Thursday, July 23, 2009

The State of Our Houses

So I'm in the middle of repurposing a room here. I started in the spring but got sidetracked by important matters, a health problem (minor) and a sick kid.

I have been converting the kid's playroom into an art and craft studio for me. I was doing good by first decluttering stuff in the room, it was pretty empty, then cleaned it deeply. Then hauled stuff out of closets, going through that, and trying to declutter that. That is when things were stopped. You know, in that middle of the project stage it looks like total chaos.

Today I realized the repair guy for the air conditioning would have to get access inside of that closet. The room was a disaster zone and the closet was empty. I got a chill when I realized a stranger would walk through my house and see the room in disarray like that. What would this person think of me if they judged me on the state of that room?

As I tidied up so that he could reach the spot without getting injured, I suddenly saw the room with new eyes. Yes, I'm in the middle of a project but truly this looked terrible! What kind of person lives in this home?

I started with the guilt trip. Like I have a nice house why doesn't it look like a spread in a home decorator magazine? It is furnished, it is decorated, it is just full of STUFF.

I started asking, "What have I been doing with my time to not have finished this yet?" I've been super busy!

Truth be told today I was supposed to be driving north for our traditional family vacation in Maine. I cancelled it to spend time at home finishing house projects just like this one. So I need to give myself credit for having the wisdom to prioritize the situation here. I want these projects finished more than I want a five day vacation out of state.

Two days ago the kids and I re-did the shelving in the master bedrom closet which holds mostly my husband's clothing. It was a mess in there before that with overflowing shelves with crammed stuff. We changed the height of the shelves and I installed containers from Target's Itso line. But all the clothes were put on the floor for my husband to go through and get rid of some, and to put the keepers in the new spots.

Today when the repair guy came I walked him into that closet and realized, oops! My husband was not done with the project yet! He'd worked on it a little for the last two nights. Oh boy. I wonder what the guy was thinking. I apologized as I moved piles of clothes out of his way.

While making reports on our homeschooling for this last year, when I looked over May and June's calendar I thought, "Are we nuts? No sane family would have a schedule like this". The schedules were crammed to the hilt with activities and appointments, some long-standing and some urgent or emergent. I vowed then and there to slow down for the upcoming homeschool academic year. The crazy thing is that compared to some of my friends and other homeschooling families our schedule is light. So it is not just us, nearly everyone I know lives a rushed and busy life.

Between the painter and the carpenter being in and out of my garage, and the air conditioning guy also down in my basement, I'm feeling downright ashamed to have so much stored stuff.

I am vowing right now to get rid of tons of stuff. I just want it out of here. Now.

I keep wondering if other homeschooling families have these same issues with struggling to keep the clutter down and to keep the house clean at the same time. The more we are home the more we mess up the house, yet the more we are out and running around the less time we have to actually put the stuff away and to clean the house. It feels like an endless cycle to me, do you feel that way too?


cathy said...

I completely understand! When I was younger I would tell ask my mom what was the point of picking it up if it was going to end up on the floor again. :)

christinethecurious said...

Yes it does FEEL that way, but I know from the boxes of stuff I've hauled to the Salvation Army that It can't really be that way. It's hard to take joy in small steps, but that's about all I can take on this matter (especially as I just had foot surgery ;-)

Every read "It's all too much" by oops, I forgot his name, but he's Australian and used to be on TV.

-Christine in Massachusetts

Amy said...


guinever said...

I just have to share that I've been re-arranging and de-cluttering as well. My dining room was giving me hives (not really, but there was just way too much furniture in there) Wall to wall furniture made it feel very cluttered.

Several years ago, my hubby and I bought a table and matching hutch. When I started homeschooling, I bought a cabinet to stick everything in=) Three kids later and the table was too small so we bought a bigger table and matching sidebar and bookcase. The bookcase went in the living room and 2 smaller bookcases from there went behind the table.

A few weeks ago, I needed a change for my sanity. This is where I do school and the crowded feeling was making me insane. I justified keeping everything because I always figured we would move to a bigger house someday...blah blah blah. I looked around me and focused on the hutch. It was a beautiful piece but we no longer had the white desk and table that went with it. This was the piece that needed to go. I posted it on facebook to see if anyone might like to buy it=) I'm thrilled that one of my friends now has it in her kitchen looking fabulous. And now my dining room has a lot more room in it.