Monday, March 21, 2011

Project Simplify: Take 1

From my birthday list:
# 28 Cut clutter.

As a pregnant woman, I remember engaging in extreme nesting. I started preparing the nest early and often. At one point, towards the end, I remember sitting on the kitchen floor organizing the pots and pans and yelling for Marty to come hoist me off the floor. Then there was the day I cleaned the shower doors with a toothbrush from my orthopedic shower stool. I remember cleaning closets, junk drawers, mini blinds, base boards. I even supervised Marty and Kelly putting out new mulch in the flower beds in late May. Did I think the babies would notice?

Ahhh…those were the days.

Looking back, though, I am glad I cleaned that thoroughly when I had time, and the time I put into the cleaning and organizing then has paid off over the past nine months. Having things (somewhat) organized has really saved (some) of my sanity.
But clutter has a way of sneaking up on you, especially when you don’t stay on top of it. Especially when you don’t have crazy pregnancy hormones fueling a frenzied cleaning spree. Especially when you can’t remember the last time you had a full night’s sleep. Especially when you have two babies.

When we were getting the house ready to put on the market, I realized how *bad* our closet had become. Seriously, I should have taken a “before” picture. The rods were bowing in the middle. Shoes were everywhere. Luggage half-zipped, hanging out. Don’t get me started on the shoes with dust on them because they had not been worn in so long.


What happened to #28 on my birthday list—cut clutter? I guess it was conflicting with #1—be the best mommy I can be. Or was it the other way around?

To get things picture-ready, I moved things around, hung everything up on like hangers, put suitcases away--although it was tempting to pack one and run away for the mess.

Around this same time, I stumbled on a site called Simple Mom that was running a 5 week challenge called Project: Simplify. Each week they reveal a different “Hot Spot” to tackle. The first week was the master closet and wardrobe. I took this find as a sign. It was time to start tossing.

Like a classic episode of What Not to Wear minus Stacy and Clinton and the three way mirror, I started tossing. While Emily jammed out to “Take a Trip Around the Sea,” I explained to her why a sale is not always a reason to buy and how sometimes you can have too many shoes. I also explained how I was going to keep the flapper dress from many Halloweens ago because some things are just too cool to get rid of.

But we did get rid of quite a few other less cool things.

Among the things I tossed:

Overstretched yoga pants from pregnancy that were never worn to a yoga class

10+ t-shirts with various logos, random organizations, and schools

4 bikinis that don’t cover the parts of my body that should never be shown in public again

2 bathrobes (I had 4).

4 pairs of tennis shoes (and I don’t run)

A denim winter coat with faux wool around collar and sleeves. WTH?

Pants that are too big or too small or too short

Shirts that haven't been worn (or moved) since we moved in here 2.5 years ago

A "club" shirt that can't be recycled into something more appropriate without copious amounts of alcohol and a loud, thumping beat

Print dresses that are, well, just out-of-date

3 purses

Short shorts

Black shirts that look more like dark, dark grey

Sweaters that are over-stretched, over-washed, or under-worn

Pajamas that don’t make me feel like a hot mama (note to self- must buy new pajamas)

Clothes I wore in those days right after delivery when I looked as big as most women do at 5 months

I would love to report that the job is complete, but honestly, five bags later, I have only made it through my side of the closet and my chest of drawers. Marty still needs to tackle his side, and I have at least three huge totes that have clothes from my various sizes. My goal is to get rid of anything I don’t wear (or shouldn’t wear) and to only keep things that fit at my goal weight.

I am also trying really hard to live by #23 on my birthday list: Buy only items I love. Hopefully, controlling my shopping will control the clutter.

And, I believe in some small way, being more organized, more centered, more efficient, more confident, can only help me be a better MaMe.






Holly Ann said...

Thanks for your comment! I teach 2nd Grade. I was so impressed with my kiddos today!
And thanks for your post here too. I seriously need to declutter over here as well!

Mary said...

This post gave me so much satisfaction. I love de-cluttering because things always seem so much simpler without all tha extra stuff sitting around! And as a mom, life is complicated enough, I need all the SIMPLE I can get. KWIM? My organization goal this week is my bathroom drawers, such a small thing, but I'm pretty sure it is going to make a HUGE difference!!

I am so glad I found your blog, I keep enjoying myself with your posts.

championm2000 said...

Holly and Mary,
Thanks for the comments!

Mary~ I SO know what you mean. Bathroom that is another space to add to my decluttering list!

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