Saturday, October 17, 2009


We're spending the day around here decluttering and cleaning the upstairs.

Not fun.

I rarely venture upstairs except to put the baby to bed and go get him when he wakes. There are always hazards in the hallway to navigate through, and I seldom make the journey without stepping on a lego or getting tangled in dress-up clothes.

Well, I had a conversation with a friend last night. A friend who has the most clutter-free house I've ever seen. She has 3 young boys and still manages to have a house that looks nice all the time. If it's a mess, it takes about 5 minutes to have it looking wonderful again because EVERYTHING HAS A PLACE. When I asked her to share her secrets last night, that's what she told me. She strives to have a 'hiding place' for everything (an actual home, not a closet that she throws everything into). She said she hates seeing 'stuff' just out in the open, so she puts things into drawers (with dividers/organizers), cabinets, baskets, boxes in closets--whatever. If a storage area becomes too full to close, she purges.

I asked her about those things that aren't being used at the moment, but you know you'll need them in the next year or two. Or things you aren't sure you'll use again, but want to keep 'just in case'. She shared that she uses the boxes that paper comes in (her husband's job gives her as many as she wants) and stows things away in these, with clear labels, which are then lined up against a basement wall. ANYTHING that is not being used at the moment, is put back in it's place immediately. And she's not sentimental about things, so unless it's just SUPER special, she doesn't feel bad getting rid of it.

Maybe you are all better at this than I am, but I am naturally a 'messie'. I get stuff out, then get distracted by something else. I'm too tired, too busy with something I'm enjoying, too busy with something that must get done NOW. I hate cleaning, though I truly appreciate a clean, clutter-free living space. So, with the image of a less-messy home motivating me, we began upstairs--the kid zone.

I knew that it would be easier for me to get rid of the kids' junk (not good toys--but the JUNK that accumulates), and might get me on a roll, ready to tackle my own stuff in the rest of the house. Well, we worked all morning/afternoon, and now we're taking a break. Our reward will be a family movie after supper tonight, once all the debris is cleared out and we can see a finished product. We're getting tired, but everyone seems to be motivated and is working together well.

We've collected 4 boxes of toys to donate and have thrown out nearly 3 garbage bags full of stuff so far. It *does* feel pretty good!


  1. Personally, I appreciate a good mess. It make me feel like my world is alive. If a place is too neat it feels sterile, but it is nice having a place for everything.

  2. I agree to an extent, but when I have a bunch of stuff piled everywhere that isn't being used or loved and is just collecting dust....well, it starts feeling more 'dead' than 'alive', LOL. And with 8 kids in the house, I don't think we'll ever have to worry about the house feeling sterile. ;-P