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True confessions

July 8, 2011

I saw this fabulous quote tonight:

“I have CDO.  It’s kind of like OCD, except all the letters are in alphabetical order as they should be.”

I have a sense of order like that.  Sadly, I cannot get my house to conform to it.  In fact we’re definitely in the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage.  But I just have to document that my baker’s rack is clean!  In fact it was completely empty at one point.

I tore everything off of it Wednesday, and most of it is still spread across my living room.  How can so much stuff fit into one little corner?  I really should have taken a before picture, this was easily one of the worst spots in my entire house.  Picture every shelf save the top one stuffed with papers, books, cookbooks, magazines (I recycled over 100 magazines easily), multiple phone books (which we rarely use anymore) and a basket originally meant for fruit, but instead filled to overflowing with little bits of this and that.  I don’t think anyone here ever puts anything away.  They just stick it in the basket for Mom to deal with, but I can’t seem to stay on top of it.

We finally put the fish tank on the wooden shelf so there would be one less horizontal space attracting clutter, but it’s amazing what can be stuffed behind a fish tank, not to mention little bits of fish food here and there.  E was trying to eat it at one point, which I can understand.  Those flakes are so bright and colorful, who wouldn’t want to try them?  Bleh…

I cleaned out the entire corner and vacuumed about 8 times.  The dust was so thick you could sleep on it.  I seriously don’t think we’ve cleaned out this corner this thoroughly once in the nine years we’ve lived here.  So it’s clean and I’m still trying to decide what merits a place on the baker’s rack.  The fish tank is back in place after C and DH cleaned it last night.  I think I halved my recipe book collection and now I have a home for my new crockpot (and E’s already been stashing stuff in it again.)

As for the rest of the house, I have accomplished a lot, and yet I have miles to go before I could call this little project done.  Generally when crisis cleaning, say on those rare occasions when we have people coming over, we start with the visible. We vacuum, we wipe down the bathroom, we try to clear the kitchen counters.  I’ve been known to put dirty dishes into the oven temporarily.  (Tell me I’m not the only one to do this…)  Clutter gets moved from the living spaces, sometimes rearranged, but mostly just moved (usually to my bedroom.)  We clean off The Chair–the armchair by the kitchen doorway that is never, ever clean.  It is the stuff magnet supreme.  I can’t explain it, except to admit that I’m a packrat and I’d rather not be bothered with organizing my stuff.  There are just so many more interesting things to do in life!

Anyway, when what’s visible is clean, I’m happy, I pat myself on the back, and then I stop.  I stop working, I stop organizing, and I stop thinking about what’s lurking beneath those clean surfaces.  This is the real me.  Now you know.

This time around I’m trying a new tactic.  I’m starting with the invisible and cleaning from the inside out.  My kitchen cupboards are clean.  My dresser drawers are clean.  Under my bed…well, ok, I got bored with my bedroom before I ventured under the bed!  That’s my other problem.  I need some serious help staying on task and not flitting from project to project.   I’m a pro at getting distracted.  Granted my biggest distraction is terribly cute:

And I guess a lot of it does come down to the fact that it is really hard to tackle cleaning out an entire house with an 18-month-old under foot.  But that is precisely why I want to get rid of so much stuff, organize ourselves better, and simplify things around here.  I want to spend less time taking care of stuff, and more time taking care of people.  I know these years are so precious and fly by so fast.  I don’t want the boys to remember their childhoods as “cluttered.”  I have been a terrible example in this area and I want them to experience and know how to keep a “house of order.”

I have many more thoughts running through my head on this topic, but it’s late so I’ll save it for when I can think a little more coherently.  Good night.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2011 2:03 pm

    Oh my stars. CDO! Thank you for my afternoon laugh!! 🙂

  2. July 9, 2011 8:33 pm

    You are amazing to get any one of these projects done. I feel like I accomplished a lot just getting the dishes done and the floor swept.

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