Friday, January 09, 2009


A fresh start

I had been slipping in my decluttering ways for a while. When my sister visited last fall, she came up from the basement looking shellshocked. I could tell she was jarred and she gently asked something about cleaning it out. I think I brushed her off irritatedly.

But she had a point: my basement was a nightmare. So much stuff all randomly piled and stuffed and stacked and falling over.

Within that month, I attacked it with a vigor. Moved the table legs I'd found somewhere and the table top I'd gotten from Freecycle to near my laundry area, cleaned and swept the floor, worked like a fiend. And cleaned maybe a ten-foot-square area. At the time, it felt like a huge step forward. In retrospect, it was a drop in the bucket and a clear SHE moment--we are all capable of small bursts of concentrated cleaning; it's the consistent resistance to clutter that will save us.

My sister and I talked more over Christmas. She (again, gently) suggested that maybe I could try the FlyLady system again--and institute it for my son. I agreed. I started to read the FlyLady site daily and get back into the decluttering mindset.

So last night, I looked at the clock at 9:10PM and thought, "Yeah, I could do 15 minutes." I ended up putting away the box of silver that had been sitting out for months, stacking the coolers by the back door (now put away downstairs, yay), and cleaning out the broom closet. Cleaning out the broom closet was kind of a sidetrack, but I'd been feeling frustrated with the way it was set up anyway. It's nice to have it tidy, with a place for our lunchboxes, the dog's food and pills, and the broom and WetJet. I also mopped the ceiling where a beer bottle, plummeting from the roof of the fridge, fell straight down on the floor and blew its cap, creating a beer geyser. (Note: beer is very sticky after a day of drying.) It was nice to get that done.

Today, I was in a bad mood at lunchtime, and went home (am lucky it's just 3 mins from work). Just after I got there, bringing the coolers downstairs, I decided to tackle more in the area near the washers. I have a nice big wooden table down there that is ostensibly for sorting and folding laundry, and has been covered with bags of yarn, blankets, other bedding, and a big blue tub for a couple of years now. I moved the tub (which had all of one piece of posterboard in it), put the yarn away, and looked at the bedding. Some of that is going to leave my house! The rest will be washed and put away. It'll be nice to have more sheets for G and duvet covers for both of us.

I also cleaned under the table, discovering my pre-baby clothes that will probably never fit me again (and that I will definitely not wear again anyway!). The final count: 1 box of books (taken to work), 2 bags of garbage, 2 bags of recycling, 4 bags of donations to be taken to Goodwill.

And a huge weight off my mind. (Priceless.)

What an awesome amount of work! Our attic closet is a bit of a disaster; it's where my clothes and shoes, laundry baskets, luggage, my spare desk, and extra blankets leave. I keep trying but life overwhelms us.
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