Saturday, July 28, 2007

Getting your house in order

Today was not a glamorous day, by any means. We awoke early to get my son, Alex, off to the airport. We awoke at 5:00 am and had to make to the airport 2 hours early so he could get checked in before his flight. By some miracle, there was NO LINE!!! He got checked in and he gave me one of those quick, one-armed hugs and a kiss on the cheek, and he was off to spend a week at the home of my brother, Andy and his wife, Lisa, in Oklahoma City. We left the airport and we were home around 8:30 am. I resisted the urge to go back to bed and catch a few more hours of sleep, and instead, began working on cleaning the closet, my bookcase and the ...GARAGE!!

I am a master (or mistress?) at procrastination, and I have put this off so long that it was actually making me physically ill! I couldn't take it anymore, it was driving me crazy! I couldn't write, because I kept thinking about all of the crap I needed to sort through and organize and I know that is why there was nothing but crap coming into my life. I had NO ROOM for anything good to come through! Time to silence my inner packrat who has had full reign for too long!

I was ruthless. I tackled my closet. Yuck! The first thing I went through was my clothes. Anything that was ripped, torn, or beyond repair, went into the rag pile. Next were the clothes I wear all the time. Those were sorted into piles. One for the clothes I have NOT worn in a year or more. Gone. Either going to Goodwill or Salvation Army. The rest was separated into work and dress up. Not much on either side, but that's ok, I have hangers now! Yippee!

Next was the bookcase. It had morphed into a giant sponge, sucking up energy and life because it was collecting crap all over it. It's the "catch-all" of the house. But the kitchen table is usually worse. I pulled everything off the shelves and dusted them (or plowed, if you prefer), and once they were all polished, I set about sorting the books and stuff that had accumulated there. Books I wanted to keep, I put back on the shelf. The rest went into a box for me to take to the bookstore to cash in for money. Felt like I lost 5 pounds just doing that!

The Garage. Did I mention it was almost 90 degrees today? By the time I was out there starting to sort through stuff around the door and the shelves, it was around 1:00 pm. Hot is not the word for it. I was practically melting, but I was driven to get 'er done! I was on a roll and the heat actually helped me do it a lot faster than I would have, because I didn't stand there looking at all my magazines, books, and junk and think, "Oh, I'll just keep that around, I might need it." Nope. I silenced that pack rat right away by saying the same thing in the closet. "If I haven't touched it in a year or more, out it goes!"

Unfortunately, I did lose a lot of books that would have been good to sell at the bookstore to mold and mildew. They got wet somehow and the box and everything in it had to go. I was sad for a second, but then realized that if I had done this sooner, I could have saved them. I didn't want to stand there and keep kicking myself in the pants for my procrastination. It doesn't do any good.

After I sorted what was going to Goodwill or Salvation Army and what was trash and going in the dumpster, the rest was easy to sort through. It was the giveaway pile to family and friends I know who can benefit from some of my junk. Then the smallest pile of all was the pile of what I really wanted to keep. Not a whole lot, which is good, because I don't want to do this any time soon, but I do want to schedule and organize things to the point that once a month, at least, I am sorting, donating or throwing out the junk I don't need. I have too much to do. I have writing to do, a writing business to run, and most importantly, a family to take care of, and now that I have this off my mind, I feel like a huge load has been lifted and the energy can flow in, with all the good we can stand!

So, if you think the world has it out for you, or you are so frustrated at how things are going, take a good, hard, honest look around and "clean out the corners." You will feel so much better!

Just for the record, this was brought on by my friend and fellow writer, Jen Nipps who is in the process of moving and posted to our online writing group that she is cleaning out all the clutter from her life right now. Thanks, Jen! :)


Jen said...



lol. Not sure I wanted to be that kind of motivation, but if it works, why not? :)

(I have to get to my closet before I can clean it out! I started in my office since that's the part I neglect the most.)


Laura M. Crawford said...

Jen, any motivation is motivation, no matter who or where it comes from. I couldn't think straight! HTG! I would be writing and then halfway through a paragraph, I would end up thinking, 'I really should get that garage in order. I need to clean out my closet. blah, blah, blah.' and it would stop me cold! Then I would get a horrible headache from the stress of thinking about cleaning it out and all the hassle, but it looks worse with all the junk cluttered around, etc. I had just had enough, and now I feel like I climbed Mt. Everest! So, thanks to you and just know that there is a light at the end of the clutter!

Laura :)

Dorothy said...

Wish I could clean. I really miss it.

sheryll said...

Hi Laura, Just read your little bit on cleaning, well, I have been doing that for the last month, since me and my husband moved from a house to an apartment, a big huge 3 bedroom house with a full basement plenty of cabinet space in the kitchen and bathroom and the laundry room, and oh my office, when we moved into the house there did not seem to be enough shelf space in the closet, so I talked my husband into ripping it out, and building me shelves, ha ha ha,, well they were all full, and overflowing, and the basement with a small room for the upright freezer only room for it and a few things, right, it held so much christmas stuff, and oh yes did I for get to mention that I have two full grown boys, and a grandaughter who also were staying with me, so anyway, I think you all get the picture, yep ever nook and crany , corners and shelf above the cabinets,under the steps on the steps, were full to the brim. Now what do I do with it all? I start by packing up the things I need, and then the things I wanted, then the things we could use, and so far so good, it really works, then when it all came to the apartment, oh yes did I mention that it is only a two bedroom apartment, with no stroage space, no cabinet space, no basement, only one bathroom, no upstairs stroage in the garage, yes I did get one of them, but there is bearly enough room for my car, let alone anything else, and I had a 2 and 1/2 acre yard with alot of my out door yard ornaments on things we have collected through out the years we have been together, which is going on nine that we have been married, and 21 years since the day we met, and started to grow as a family, oh yes I should let ya all know that we are a blended family, his three girls, and my three girl, although I have not seen my youngest since he was 18 and is now going on what now 28, any way between all the kids, and now grandkids, which he has 3 and one on the way, I was just informed of the other day. They are all girls, and one in Heaven, and with my grandaughter, we all have alot of memories and stuff to go through. It is so for so good, until I ask my husband to start going through his stuff, he is a pack rat, just a bad if not worse than me,, he saved every one of his old fishing liecence's and hunting liecence's, and oh yes his teeth too, yuppa, he had to have all of his teeth pulled out, which were quite a few, and he saved everyone of them in a small box. I know gross, but I asked him to get rid of everything, yah right, it is worse that taking candy from a baby, any way things are slowly going out to the big dumpster , and some clothes were taken to the salvation army and some dishes were given to the boys, and well so on and so one,. thanks, for the writings laura, I look forward to them, take care, and keep on trucking on the spring ,, oh I mean summer house cleaning and stacking and sorting, and all the good stuff, and yes I know have hangers also,, yippeeeeee,,,

sheryll said...

Correction, on my post, I have thre boys and he has three girls, they call us the backward brady bunch, My three boys, not girls,

Jeni said...

Wish all this cleaning motivation would rub off and morph into a craft/sewing/knitting/crochet/embroidery type binge thing and that would enable me to clean my room and about half of one room in the basement out here! Then, I'd have an excuse to go buy more fabric, more yarn, etc.!!! LOL