Decluttering Your Life

Lately I’ve been working on trying to clean out my house a little bit at a time, one room at a time, one space at a time. it amazes me how much junk we all accumulate over time. I am no exception. my problem however, is that even when I am not particularly attached to certain things, I still somehow feel like there should be a place for those things that I may need. I am ever the work in progress and so is my family.  I can honestly tell you some members need more motivation than others and some need more help to rid themselves of the clutter.

My problem has been the lack of motivation to begin the process. I then have to think whether or not I have used the items within the last year. if the answer is yes, and I still use it, it’s a keeper, if not, I have to ask why not and then either put it in the give it away or throw it away bag, whichever is appropriate. I’ve found it is really cathartic to get rid of things and simplify life. 

We all seem to hold on to clothes as well as other memorabilia but as we age, we suddenly realize that it is unnecessary to save every picture and project little Johnny made growing up. there just isn’t room in the house, no matter how great is was. If you’ve been blessed with more than one child like me, you will certainly run out of space! Sure I have saved a few things, but not enough to fill tubs full of artwork and favorite memories. 

When cleaning out kitchen cupboards,I find it extremely helpful to and skills myself how much do I really use the item. I got rid of so much unnecessary stuff. Hopefully all those items received new homes, as they were in good condition and were given away.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure!

We still have too much stuff but I continue to work on my simplification of my life. one day, when there are no more kids at home and less pets to care for, I may just have that home I’ve always dreamed of, but for now it’s a home of love that is well lived in. I can live with that and always have my eye on the prize. 

Chaos vs. Order, the House I Love

Who doesn’t like life in an orderly manner?  I would love my house to be orderly, but that never lasts very long.  I guess it is just meant to be a bit disorderly in this stage of my life.  I have my husband, my children and my zoo.  I sure wouldn’t change any of those things now that I have them.  My life wouldn’t be the same and I enjoy having all those people and pets in my life.  Just the same, when my family asks me what I would like for my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and my Anniversary, the answer is always the same.  It’s to have the house clean.  I love order.

At my old office, I had a desk.  In my desk, I had order.  Yes, lovely order.  Then, we moved offices and suddenly, we found ourselves having to share a desk with someone else.  This was a huge change because everything I once had in one desk now had to fit in 1 and 1/2 drawers and 1/2 of the top.  I never did get that half the way I liked it, but we also never spent that much time there.  You also need to understand that we were not there very often.  We had that space, but spent most of our time in the car traveling from one patient to the next.  We worked out of our cars and out of bags kept in the boot of the car.  My order there would start off great, but over time would digress into disorder.  Every few months, the task of reorganization would ensue and once complete, I always had this sense of peace and tranquility opening up my equipment bags.  I loved cleaning those out as well as my paperwork bag.  So cathartic!

My house is another story.  I think it stems from the fact that I am not the only one living there and therefore I am not the only keeper of the cheese, so to speak.  As such, when I clean my bedroom, which I just did Friday, I find so much stuff that belongs to the rest of the household.  I hate that everyone else seems to think it’s okay to leave everything from shoes and clothes to makeup and book bags in mom and dad’s room.  It just drives me bananas!  Seriously, the kids do this all over the house no matter what we try to implement.  It’s like tiny bombs of kid stuff exploded everywhere.  I can’t tell you that my husband and I are the tidiest people in the world, but at least we don’t leave things everywhere.  We do pick up after ourselves.  My kitchen is the other place that is a catch-all for everyone’s junk. Purses, artwork, coats, papers, mail, dishes.

My husband is a lover of flat surfaces.  We have to have flat surface interventions occasionally.  It entails me going through all the receipts, coins, papers and other stuff he’s taken out of his pockets and placed on some flat surface for going through later.  He makes piles on flat surfaces when he doesn’t know what to do with something.  He always has the intention of going through them later, but his procrastination kicks in and takes over.  His later could be sometime in the next 20 years.  Not a good plan for the man to have a flat surface.

I love to have clear flat surfaces.  I love to have order.  If I had my way, I would have the house as neat and tidy as my mother kept her home.  She always went through things everyday.  She never put things off until later.  The house was clean and orderly, the way I like it.  She had a routine and knew how long it had been since the hardwood floor had been polished.  I, unfortunately couldn’t tell you the last time my hardwood floors were polished, but I know they are due.  I procrastinate more than I should.

