Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

You might recall in March that I declared war on clutter. Honestly it was more of a fistfight, but my intentions were to declutter the house that month and never have to do so again. Hah!

I am a borderline hoarder, and what I originally thought was decluttered, wasn't. In fact, everything was still a mess! Just a neater one.

Remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare? I can tell you that I am not a hare (perhaps a little hare-brained, but definitely not the fast-paced creature in the story), but more of a plodding-along reptile that can never seem to gather any real speed when it comes to things that don't interest me- like cleaning.

Now it's the middle of August, and I'm still working. My house is not a simple one-month project like I'd originally thought. But I do have some good news!

Thanks to the help of my kids (yes, I taught them help clean too), my arch nemesis, the kitchen, has been completely transformed into something I'm happy to cook in! Straightening up simply wasn't working. The reason? There was just too much stuff to work with!

I love kitchen gadgets, and collect them on a regular basis (read: collect=hoard). Things were starting to pile up, and I was quickly running out of room in my tiny kitchen. No amount of 'neatening up' would work, and I was tired of tripping over things. My family was too.

The little bit of counter space I had was cluttered too, and things began to navigate to the stove top. Not good when you're cooking almost every day! I became tired of moving things around to cook, and I wound up shifting things to the floor- then tripping over them.

Now you see why I call myself a borderline hoarder! 'Borderline' only because I decided to do something about it before it overwhelmed the entire house and turned into the next feature on that popular cable show, Hoarding.

The first things me and the kids did was remove everything off of the kitchen floor. This was no small feat, and soon the dining room bore the clutter removed from the kitchen. This was just to see how much stuff was on the floor, and how much space I had to play with in the kitchen. I had twice the space- and that wasn't including any of the removable storage I had. That was emptied too- I was not only cleaning, I was decluttering as well. All if it made a pretty impressive pile in my dining room. One I could no longer ignore and shift around.

It took a total of three days to complete the process, but it was done at long last! The local thrift shop was bestowed with appliances I had yet to use (and probably wouldn't have used in the next ten years), and the things that I use a few times a year are now in my storage spaces, the regular use items are sitting on my shelves within eyesight, and the clutter is completely off the floor. The only things there now are my trash can, a big bag of potatoes, and a serving tray we use for snacks for the kids when we have a movie night. The floor was swept, scrubbed, and mopped until it shone. It still amazes me just how nice this kitchen that I used to hate turned out.

The clutter on the counters (that didn't go to the thrift store) were stored as well, and that left enough room to prepare a meal. Oh, I could do meal prep before, but now I had enough elbow room that I didn't knock anything over!

I celebrated by cooking a huge pot of soup- large enough so I don't have to cook for at least another day or two, just so I can finish clearing out and cleaning the rest of the first floor.

I went to bed exhausted each night, but greatly satisfied that we were finally making an impact. I never realized just how much it bothered me to come downstairs to a messy house. I smile when coming downstairs now, and not tripping over stuff feels really good!

Though things are still coming along slowly, they are coming along- at a nice steady pace. And that, my friends, really does win the race in the end!


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