away for posterity, toy strollers finally found a home on a ribbon I strung across the closet door, and the books all faced the same way and were easy to pull off the shelf.

We spent the rest of the day sitting in their clean room enjoying the calm and serenity of the organized space. Then I went to bed in the utter chaos of our own room.

This morning I woke up determined to turn our room into the same haven of peace that the girls enjoyed all weekend.

The main culprit in our room was the armchair and ottoman – both covered in clothes. Clothes that really should have been in the closet that was also overflowing and terrifyingly unorganized.

Four, yes, four trash bags of outgrown and out of date clothes later there was enough room in the closet for the chair to be cleared. We purged everything – pre-baby clothing I’ve finally admitted will never fit again, college clothes that might never have been in style, things we just never wear, things we’ve never worn (with tags still on!). I took all the too big clothing that I might need one day should we ever have another child, but definitely don’t need now and stashed it in the girls’ closet.

Tonight the armchair and ottoman are completely clear. The AC unit has been removed from the window. A painting that has been sitting on the floor for months is now hanging (Thanks again Command!). Random bags have been removed. The half empty suitcase has been emptied and put away. And finally, finally, the room is pleasant to be in. 

Another weekend and I could make it positively delightful, but for now, this will have to do.

First step on the road to organized living

standard October 5, 2009 4 responses

We’re never going to be organized people. We’re never going to have the kind of home that’s featured in the pages of the Pottery Barn catalog. We’re OK with that. Really. We want a comfortable home, not a pristine one.

But we would like a home where guests can stop by on a moment’s notice without sending us into a cleaning frenzy. Where papers don’t overflow on every surface. Where toys and art projects clutter every room.

Today we took the first step towards that. We sat down and discussed, not what we needed to clean, but rather where the chaos was coming from. We figure if we can understand the origin of the clutter and stem it at the source we stand a better chance at keeping it under control.

So today we established that we have 5 main sources of clutter.

1) The mail – it comes in, it piles up, we ignore it… the piles breed. It gets ugly fast.
2) The girls’ art projects – two prolific little artists who color every waking moment create a lot of artwork. A lot.
3) The outgrown clothes – why do we keep feeding these kids? They grow every day and outgrow their clothes every other day!
4) The things that I get for review – boxes everywhere as far as the eye can see.
5) Papers – school papers, work papers, lots and lots of papers.

We started by setting up shelves in the garage where some of the bigger boxes and bins of outgrown kid clothes have gone to rest. Then M purged the front hall closet. And then I tackled the outgrown clothes.

We still have a ways to go. A long, long ways to go. We’ve taken a stab at the mail and set up a system that might work. And we have plans for how to handle the art work explosion. We even have a plan for all the rest. And we’re really very motivated for putting it all into place.

It’s all very exciting. And I promise I’ll let you know when it’s all done. You know, in case you ever want to stop in on a moment’s notice.

Mastering the laundry makes me feel so accomplished

standard February 9, 2009 6 responses
If you had heard me say “I mastered the laundry” last month, you would have also heard me laughing hysterically. Because, really, until last month I never thought I’d master the laundry. Me? The queen of “get it all clean and then leave it in a monster pile on the chair in our room and pull stuff out as needed.” Me? Master the laundry? Not happening.

And then, well, it happened.

I mastered the laundry.

I got those nifty small laundry baskets for the girls. I put away everything that was outgrown. And I started folding the grown-up stuff one load at a time instead of three weeks at a time. Presto: laundry = done. Sanity = restored. Hahahahaha. If only that were true. Anyway…

In the morning after I shower and get dressed I turn the dryer on for a few minutes to make everything warm. Then, I pull out the kids’ clothes and chuck them into their respective baskets, make a neat pile of the grown-up clothes and take them to the bedroom to fold them. On my way back to the kitchen I throw all the clean laundry into the dryer and turn it on. 5, 10 minutes tops and my laundry is taken care of. No more complaints of no pajamas, no matching socks, or favorite shirts that languish in the dirty hamper. We’ve regained the use of our armchair, and every morning I start the day feeling like I’ve already accomplished something great.

And that… well, do you know what it does to a person to feel that way every day? Makes you feel like the sky’s the limit and just about anything is possible. Like maybe cleaning the kitchen floor. Or, gasp, the bathtub…

(If you’re reading this in the feed you’re missing out on the gorgeousness that is the new It’s my life… design. You should TOTALLY click over and check it out!)

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