Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Unclutter Train Makes Another Stop

From Webster's Dictionary, the definition of "clutter":

to fill or cover with scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness (example: a room cluttered with toys)

That has pretty much described my house most of the time. I'd made up in my mind to make the place more comfortable and to do that, I'd have to put forth a lot of effort to unclutter the place. The Unclutter Train has been making its way around my house pretty much since the "Cleaning Up My Act" post. This has been an up and down process, as I expected it would but I'm trying to be gentle with myself. This time it was my bedroom. This stop would be very important because my room was a mess. I had become pretty good at cleaning other parts of the house, and the unclutter movement was in full swing after I had some furniture removed. I'd pulled Thomas' clothes from the two closets they were in and was almost overwhelmed by the space it left, but my room was such a mess, it was actually hard to relax in there.

There was too much stuff, the laundry was backed up…again and despite the fact he had not slept in it in about 7 months, my son's pack-n-play was still up. I was tossing stuff into it to get it off the floor and it was taking up a significant amount of space.

The other important thing was, getting this done would allow me to not only say, but enforce those four little words I'd been longing to say to my daughter, but didn't use much because frankly, I felt like a hypocrite when I did: "Go, clean your room!"

I had not tackled it previously because other parts of the house were more visible. I was exhausting myself every weekend as it was, going back to work on Mondays either just as tired or more tired than when I left there the previous Friday. So, with a three-day weekend to work with, I decided it was time. That room should be my sanctuary and it was pretty much anything but that. I had to turn sideways to go around my bed to the bathroom because of the pack-n-play and I could barely walk from one side of the room to the other without stepping over one of my son's toys. I have a walk-in closet no one could actually walk into without climbing a mountain.

The unclutter train pulled in Sunday night and departed last night. I had six 39-gallon bags. One with dark laundry, one with light colored laundry, one with Thomas' dress shirts that I originally planned to keep, but on second thought put on the donation pile with the rest (save a few of my favorites of course), one half-full with my clothes that need to go to the dry cleaners and two with things to discard. I packed two other smaller bags with my son's old clothes to give to a young lady at my church who has one infant son and another on the way. Once the pack-n-play was empty, I folded it up and put it away. I could dance across the room now if I wanted.

I transformed my bed. I always had about 10 pillows on the bed. I only used two, but it took eight for my husband to have a chance to be half-way comfortable (four behind him and two under each arm), but he didn't attempt to sleep in there the last year or so of his life. I took six of them away, flipped and turned the mattress, then put a brand new set on my bed, new sheets, a new comforter and of the four pillows I kept, I put two pillows in the pillowcases and two others in the shams, and I finally had a new room. My walk-in closet is actually a walk-in closet. Now, it's not bring out the white gloves clean, but it's a relaxing spot I want to be in now. I slept much better the last two nights.

Yesterday I dug into the laundry. My linen closet was almost bare and I figured out why. Cleaning out the closet revealed where all the sheets and towels were I knew I had. Two loads later, my linen closet was stacked again on every shelf. Bath sheets and beach towels on top, regular towels and wash clothes next. My sheets and pillow cases on the 3rd shelf and the children's sheets and blankets on the bottom shelf. I washed, dried and put away two loads of our clothes next. It had become a struggle putting together the children's outfits for each day and I knew I'd purchased enough summer clothes. It was a struggle last night too, but because I almost had too many choices.

And while I dug into the laundry, I worked with my daughter to get her room cleaned. She has a large toy box, plus one of those three-tier ones with nine boxes for small toys. Even with her protesting much of the way, we got it done and I could see she was much happier in there. She probably didn't think she could be much happier than she was after I painted the room pink and put artwork on the walls, but she was. Happiness is being able to dance wildly to a Selena Gomez song without tripping over your toys I guess.

The other task I tackled over the weekend was the master bath and half bath on the first floor. I'd purchased new rugs and toilet lid covers to match the wall paper borders in each one, but they'd stayed in the bags in a downstairs closet for a few weeks. So after I did the weekly cleaning of each bathroom, I tossed the old rugs put the new rugs down. So last night as I settled down, the Unclutter Train pulled out of the station. Its next stop: the laundry room.

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