Monday, September 12, 2011

F*ll Cl**n*ng

I love fall.  But it becomes a dirty word when you pair it with cleaning.  Why would I want to waste the beautiful fall weather cleaning out closets?

Over the last ten years, the amount of infants and toddlers in the house has been a really good excuse not to clean.  There were several years that I was busy and overtired with little kids.  I hosted several bible studies a week and would “clean” the main living area in the house by dumping the rest of the mess in my room or storage room. 

It’s hard to put things away when there isn’t a place for them.  It’s hard to clean when there is stuff piled up in the corners.  It’s hard to concentrate when my house feels out of control. It catches up with you when you realize you can’t shut the door to a closet or get into the storage room.

This summer it hit me.  We were staying at my cousin’s farmhouse.  It’s furnished but he doesn’t live there.  Thanks to my aunt’s decorating skills, it’s kind of like a bed and breakfast.


It was so nice and peaceful that I started thinking maybe he would want to rent it to us.  It wasn’t just because it is so picturesque with the barn.


And the lake.  And the sunsets over the lake.


It was wonderful because there was no junk in there.  No clutter.  No toys.  No wrappers and crumbs under the couches or bed.  And I realized that my house could be much more peaceful if we didn’t have so much junk. 

And since then I have been on a cleaning frenzy.  You know when you get to the point that you are so sick of stuff that you just want to get rid of everything?  I am taking advantage of that.

I’m no organizational or cleaning expert.  Just a girl with a lot of kids and a medium sized house.  It doesn’t take a lot of talent or pricey organizational gadgets.  I just have a list of all the areas that need to be worked on.  It’s long.  I’m working on one room at a time.  One of the keys is to accept that it’s going to take a while.  It took several years to get to this point and it will take more than a few days to fix it. 

I started in ours and the bigger girls’ bedroom.  I made three piles:  throw away, give away and put away.

I went through the closets and dressers and corners of the room and was ruthless.  If we hadn’t seen it or used it in a while, it had to go. 

I took two big bags to Saver’s and two big bags to the dump.  I vacuumed all the crevices and reorganized the closets.  And even washed the windows.  It’s pretty sad how rarely I’ve done that job.

When we finished, we rearranged the furniture in the girls’ room.  They were thrilled.  We had enough room to unbunk their beds, so they can both have a dog to sleep with.

Do you have ugly closets lurking?  Why not make a list of those yucky jobs that need to be done.  When I’m done, I still won’t have a farmhouse on the lake but I’ll be able to breathe easier.  Less mess, less to put away, less to dust and less to vacuum around.  Peace.

I’ve been taking pictures of the ugly process.  Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my battle with the stuffed animal monster.

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

Oh man, can I ever identify with this! For the first 5 years of our marriage, we moved often enough that things didn't build up . . . and I never washed a window! But we've been in this house almost 8 years. And now I have bins of girl clothes waiting for the world's longest adoption to be done! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your progress!