Clear the Clothes Closet Clutter

I can hear you all groaning because that is what I did when it was time for me to tackle this project.

It was actually the sound I made every time I opened my closet door.

But I knew I had to clear stuff out because, I hate to admit it, stuff was going in and getting lost. And not my stuff.

Let me explain. In our house, when a child loses electronic privileges, the device gets taken from said child and placed in my clothes closet. Not just placed, actually. It is hidden.

This process was going very well until the children started directing me to the confiscated devices when I couldn’t find them in a hurry. That told me that a. I wasn’t being creative enough in my hiding places, and b. the kids were on to my regular stash locations.

Not good.

So the last time my son sneaked his device, I took it away and hid it.

NOT in one of my usual hiding places. I was soooooo creative.

And for six solid months, I was unable to find it. anywhere. in. my. closet.

So finally, after weeks of procrastinating, I bit the bullet and went through my closet.

I went through each shelf and finally put away my winter sweaters and pulled out my summer clothes.

I tried on each pair of pants, each pair of shorts, each shirt, and each skirt. And then I realistically, painfully, got rid of the ones that didn’t fit. And would not fit unless I time traveled back to before I bore children. Seriously. You can’t lose weight in your bones.

I discarded each pair of shoes that I was saving in the hope that I would be able to break in, despite the blisters on top of the blisters.

By the time I was done, I had two large bags of Goodwill donations (including some of my husbands old t-shirts and shoes).

And in the process, I found the long lost device.

And then hid it again! Somewhere he will never find it…

right beside my bed.


New Philosophy: Clear the Clutter

I was browsing through Pinterest when I saw an illustrated picture with the following saying;

Use it Up. Wear it Out. Make it Do or Do Without.

use it up

Usually, I would read something like this, admire the font and the background, and then move on.

But this time, it struck me. Hard.

You see, for the past year, while I have been exercising on the treadmill and stationary bike, I have been watching inspirational videos on YouTube. They are mostly from TedX and lately, they have been about clutter. Basically, the theory is that clutter in your home leads to stymied creativity and general unhappiness.

I didn’t believe this theory when I first saw it.

But then I started taking classes at university. And these classes were not easy. There was a ton of reading and writing and…deep thinking. I was physically swamped and mentally exhausted. And within two weeks, the cleaning schedule that we had adhered to in the house was (conveniently) forgotten by everyone. Stuff started piling up all over the house. The children’s rooms were swamplands of disgust. The kitchen cabinets that had been so organized (to me) were now teetering disasters waiting to happen.

I got more and more frustrated and finally, just overwhelmed. I kept asking why was this happening? Why was all this stuff not organized like before? Why couldn’t I keep on top of it? I threw my hands up in despair and managed to keep things together until finals.

After my last paper was turned in and I was able to collapse on the couch with a pad of paper and a pen, I figured it out.

We just had too much stuff.  It was exactly like those lecturers on TedX had said.

I couldn’t handle it and the rest of the family didn’t want to. The stuff that I thought was important for a happy life was not important to anyone else and it was just making me downright miserable.

So the very next day, I bought a new shovel and started working my way through the house.  I started going from closet to closet and cleaning stuff out. And I couldn’t believe what I found.

Four sets of sheets that had no fitted sheets! Two 9×13 baking pans, 1 muffin tin, and two frying pans that were too rusted to be used safely! Six extra pillows and 16 random pillow cases that were just hanging out in the back of the closet!

I attacked each closet and each area with gusto. I cleaned. I sorted. I bagged. I delivered to Goodwill. It was refreshing. It was freeing. It was amazing!

And my new rule is: If something comes in. Something has to go out.

Or maybe the new rule is: If it doesn’t have a home, it needs to go.

Or possibly it is: If we haven’t used the thing in over a year, maybe it’s time to let someone else use it, enjoy it, take it.

And that’s before I even start on my Craft Room of Creative Splendor and my dreaded Clothes Closet of Doom.

I’ll keep you updated on how that’s going! But in the meantime, feel the freedom for yourself. Start with one drawer or one spot on the counter or even one pocket of your purse. You’ll feel better…believe me!



Back Again.

Hello, again!

Yes, I thought this day would never come. But it’s here!

The last few years have been a bit bumpy and the three reasons are…

Teenagers, Start ups, and Early Empty Nest Planning.

First of all, over the last few years (and I don’t quite know how this happened) I suddenly have three teenagers and one tween in my house. Teens with hair issues. Teens with social issues. Teens with time management issues.

It’s not that they were particularly hard to handle. I mean, I have relatively good kids. They study hard. They have a general path that they are following, passions they are pursuing. But anyone who tells you that teens require less time than toddlers is fooling themselves. I’ve spent more time communicating and negotiating with my teens than I have ever had to in my entire parenting career! (And that includes the potty training years!)

Second, I thought that encouraging my husband to pursue his dream of a start up would be fun! {Follow your passion, honey! I’m behind you all the way!} Plus, he would be working from home and would therefore be able to help drive the teens mentioned above to their various and sundry activities.

Hah! Another fallacy!

What it means is that now my husband works at his office away from home and when he gets home, he continues working in his office here!

Third, I planned a little too much in advance. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t be one of those moms who falls apart when their kids go away to college. So I started pursuing some of my own interests.

Yeah. Not such a good idea. My schedule got so overbooked that I was constantly stressed, continuously harried, and everything was falling through the cracks. The positive thing was that I wasn’t yelling at the kids. Mainly because I never saw the kids!

I scaled it back and focused in on what I really wanted to do.

And here I am. Back with you and writing about my exploits!
Hooray for coming back home!