I am not too fond of cleaning, and organizing is not one of my top loves. Outside finding good uses for dark chocolate and writing that is. And don’t worry, I’m almost ten days into Lent, and I’ve been good. I’ve developed a minor lip twitch, wake up grouchy, and my right leg shakes uncontrollably. Other than that, I’m good.
When I married Sun, I should have known that one day, we’d be proud owners of lots of organizers. Baskets, bins, crates, and hooks. My baby loves them all. If you were looking for hubs this week, sightings of his smiling face were reported in the aisles of Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Crate and Barrel, and my favorite and yours, good ol’ Target. The first two are stores that make my head spin and leave me wanting. Cuz my super-saver self just cringes at the prices, and I prefer deciding between candy bars over shoe racks any day.So each day this week, aside from Wednesday [we took a trip out to the North Fork…Blog coming on the outing next week!], hubby awakes and announces the room of the hour. Then the five of us dive in. Sarah, our four year old, is the onsite manager, although she’s rarely in site unless she needs someone to open up the goldfish box for her. We take apart the room, installing organizers, and then putting the room back together, after placing each item in one of three categories: keep, ditch, or donate. We should really tip the sanitation guys this week, the bags just keep on coming.
On the first day, the girls cleaned their room. They actually swept under the bunks, and I’m sure they found a few long lost loves that slipped through the cracks. All I know for sure is if stuffed animals had feelings, they’re all feeling cherished and significant now as they line up to peek out through the bunk railings. No longer serving as party places for dust bunnies.
Next came the kitchen. And the pantry. If you were visiting a week ago, you’d be scared if I asked you to find an item from the pantry. You’d be annoyed if I asked you to set the table. And if I asked you to find a plastic container to put leftovers in, let’s just say our friendship would be teetering on the brink of destruction. The plastics drawer had so much stuff in there, opening the doors was borderline dangerous. Stuff always fell out, and no matter how many times my friends who love me a little too much would arrange it for me, the place had a mind of its own. Like an addict who returns to her poison, the drawer of stuff refused to stay organized. It got so bad, I began to wonder if the dishes came alive at night and partied so hard, they just ran out of steam before morning and stayed in a state of disarray. I’m thinking if my dishes take lessons from Chip and Mrs. Potts…
Anyway, I realize just how obsessed hubby got when he bought a bunch of new containers and decided that we will no longer have to search for the lids. Because the old has been recycled, and the new has taken its place. We only own three sizes now. And each one has its lid with it. In fact, shortly after the drawer was finished, these words came out of the hubster’s mouth:
“Note the containers. They are stacked within each other with the lids on the bottom. But, note that one lid is on the top. Making the first container ready to use, no need to ever again search for the correctly fitting lid. AND, when anyone takes a container, they must first remove a lid from the bottom and put it on the top, making the next time just as easy.”
He then asked me to look at the shelf carefully to make sure I understood his system, and he threatened that if the kitchen ever returned to the state of chaos again, I’d have to pay for his therapy.
So yesterday, we faced the last frontier of week one. Our bedroom. It has been a growing mountain of so many piles of this and that, that the only free counter space left was our bed. Cuz sleep is just that important to us. But every corner in our room and even the wall space was lined with paperwork, books, clothes, and the overflow of all the other rooms. The top of our dresser was so crowded, I had to remove piles in order to find my jewelry, then replace the piles so I had a place to sleep.
One time, when a concerned relative visited from out of town to help me prepare for a party, she literally scooped all the contents from on top of my dresser and put everything in a large black garbage bag, then stuck the bag behind the bed, out of the sight of coming guests. She told me to sort through it later, after the party, not realizing that the bag would stay ignored or weeks. That bag was one day moved to a box. That box became a scary monster that I feared facing and eventually got buried under other items like towels and clothes that needed to be donated. Out of sight. Out of mind. Until this day. When hubby held my hand, and we faced it together. Then he let go of my hand, because its easier to work when you’re not holding hands. Just sayin…
I think my favorite part of this whole week has been the use of something hubby bought months ago. The shredder! Finally out of the box and plugged in, the sound of paper shredding sounds almost as sweet as Beethoven’s Fifth. The machine is like the Pac Man of paper, and I’m in love with it. I doubted at first, wondering if it was okay to switch from filing to shredding. We had so much paperwork saved from years on end, that when we first started sorting the piles, hubby said, “Look on the bright side: At least no one could steal our identity since we never threw anything away.”
Leave it to Sunny to look for the bright side of even the darkest of black holes. And now our four year old has been promoted from Onsite Manager to Queen Shredder. She has a chore that she can do, and she loves her new job. All day long, she comes up to me, “If you have any papers to shred, just put them in my cart?”
We’re not finished. But we’re closer than we’ve ever been before. To giving each thing in our house a specific place to be and return to. But it’s time to call it a day. Because, as life would have it, the past weekend was All Star Basketball weekend, and we all know what that means. It was time to put the vacate back in vacation! Time to chill out with the dunk contest, D. Rose and a dash of Linsanity. Followed by the Oscars. Good thing we cleaned off the couch!
In case you were worried, we didn’t clean all day and all night. Hubby is all about balance. He let me spend several chunks of time writing, and to reward the girls for being good sports about the spring cleaning extravaganza, hubby spent time biking with them, shooting hoops, and taking them out to the arcade where they also rock climbed an indoor wall. And my three oldest made it all the way to the top! Those are my strong girls!
When game time was T minus one hour, hubby was still at it. Putting up towel hooks in the girl’s room, a rack system under the kitchen sink, and rumor has it, there will be a row for hanging pans from our kitchen ceiling before the week is over. I feel like I’m living in a new house…almost. Very thankful hubby initiated a long overdue overhaul of the mess that had turned into madness. And I don’t know about you ladies, but nothing turns me on like my man flexing his biceps over the kitchen sink.
From the twinkle in Sun’s eyes, we’re not finished. Next week, it’s the garage. And after that, the attic. And after that…the challenge of all challenges: To Keep it Like That! I’ll have to report back in about two months and let y’all know if the anti-midas touch has officially been swept out the back door. A few friends have already placed their bets on how long before we regress. Oh come on?!? If I can give up sugar for Lent, surely I can handle this new organized way of life. Who knows? I might even actually like it!
**So how about you? Does Spring Cleaning get you excited or make you wanna run and hide under the bed? Just beware. I hear that’s where the king-sized dust bunnies roll.
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