We have begun a purge. A much needed raid on our house for any item that doesn’t have a home or place. Clothes that no longer fit, knick-knacks that hold no meaning, towels that were replaced long ago yet never left, 25 vases that will never get used… We have accumulated a surplus of STUFF and we don’t have enough storage or room in our house for all of it. We are on a mission. We need to de-clutter and just get rid of enough stuff, so that we actually have places to put the things we want to keep.
Some days when I get home and open the front door, I want to close it again and back away slowly. If my family wasn’t inside I might never go back. I have a physical reaction to the mess, verging on anxiety. I hate coming home to instant stress – I want to come home and be calm, happy awesome mom, not fighting the urge to throw a tantrum mom.
Our little man has some anxiety and attention challenges that can make daily routines and activities a struggle. We are still learning and figuring out what he needs and what strategies we should be trying to help him succeed. One thing that is becoming clear is that he needs a clear workspace, whether it’s the dining room table or the desk in his room. Trying to get him to focus on his homework is near impossible if there is ANYTHING in his line of sight. We’re not doing him any favours but keeping this clutter around and we need to be teaching him how to organize his life – and we haven’t exactly been role models in this area lately.
The initial purge began yesterday. The kids and I headed to IKEA yesterday to get this shoe cabinet. I don’t have a “before” picture, but where this tidy cabinet now stands were two open shoe shelves, overflowing with shoes of all shapes and sizes, many of which are now in our donate pile. We’ve done shoes, towels, sheets, my clothes, non-kid books, cookbooks and vases. I’ve also cleaned up the tea/coffee/Shakeology cupboard.
With all this initial progress I’m slightly anxious that we will now have piles of these purged items sitting around for weeks as seems to happen around here. Mr Awesome says he will get boxes tomorrow so I am cautiously optimistic…but I will reserve celebration until I get home from work and confirm the existence of said boxes.
I’m already feeling better. It’s like when you get out of a traffic jam and drive all the way around – at least you’re moving forward. This has been a LONG time coming, so even if it’s not complete it’s a huge improvement.
I’ve started to see a number of people posting about a new “life changing” (this term is both in the title AND in my friends’ reviews) book about de-cluttering: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I have yet to read it because I felt the need to make this initial stab at doing it ourselves before we attempted a “system.” This is basically the system we are currently using:
And once we are done, this is the motto I will try and live by when it comes to home maintenance:
Beware those arriving at our house over the next few days, I’m so fired up I might accidentally grab your shoes, purse, etc and throw them in the pile if they’re out of place. You’ve been warned.