15 December 2009

Pre-Holiday Scramble

The List!
This week when my turn came up, it was clear that what needed doing most was just a basic clean-up and de-clutter in preparation for the impending arrival of a LOT of relatives for the Christmas holiday. And I had a LIST. We cracked open our cans of (Cleaning Club Beverage of Choice) Coca-Cola and got busy.


One thing that I struggle with fairly often with Cleaning Club is letting go of the ownership I feel over my messes and fully allowing Rachel & Shannon to just help me get rid of it. Even though it is my turn, and I know I have (willingly and happily) worked my ass off in their homes, I sometimes still feel guilt over the job I have planned for us to do. I subconsciously try to direct them to the easier parts of the work and rush around in an attempt to do the harder or less desirable parts myself, hoping they won't notice. I feel the need to apologize for the state of things in my house, and instead of instructing them where to put something or what to do with it, I grab it and run off to put it away myself, or try to stash it somewhere to deal with later (like THAT'S gonna happen...)

Yes, all of this DID come from under the sofa.
"YES, all of this DID come from under your sofa."

These guys are gently helping me let go of this ridiculous attachment. We've all learned what each other's weak areas are and when we need to give an extra nudge to get someone to throw something away or try a new way of looking at things in order to find a system that works. Sometimes it's little things, and sometimes it is life changing. This week wasn't any one big thing- but getting the yucky, depressing clutter off of our living room surfaces in order to make things more presentable was so huge to me. And I had to really let go and just trust them both to handle the little clutter items in appropriate ways and not stress over the fact that it IS difficult to find homes for all that little crap. And it's not like we ever go through stuff without asking for instructions on what to do with it- I just have a control issue surrounding my junk and I'm learning to let it go.

Nasty stairs

In addition to clearing the cluttered surfaces, we were also able to get a general clean-up of the upstairs done, including vacuuming (even under the sofa!) and dusting. The stairway to the basement was in desperate need of a good cleaning, and Rachel was able to whip it into shape quite quickly.

Clean stairs!

Shannon had lots of help with the vacuuming- it is amazing how exciting a piece of furniture can become when it is moved over a few feet!

Vacuuming with Michael!

The kids "helping"!

I felt so much better about our living space, and then when I got the unexpected opportunity to have the house to myself for 2 whole days (No kids! Overnight! The Christmas gift I didn't even know I wanted but enjoyed the most!), I was able to spend some time doing some more decorating because I had clear surfaces to put things on. I haven't done much decorating in years but I had a blast bringing in holly and pine boughs from the yard and really fixing things up. (no pictures of that, unfortunately)

Nice and shiny
Shannon's answer to my question, "What the hell do you do with all these empty Clementine boxes?!"

clutter gone from surfaces

What a difference this day made for me- it helped me so much in feeling prepared to welcome guests into my home. Hooray for a clean house!

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