19 January 2010

Crowded with Clutter

I have been especially aware of the crowded and cluttered state of our front hall closet recently, probably because we've had a lot of guests in and out of the house over the holidays. I knew that it would only take our little club a few minutes to get it emptied, swept out, and reorganized though, and I wanted to maximize the amount of work we could get done during our time together (uh, because I'm selfish like that).


So I looked to the recently half-vacated wardrobe, where our movies used to live before we rearranged or house a few weeks ago. The kids' coats and sweaters were still in there and I wanted to reclaim that cabinet for some craft supplies, so it seemed logical to get those moved into the hall closet. 

And then just for fun, I threw the bathroom drawers into the plan, in case we had enough time. Because they have been bugging the crap out of me. And because I wanted to get as much done as possible (again, with that whole selfish thing.)

There was definitely a different vibe at club this week- we had 3 less kids than usual due to other plans, and my husband Jason was home that day as well. So there were just fewer kids in the house AND I was able to use the command, "Go ask Daddy!" several times to my advantage- allowing me to keep right on working instead of having to stop and assist with things like getting bikes down from their ceiling hooks because of the 65 degree weather on a January day. 

The closet and wardrobe got emptied, with a significant amount of stuff going straight out to the van to be dropped off at the Goodwill, which has already been dropped off at the time of this post. Making this a regular stop for us has really helped us get in the habit of getting rid of unwanted items. I always offer to take the giveaway boxes and drop them off after Cleaning Club, as well as the cardboard recycling from our projects. It is so important to just get that stuff OUT and be done with it. 

what shall we do with these mri's?
Where IS the most sensible place to store old MRI scans of your kid's brain...?

We put together a new lower bar for the hall closet and got it hung, which made just the perfect spot for the kids' coats. Now they easily reachable, and not taking up space in my wardrobe. I also dug out an ironing board hook that was not being used, so now my board has it's own home again. I am going to make a huge effort to keep it hung up instead of always leaving it standing near my workspace. 

hall closet- finished!

A few blankets and toys stayed in the wardrobe, while I figure out exactly what I want to live in there. But at least it is cleaned out and ready to go.  

wardrobe- finished! 

And we did make it to the bathroom drawers, which were quick as well. We pulled them out, vacuumed behind them, and used the big table to work at for the sorting and cleaning process. Being in a well lit room and not bending over the drawers in the cramped space of the bathroom made this so quick and easy. We were putting the drawers back in no time!

me & rachel
bathroom drawers- finished!
I even set aside the paint from my bedroom walls (being relocated from the floor of the closet to the basement where it belongs) and got the outlet covers painted that should have been done a long time ago. The Cleaning Club Effect helping me break those old habits of excuse-making and procrastination.

painted outlet covers
They're already on the walls, too!

Now, these weren't like some of the really big, daunting tasks we have taken on sometimes at CC. But they were examples of those jobs that you know need to be done and you keep procrastinating and making excuses and just somehow never get around to doing yourself. And to walk through my house this evening it doesn't look much different in here. It's when we are going about our day tomorrow and the day after that, when we open these spaces to access the things we need, and we can do so with ease- that's when the benefits really become obvious. When you open a closet that used to make you swear under your breath, and instead a smile spreads across your face? That's when you know that a project doesn't have to be "life-changing" in order to make a big difference in your life.


Shannon said...

It was such a good day! I like jobs where we get to chat a little. I totally agree about those "little" jobs being life changing. In my world cleaning out a closet, by myself, would take most of a day...and so it would just never get done or done all the way. And clostes, drawers? Having those areas serve us and be de -cluttered, makes my entire day go better. When those areas are how I want them to be, I don't go through the day thinking, "Ugh! Here's more damn work" everytime I open a door or drawer--which then yields to a sense of inescapable oppression. At least for me.

faerieeva said...

Love the post. And now I want to reorganize my entry hall. Am I nesting? I think I must be. Yesterday I took nearly all the ornaments from the tree, with a two year old helping. Today I am removing all the rest of the christmas decorations, but I also want to get some sewing done. And now I want to reorganize my entry hall. Hmmmmm.... priorities, priorities...

Rachel said...

Oh the little things mean so much, don't they?! It was nice to work on a straight up organizing project, too, as they are the funnest to me. I mean, cleaning dog doo out of your yard, scrubbing your hardwoods on our hands and knees, and painting your bedroom were fun, yes, but not the funnest.

Paulette said...

The lower closet bar is such a great idea!

Jennifer's Mom said...

Hey, I have some projects for you - you are all invited to my house ;-)

Shannon said...

I'd love to come!! I know Michael would, too!

Jennifer said...

You know they live way the heck up in the frozen north, right?!

If you were closer we would totally be there, Mom!

Shannon said...

I know---It'd be nice to have a reason to use a few of our 600 winter coats. :)

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