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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Confession Time

Over the course of my adult life I would categorize myself as a below average housekeeper.  I just suck at it.  I'm unorganized.  I get overwhelmed. I get tired of doing the same things over and over again and over and over again and repeat.  Pre-Lily this really wasn't such a problem.  I was working.  Cayce was working. So generally speaking we were able to keep the house at a non-emergent level of clean.  I think my main problem is that we have too much crap.  Just too much.  Good grief. I don't understand where it all comes from.  I assume at night while we're sleeping tiny trolls are scavenging dumpsters and thrift store drop-offs and then quietly and delicately placing the new items in a casual "bomb explosion-fragment" display.  That's the only logical explanation for the amount of stuff we have and its constant state of disorganization.  Now, don't get me wrong, we're not destined for an episode of Hoarders, we do keep things somewhat "clean." There's just a bunch of piles, stacks, and cleverly hidden stashes.  Ugh.  It's overwhelming.  You would think since I'm now at home full time with Lily I would have this under control.  You would be wrong.  Before Lily when I was gone at work there was no one in the home each day for about 9 hours.  Now there's someone at home all. the. time. And that someone is a crafty 3ish year-old who can make a monumental mess in about as long as it takes me to pour a cup of milk.  So basically I've just played catch-up for 3 years.  There hasn't been time for deep cleaning, de-cluttering, or organizing.  Ew. Then factor in my return to grad school last year, and wow, yah housework is like #762 on my list of priorities, right behind end world hunger. I know millions (probably billions, I don't know, I'm not a statistician) of other moms have the innate ability to hold it all together and Pinterest their way to fabulousity.  I however, came into this mothering thing with a major handicap, my strong aversion to cleaning.  So I suck at cleaning. I know it, and I ignore it.

This lengthy airing of my dirty laundry - ha, pun intended - and my major SAHM suckiness is build-up to today's big project.   My resolution for 2013 is to de-clutter and organize our home.  Part of this may or may not  have to do with the fact that in less than a year strangers will come into my house and tenderly (not) pack all our belongings and crate them to a yet to be determined destination.  Last PCS, 2 years ago, we had less crap.  Lily was only 9 months old and had significantly less junk.  I don't know how she keeps getting stuff.  She must have a job that I'm unaware of and routinely shops 'til she drops.  So now we have all this stuff.  Oh and did I forget to mention that while the Navy will kindly (not) move us free of charge, they will however weigh our junk and if we're over our weight allowance we then get to pay Uncle Sam for all our extra lbs?  That's definitely some motivation to get rid of stuff.  I have actually been doing a pretty good job since January routinely going through totes, boxes, and piles donating and trashing things.  Lily's closet became a nightmare over the past month because someone (I dare you to guess who) discovered what a fun place a closet can be and slowly, daily, destroyed the organization I DID have in there.  I really did have it organized. I promise.  So this week I went to Kmart (yah, Kmart) and bought a shelving unit, put it together during naptime, and then re-ogranized the closet.  Then to top it all off.  I put a hook-and-eye latch on the door so someone (did you figure it out who yet?) can no longer pilfer when she's supposed to be napping.  I wish I had taken a before picture because it literally looked like a 38inch tornado had landed squarely in its midst.  But now it's bea-u-ti-ful.  So today I tackled our closet.

The master bedroom of our house is the converted attic.  It's spacious, but has some awkward angles.  One end of the attic is the bathroom and the other end is our closet.  It's nice sized.  It does triple duty as closet, reading nook, and sewing room.  Without further ado - my biggest secret.

For the closet I needed an actual workspace for my sewing and crafts as well as a spot for our shoes.  Our lab enjoys carrying shoes around the house.  She doesn't chew on them, just transports them from one place to another. Since there isn't a door on the closet we can't shut up the shoes to keep her away from them. Today at Bed Bath and Beyond I found a large shoe rack.  At Lowe's we purchased a solid piece of 2ft X 4ft birch for a table top, and found a couple cheap steralite drawers at Walmart.


Free Fabric

I had 2 yards of fabric left over from a craft project gone wrong.  I simply stapled the fabric to the wood to create a splinter free work surface.

$24.00 total for the drawers.

$35.00 (holds 30 pairs of my shoes)

$35.00 (holds 30 pairs of Cayce's shoes)

The shoe racks are actually one tall shoe rack that I kept separated.  This way Cayce and I would each have our own rack and I could place them to take up the least amount of room.  Plus, if I had actually put it together I would have had to put the shoes in the bathroom because there wouldn't have been enough room height-wise to keep it in the closet.

$110.00 grand total plus a few hours of work for some much needed organization.

I know what you're asking yourself.  How in the world did she live like that? I didn't.  I ignored it.  I haven't spent more than 2 minutes in that closet since December when I was finishing up my Christmas crafts.  The sight of it made me anxious, and I knew it had to be tackled. But it was going to be such a time and energy consuming task that it really became a mind over matter kind of thing.  It's soooooo much better in there.  We still need to go through in weed out some more clothes, and yes the sweater stack is still there.  I can live with that.  I still have my sweatshop footstool seat, and at some point I'll bring up a folding chair.  It's not a deal breaker though.  I'm kind of used to the ease of my little swivel stool. :)

So one massive undertaking complete.  My next chore is the office.  What? I have an office, yet I'm using my closet as a craft room? Yeah.  That's a whole 'nother story. 


  1. I try really hard to keep up with the clutter, but it is HARD. The little people in this house have more stuff (and BIG stuff) than I ever thought possible. Good for you for getting after that closet!

  2. You did great! I love these before after stories. And you know I know how you feel! You've been to my house, you've seen the mess. My 2013 resolution was to get both the house and my body back in shape. So far I'm only making progress on the house. I try to organize one area at a time, or one room at a time. It's working so far. However, Abby seems to think it's a game and follows me around destroying everything I just did. Still, it usually looks better than it did before. And I know what you mean about having so much stuff. When we moved in it took one trip with only two trucks and one trailer. Now we would need quadruple that! I have decided to have a garage sale as soon as it is warm enough here (because it is still freezing in March).

  3. I love your idea of the fabric-covered table. Maybe i'll copy you ;)