Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I have been obsessed with organizing for at least the last two-and-a-half years (my first blog post on the topic is here).  I have had been driven by the irrational belief that if I can just get the house clean enough, it will stay that way.  I am starting to realize that decluttering and organization are a practice, like meditation or yoga.  They require mindfulness and daily attention, and if practiced faithfully, will lead to continuous improvement and, eventually, enlightenment.

Well, maybe not enlightenment, but I do feel weighed down by all the stuffness of my life, and I do feel lighter when I am able to lift a bit of the load.  (Not that I want to turn into my Grandmother, who has spent her whole life cleaning and recleaning her spotless house...).  I've decided to focus on one room each month this year and not only clean, declutter and organize, but also add to those rooms in a way that makes them feel more finished.  This month, I am taking on my bedroom, which is also my sewing room and office (maybe I should start calling it my "studio," my Sewing, Writing and Sleeping studio.  Maybe a new name would facilitate more sewing, writing and sleeping.)

I did a major overhaul in this room two years ago and again last year.   Neither stuck.  Last week I could barely get into my closet, and the ironing board attacked me anytime I tried.  Though, while going through my closet and drawers took two whole days last year, it only took me an afternoon this past weekend, including the previously-ignored top drawer of jewelry and random trinkets, which I took downstairs and said to the boys "who wants to look at some treasure?"  Those boys like bling.  M has been begging to look in that drawer for months.

I ended up with one big bag of get-rid-ofs.  I also folded all my clean clothes that had been heaped on the dresser and they (mostly) fit in my newly sorted drawers.  I still need to sort through four bins of bed linens that line the back of the closet, and I found two boxes of books therein (part of the reason I couldn't get in there)--one of books that I'd sorted out of our bookshelves two years ago and planned to read and then get rid of and the other one full of literary journals I picked up at AWP last year and some other books people have given or lent to me.  I am going to make a concerted effort to just read through them.  I need a two hour train commute, or a long bout of the flu or something.  I will definitely need to take a break from library books for a while.

I have a pile of pants that need mending and several WIPs that I am going to force myself to deal with, as well, including making curtains for this very room, a project which has been in the queue for a long time.  I also want to come up with something to do with the big blank wall over my sewing table, and I really need to clean out my writing desk so I can actually write there (though C partially moved out of our living room and to a real office, so now I'm able to set up my laptop in the living room).

March is also shaping up to be a busy month, socially (everyone must have cabin fever)--including the clothing swap, where I'll actually get rid of all the clothes I sorted out.  Hopefully I can squeeze it all in this month.  I'm holding out on "after" pictures (though my side of the closet looks very nice--C's side is a whole 'nother story) until the end of the month, to encourage myself to keep it clean.  Next I want to take on the upstairs bathroom and the boys' room, then maybe take the summer off before attacking the downstairs.

Has the spring cleaning bug bitten you?


  1. Are we the same person? Because I have pretty much said this, verbatim:

    "I have had been driven by the irrational belief that if I can just get the house clean enough, it will stay that way."

    I'm happy to say that with three of our rooms, I've pretty much reached that state of enlightenment. The other rooms are hideous. I look forward to that day when they are all de-cluttered, the world is in sync, and the ceiling opens to light shine the lights from heaven.

    Until then, I keep trying to get rid of crap.

  2. LET shine, not light shine. Ugh--I hate that we can't edit our own comments!

  3. Cleaning the house is something I put off until I can't take the mess anymore.

    I DID start to clean out the playroom until I realized I had nowhere to put the old toys I was getting rid of...and so they still sit in boxes up there until I figure out what to do with them.

  4. Good for you, can't wait to see your progress. I know exactly what you mean about feeling lighter after getting rid of clutter...I can't remember where I read it (Simplicity Parenting? Fly Lady?) but it was likened to clogged arteries in your own home. Nothing feels better! Just wish I could get the whole house done at once, LOL! There's that irrational belief at work again. ;-)


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