You Mean It Gets Messier?

Here's the deal.  The internet is full of people only showing their best & it's enough to get me headed straight towards a panic attack on a rough day.  Long ago when I first started blogging, I said I was going to break the trend & share the good, bad, and ugly.  And today's post is definitely the ugly of our current life.  

If you're a clean freak, to be sure you'll think I should be embarrassed of these pictures. And you'll probably think I'm a hoarder. But for the rest of you that feel pulled in a thousand directions every day - today's goal is to make you feel at home.  You are not alone.

I shared a few weeks back that I was making a concerted effort to pare down on possessions.  We have so much.  Too much.  When there's not time to wear it or a place to store it then it's a sign we needed some major change.

Even though I've wanted to go through things for a long while, the catalyst to start was....my ALLERGIES!  Because of course right?  I needed to deep clean the house and dust the heck out of every square inch, and now I couldn't avoid the task.  Throw in a doctor's diagnosis of the baby girl with allergies and the mom guilt meter started spiking. So clearly I couldn't put it off any longer.

Disclaimer:  I used to have a cleaning service and loved it.  Then I started working part-time and that went away.  But my cleaning habits didn't pick up the slack.  (Seriously, the best part of the cleaning crew wasn't what or how they cleaned, but how I was forced to straighten the night before every two weeks!)

So in an effort to keep myself accountable on this journey, to encourage you it's ok for life not to be peaches & cream perfect, & to inspire you to free yourself from your possessions, I'm sharing my progress & some tips I'm learning along the way.  

Rooms Completed: Laundry Room & Hall Closet

Rooms Partially Completed: Master Bedroom, Kitchen

Still a Mess: Master Closet & Bathroom, Baby Girl's Room, & Spare Room/Office (aka the war zone)

  • I decided if I didn't wear an item of clothing during the last appropriate season, then it needed a new home.  Makes it so much easier to let it go - trust me.

 

Shockingly, this was already a good 20 minutes into tackling this room - I'll let your imagine how bad it was at the start!

Shockingly, this was already a good 20 minutes into tackling this room - I'll let your imagine how bad it was at the start!

  • The laundry room was ground zero.  I hated doing laundry for have to step over extra household supplies, blankets needing to be washed, & extra home decor. So I was letting constantly letting laundry pile up until it was D-day & I was forced to do 5+ loads in one day.  So of course, that behavior meant clothes & towels were piling up in all the other rooms, just adding to their respective problems. So I did a massive purge/deep clear there to make the space clear, clean, & functional.  The last two weeks of laundry have almost been a delight.  As much as laundry can of course.  There is finally counter space to fold clothes - in four years in this house, this is a first.  And winner winner chicken dinner - I've kept it clean for 2 weeks!  It can be done people!
  • Put the Goodwill donations in the car as soon as you make the pile.  I don't know why the part of actually dropping off stuff has always been the most hated part.  They have a drive through drop of here less than a mile away. For goodness sakes I have no excuse! I've always collected stuff, made a list, bagged it up, then let it sit.  Elsa it my friends & let it go.  It has been so freeing to see parts of my floor again.  The carpet beside my bed thanked me yesterday.

 

This was 2 trips to Goodwill.  Amazingly this was only from the laundry room & one cabinet in the kitchen.  Best part I kept probably 20% & am kicking the other 80% to the curb!

This was 2 trips to Goodwill.  Amazingly this was only from the laundry room & one cabinet in the kitchen.  Best part I kept probably 20% & am kicking the other 80% to the curb!

Here's the thing that almost tripped me up & made me quit last week.  It will get messier.  It has to as you pull things out.  It all has to go somewhere, so the best goal is to tackle a space that matches the amount of time you have for the task at that moment to keep you from getting overwhelmed.  Once you decide it stays or goes - put it where it belongs right then.  No more extra piles, no "I'll decide when I'm done".   Give it a home or send it to someone else's.  Determining the items fate in the moment has been the only way I've gotten through it.  

So what's my next step? (Because I know this has been a thrilling read & you just can't wait for installment two)....

1) Finish my bedroom & closet.  I've taken four car loads of clothes to goodwill, not counting what I've sold via a sale on Facebook & Instagram.  Why I've held on to stuff so long I can't begin to explain.  But guess what.  It's a new day, I have a new mindset, and things are gonna be done differently up in here - up in here.

2) Somehow gain miraculous inspiration for how to store our food without a pantry.  This is my Achilles heel.  See?

Yeah I would die if you stopped by & saw it this way, but somehow I'm braver to share this when we're hidden behind a computer screen.  But we all need a glimpse of the realness that is our everyday right?  

Yeah I would die if you stopped by & saw it this way, but somehow I'm braver to share this when we're hidden behind a computer screen.  But we all need a glimpse of the realness that is our everyday right?  

This picture is after my last grocery trip in the midst of the laundry room purge.  Those beautiful countertops? I hardly see them.  I've tried multiple cabinets, but they are either too high or too deep to be functional.  There's no space for a stand alone pantry.  So for now I pray for kitchen organization miracles to find a way to get my counterspace back.  It's giving me gray hair.  Well - more gray hair. I'm all ears people - help a sister out!

3) Toss on my Tyvek suit and brave the office disaster.  I can't get to my sewing & cross-stitch supplies in all the mess. I know the next book I wanted to read is in there, but I don't want to break my ankle or spend an hour looking for it.  And frankly, I want that space to be the space I've dreamed it could be for me.  For my writing.  For my creativeness. Sooner than later. And it's going to be a battle, but it's just going to have to go down.  

So dear friend, sweet mamas out there - just know you're not alone in feeling forever behind in the chores and projects on your to-do list.  I'm tacking this on top of working outside the home part-time, everyday chores, and refusing to stop living and spending time with people we care about just to clean.  Priorities! One step at a time and remember - it can't be any worse than my house!