> hey what's for dinner mom?: On a Tear

1.27.2010

On a Tear



For all intents and purposes my house would be considered big. Although it isn't HUGE with a bathroom for every bedroom, a great room, a kitchen table and a separate dining room it is big enough to make it a struggle to keep in order let alone clean. I think order is the killer of cleanliness in this house, as in we have none, so people with penis' can't possibly think of a logical place to put stuff sorightfreakin'hereisperfect!! Which then creates the precedent that of course dirty dishes belong on the dryer, IN THE BASEMENT, sweaters SHOULD be laid on living room chairs (repeatedly) and wet towels entangled with yesterdays clothes look perfect everywhere. There are also the perennial favorites of laying whatever is in your hand down where ever you are standing, dropping, kicking and pretending not to notice whatever was in your hand and then the spill and ignore, which is a long standing opposite sex policy of mess making.

Do you see where I am coming from here? I live with 4 of these.

I'll let that sink in. FOUR!

Do you wonder why I need a pot of coffee each morning, just to get me through the morning? I hate clutter, it's depresses me, then come to find out it it really can depress you, or make you nuts. One more bit of depressing-ness (a word I swear!) I am the main purchaser of stuff so while they are stacking stuff, I'm hauling it home. SO I am on a tear. This house is getting crap reduction surgery.

It all started in the furnace room, with empty boxes, thatohmygodwemightneedsomeday! and they had to go. Suddenly the room was about 80% clean. And that felt really really good. We bagged donations, sorted leftovers and boom clean room. So it went on to the coal room, a minuscule room off the furnace room where they used to store...coal, where we now store more dishes than we need. And woosh another sweep, more donations, more clean!

It was catching! The next weekend we made a list of little things that needed doing and, get this, we did them! Then I took a day and deep cleaned each little boy bedroom, coerced them into donating a bunch of stuff, took out there outgrown clothes and there rooms looked so nice! And they pick them up each day to keep them clean. It doesn't hurt either that one of them stepped on a lego so hard he cut his foot which is mega incentive in itself to pick stuff/put it where it goes. I have been enforcing lately the put away 3 things that don't belong...and all the legos.


I turned on the main floor with a vengeance and everyday I get to one more cluttered, swamped, messy spot and muck it out. And I feel so good. Everybody seems really into getting organized and helping out which I need because if I hear one more screech especially while I'm knee deep in clothes that don't fit anyone, someone is going to get hurt.

This picture:

inspired my most recent
  • realization
  • gutting
  • inspired realization/gutting
I have come to the realization that instead of fitting into the spaces we have, I have purchased things to help me get organized rather than just working within my space/storage/box capacity. It was easier to go buy magazine boxes for all those old family fun magazines to store them, then it was to look through them, pull a few cool ideas and jettison the rest. It was easier to simply keep cramming empty boxes in the furnace room than it was to decide how many boxes are reasonable to have on hand, what sizes and what to do with the rest of them. And the gutting the photo inspired was that lovely old roll top desk the silver dishes are on. It sticks, it's hard to open, so instead of dealing with it I simply opened it as far as it would go and crammed stuff in it. This is when I began to understand our even bigger problem. We can't live within our boundaries, we needed more to feel better but it made us feel worse. Either we use and love what we have or we get rid of it and get something else we use and love. We don't need to replace without getting rid of, that is just crazy. Instead of fixing the desk I was cramming desk stuff everywhere else, forcing the desks contents into other parts of the house and shifting things to where they didn't belong. And we were I was doing it again and again and again. That is so over.


When/IF spring ever comes I'll be ready to go outside and I won't be worried about clutter, junk and stacks inside. Oh don't get me wrong I'm sure it will all creep back in eventually but I swear I'm going to donate, freecycle or use up things I have. When I buy something I'm going to think long and hard about it's useful life and if I can't picture it in use I AM NOT BUYING IT.

See how OTHER people made my house messy and cluttery? **snort** I love these realization posts. Their inability to put stuff where it goes mixed with my inability to responsibly organize and utilize spaces led to massive problems.

I did find some cool stuff I didn't even know I had, vintage cards and postcards. Awesome! Old Judas Priest ticket stub, wooden Alaska post card and a World Wildlife Fund Panda Sticker. Not so Awesome! Need to jettison. Hmmm maybe I'll give them away. Remnants of Laura's of life.....


Peace and Love,




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8 comments :

  1. I know how you feel. Although I don't have four boys (yet), I do have a husband who sets things down wherever he goes. I often tell him I know exactly what he has done during the day b/c I simply follow the trail:) Our house is extremely small and our storage is minimum, so I know what you mean! Hopefully winter will be over soon and we can ALL get outside.

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  2. Sounds like my house but I'm the culprit! Well, ok it goes TWO ways - I'm the clutter causer BUT it's b/c J has no shelves, no closets, and no storage. If yuo want to put something down, it has to go on the floor. And I'm not kidding.

    I am the exact same way though. Clutter makes me REALLY anxious and depressed. Last night when I was trying to cook the kitchen had every single visible surface covered w/ shit that did not belong in the kitchen to begin w/. I almost threw my hands up and decided on take-out but I took a few minutes to put crap where it belonged and carved out a space big enough to make food in.

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  3. Will you come and organize my house too? Please?! I promise I'll make you yummy cocktails! LOL

    Good for you, Laura! My non-resolution resolution was to throw out everything ... and I'm doing a crappy job so far. Ugh.

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  4. Sweet and Savory I only have 3 "boys" + a husband....hahaha

    Christina WEIRD my nerd boy husband is awful about shelves and storing stuff-I'm like can we please use the closets PLEASE!?! Finally I just go insane like I just did and organize the house

    Diva-yes I travel cheap I love to organize but my trouble was I couldn't rid of stuff-you must be ready to cleanse

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  5. Laura, if I pay for your airline ticket to L.A., will you come help me declutter too???? I'm good at letting go of stuff, just never motivated enough to start the project. Company, that's what I need! Don't you want a weekend in sunny southern California?

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  6. YES!! I come for cheap airfare only well plus hot coffee! This time of year I would chew my own leg off to get out of here :)

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  7. Good for you for accomplishing such a major feat! Now you have to be vigilant about it. I love the motto: if you can't use it, don't buy it. I hate clutters. So I just throw everything down to the basement. Literally. I stand at the top of the stairs, and kick the boxes down the stairs.

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