04 January 2010

Clean Through the Chaos

Shannon working on green cabinet

Today we got together for the first time after two weeks off for holiday hootenannies and the like. Shannon triumphed over an unresponsive minivan to get her brood here, and everyone braved the below freezing temps to get here. The project: The Trifecta of Clutter. It was to be a Hat Trick of organization. But, the cool thing with Cleaning Club, is that sometimes what you think you need to do doesn't really work, but something you didn't plan on getting done does!

craft supplies

The original trilogy included a window seat filled with fabric and sewing stuff, a cabinet that held the booze and some CDs, and the coat closet. Moving the sewing stuff into the coat closet was ill conceived, it became clear, but moving the cloth napkins and candles into the cabinet (which we thinned out the booze contents of and packed up all the CDs into a box to go live in the Shed of Ick) and the drawer from which the napkins came became the third to be organized.

The coat closet got thinned out and put back together.
Rachel's front closet- finished

The cabinet was no longer an eye sore.
Green cabinet- finished

And the napkin drawer got trimmed within an inch of its life. (It was filled to the top previously.)
kitchen drawer- finished

And I thought of something I love about Cleaning Club, beyond the obvious. It is this: you have to go through this storm to get to the calm seas it brings. In other words, 14 people descend on your house. 18 people need to eat lunch, so suddenly the kitchen counters become filled with food which then spills out via children into the rest of the house. It is winter, so every one of those people brings in a coat, as well as other random items (dolls, purses, books, things to return to each other, gallon bottles of gin, etc...), that create large piles. The little kids play with a pile of toys in the tiny living room. Kids are everywhere. You pull a bunch of stuff out of your closets and cabinets and whatever, so there are piles of that. And, this time, I added to it with a pile of ten trash bags full of vintage clothing (long story). In short: there is disorder everywhere, and I am a Virgo. But, you know, there is so much sweet order on the other side of it that you weather the storm. You fight the waves and navigate through the mess and the kids and it's so worth it. And you're not in a little dingy out there all alone, you're on a good rig, with a three woman crew, and you are capable of anything. And short of momentary desires to send a kid off the plank, you just keep sailing.

And then everyone collects their piles, and cleans up their lunch and their toys, and they sail their separate ways. And you're home and everything is so much better for the chaos.

There is a life lesson in that effing long ass played out metaphor.


Jennifer said...

This is almost always how it feels for us too. The project accomplished far outweighs the extra messes from kids playing.

Hey- when you die I want that green cabinet, ok?

Rachel said...

I have rewritten my will to deed you the green cabinet, Jennifer. And I'll throw in the liquor stash.

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