I can tell you that my house may not be the way I’d like it, but someday it will be.  When my kids are grown and I no longer have a zoo, I will have a clean home.  It will be orderly and I will miss the chaos.  I will suffer from the empty nest syndrome.  I will be down to 2 kids at home and let me tell you, they are not going to make it cleaner this fall.  They are not neat and tidy humans!  They leave things around, so order will have to take a place on the back burner for the time being.  That is okay with me.  It will come someday.  Someday I will also have grandchildren and life in my house but I will have to give those kiddos back to my own children.  That will be okay too.  I couldn’t do the whole baby thing over again at this stage, I don’t think.  I rather enjoy sleep and independence.

Yes, I love order in my life, but I’ve learned to make things work with the chaos that is my life.  I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.  I do enjoy those quiet moments stolen for short periods of time, but I’m always have the chaos back.  A houseful of chaos is a houseful of love.  I have a houseful of love plus some.

Today’s Stressor

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This is exactly how I feel! Stressed beyond stressed! We have an appraisal guy coming today. That was totally unexpected, for one thing. I am so not impressed! We have 2 hours to get this house in order and it’s far from it! HELP! CALGON, TAKE ME AWAY!

I hate the unexpected things in life, especially when it comes to my house. We are firm believers in actually living in our house so, our home would never grace the pages of any Home and Garden magazine. I do try, but with my kids and those from the neighborhood always here, it just isn’t happening.

Lord help me to get this together today, somehow! Just had to share this briefly. This is my biggest pet peeve but unless I get mean, there is no rest for the already weary.

Blessings, my friends,
Deirdre

What not to trust your kids with

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I truly love being on holiday. When I’m not up to speed, it’s nice to know that I can trust the older kids with the care of the young one. There are a few things, however that one should certainly not trust them with.

Cooking is fine for my daughter, Clare. She’s a wiz in the kitchen. Her boyfriend, Michael, however, should not be trusted with peanut butter and mini chocolate  chips! The chocolate chips will scatter on the floor inevitably no matter how many times you tell him to be careful. I think this is part of his male teenage nature. My 8 year old is just as bad but isn’t as obsessed with the chocolate chips.

The Jacuzzi tub and bubble bath isn’t to be trusted with any of them! What the hell are they thinking? Well, the truth is, they think it’s great fun to make a complete and utter mess in there and think nothing of leaving the bubbly remnants behind as well as the wet rugs and wet tile floor. Did I mention this is in my bathroom? Oh yes, a seemingly regular occurrence after swimming or tennis. Tonight, they managed to outdo themselves and left the Jacuzzi on while they each got into the shower in their swimsuits to rinse off. Then, I walked in. Let’s just say, bubbles were so high you would expect to see them on a sitcom, not in your bathtub!

I’ve nipped that one in the bud though. They got to work and cleaned like fiends. I now have a spotlessly clean bathroom with a freshly mopped floor to boot! I know, kids will be kids! Seriously though, don’t leave any bubbles near your Jacuzzi tub or you may live to regret it. I only regret not taking a photo to share with you! It was a truly magnificent sight to behold, but don’t tell them I said that.

Towels. Towels. Towels. Did you know that children think that while on holiday the towel fairy, otherwise known as mom, will magically wash towels each day? Clothes are left in their bathroom as are dreadfully wet towels. God forbid they hang up towels or throw a load of wash in. The washer is right next to their bathroom, too! Great to always be a maid! Never trust these heathens with your towels. God only knows how many they will use once they figure out the location of clean ones.

I know this is a post of complaining, but really, for any mother who has any teenagers at home, or any mother of former teenagers, you completely understand and can laugh at the humour here. They will always make messes and eat you out of house and home. The boys begin early, like my nearly 9 year old son. He’s busy eating his weight everyday and obsessing over an 18 year old girl! Yes, he tells me how “hot” she is and today told me that she has a cute belly button. Lord save me!

I wouldn’t change these kids for anything. Just don’t give them bubble bath or mini chocolate chips and your world might be a slightly saner place. Keep only 6 towels in your linen closet so your laundry isn’t ridiculously immense and voila! Life is beautiful again! If you don’t love them, who will!

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