Monthly Archives: January 2011

excessive? obsessive? who, me?*

Judging by my numbers from earlier this week, I’ve ground to a screeching halt:

(Thank goodness for the burst of energy earlier in the month, that 52 is the only thing saving me at the moment).

Judging by the state of my dining room, I am probably certifiable now:

Or the living room, which has turned into Plastic Bin Central:

It’s because of this room:

The office, aka my latest obsession, has brought my purging to its metaphorical knees. My logic to start with was sound – start in one room, methodically sort through things, move on to the next room. Worked wonders in the kitchen, the dining room, the living room. But then, the office loomed large. It’s covered in books and shelves and was laid out like a library. Which works well for adults, not so well for children. It had boxes of papers to be filed to get to and not a lot of space to maneuver in a room that is technically the largest bedroom in the house. It’s also the backup guest room space (if someone doesn’t want to stay in the mancave) but is impossible to sleep more than one person because of how the shelves were positioned.

No problem! I’ll just rearrange the office in the course of my purgefest! Shouldn’t take more than a couple of days! I am superwoman, hear me roar!

*THUNK.* That was the sound of me falling back to reality. Or splashing into the ocean because my wax started to melt (the more likely option). My obsession for the last two weeks has been this !@#$%^&* room. I am bound and determined not to move on to the next thing until this room is the way I want it because, dammit, this purge is as much about cleaning out my mental cobwebs as it is decluttering our spaces. So here I am, obsessing about books, sorting through papers I probably will never need, questioning the need to have two shelves full of German history and a section in our library on Conspiracy Theories. The rest of the rooms in my house have been completely neglected in my all-encompassing quest to make this room habitable. I guess I’ll let you know if it works?

*No child’s welfare was harmed in the living of this house. I promise.

somebody check my math

It’s the end of the first full week of doing this – here’s my count to date:

Lessons so far: I’m slacking much more during the week than I thought I would. When I get stuck into a project I just keep going and going and going. My house actually looks even messier now that I’ve started this project – though I do have five empty boxes sitting in my living room that I’m hoping Big D will pack some of *his* excess stuff in.

Highlights of the last few days – shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Random crap in my office from my mother’s house that I don’t need. IKEA purchases with good intentions that have moved from house to house to house unused.

Even though my house is still a disaster, the fact that I’m working and processing and getting somewhere is doing wonders for my mental state. I’ll call this a success if I can downsize from the clutter that’s eating my sanity to the clutter I can live with.

actually sticking with a resolution for once

I’ve complained mightily about the state of my house for ages. Sometimes I feel like we should be on Hoarders (though I doubt it’s really that bad). I do envy those people with houses that are clean enough so people can just ‘drop by’ without notice – usually I’m scurrying around cleaning horizontal surfaces and apologizing profusely for the state of the place. Two busy adults, two young kids, and no easily remembered systems for automatically keeping up with clutter just doesn’t equate to a clean dining room table. And the paper…oh, the PAPER. Junk mail should be outlawed. As should multiple art projects or homework sheets per day.

So when my good friend Leah mentioned she was purging five things a day for thirty days for the second January in a row, I figured I should get off the pot and get my butt moving. Complaining isn’t making my house cleaner, but getting rid of crap could very well be. To be accountable, I told some more friends, who demanded photographic proof. I did actually start with January 1, but haven’t yet taken my first load of crap to Goodwill, so here you go (I’m not counting things I throw away, but that may change as the month goes on). If anyone sees anything they want, speak now or forever hold your peace – I’m planning on loading the car as I go and unloading whenever I can’t see out of the rear window.

The official nerdy accounting calendar. Total items to be tossed are calculated on the left. Actual totals are inserted by day into the calendar squares. I get special dispensation for Mondays since I work in the office and then go to Cub Scouts with little d on Monday nights. As you can see I made up for it yesterday.

Big Box O’Crap – anyone who knows me knows that pink shimmery vases are not my thing.

Yet more stuff. Obviously, my kitchen was the first room to be tackled.

Will keep updating as the month progresses!