Monday, July 20, 2009

it isn't summer vacation until i have cleaned out a room . . .

so today . . . my summer really began.

as i have mentioned before, i usually spend quite a bit of my summer taking care of big household tasks--all those things that can't be completed in half an hour (which is about how much energy i have left, after working all day, to spend on household tasks.) even though my summer is already half over, i really haven't been home much. we went to orlando and then to portland right after school was out. when i arrived home from that trip, i spent the next few days unpacking (which i HATE to do,) catching up on the laundry (and there was a lot of laundry after having been gone so much,) and dreading this week.

i was dreading this week, because it is the week i have chosen to tackle the scary room.

this is not my first attempt at getting this room under control. it is an on-going battle. the combination of my indecisiveness, my pack rat-ism, and the lack of storage space in our house conspires against me. it is not a job for the feint of heart.

a few months ago, i decided that i could find the floor in this room if i just dealt with tiny chunks of it at a time. my plan was to go in every day and work for an hour after school--just one hour a day--and then on saturday, maybe i would give it two hours. the whole job was so overwhelming that i thought if i just tackled a little bit at a time, maybe i could do it. it was a good plan, in theory, but something was lacking in the implementation--mostly it was hauling myself upstairs to face the mess after a long day of work. i had a hard time getting past the couch . . . and if i did make it upstairs, i couldn't put anything away, because there was no place to put anything. so i would drag some stuff out into the hallway, look at the clock and realize my hour was almost up, and then put everything back in . . . it was a major catch 22! so i gave up, closed the door, and ignored it. well, except for when i opened the door, tossed something else in, and then slammed the door quickly shut again . . .

but we need that room! diandra's photography is keeping her busier than ever and she needs help keeping up with all the paperwork and dvds and filing, and that is the only space we have to use.

so i decided this was the week to do it. diandra left for teen camp this morning and won't be back until friday. my goal is to get the room cleaned out and set up as our office by the time she gets home. this meant i needed a plan. clearly. because how many times have i tried to clean out that room only to give up and close the door. this time that is not an option, so i needed a plan.

i decided to try something i have never done before. i took my car out of the garage (it was not happy, but we all have to make sacrifices) and parked it on the street. my plan consisted of carrying EVERYTHING out of the room, down the stairs, and into the garage. i had high hopes of this working, because instead of trying to put everything away (in a room where there really isn't room for everything,) i would be making decisions about what to put back IN the clean, empty room. i thought it was a great plan! i could picture success in my head! i was actually kind of excited to do it.

and then i went into the garage . . .

it was HOT in there. i knew it would be, because every summer when i clean out the garage (you would think once would be enough, but i seem to have to do it again every summer,) it is really hot in there. i usually just open up the garage door, blast my music into the neighborhood, drink gallons of iced tea, and sweat. there is really no other way to do it.

but i had a plan. so i moved my car out into the street and left it there in the blazing sun, exposed to careless skateboarders, bike riders not watching where they are going, and teenaged drivers talking on their cell phones while singing with their ipods. i said a little prayer, and went back inside. i went upstairs and opened the door to the scary room. and just stood there.

where to begin? i decided to just start carrying stuff out. the first few things i brought out were items i knew i was going to donate to charity, so i put them in a pile in the living room to deal with later. then there were odds and ends of luggage and bags we use to pack in when we travel, so that was next, and they ended up in a pile in a corner of the family room. i made a stack of pictures, a stack of magazines, a pile of photo frames, and a huge mound of miscellaneous stuff i shoud probably just throw away without even looking at--because, really, i haven't used anything in that room in months! i could probably just trash it all and not miss any of it! but that isn't the way i do things . . . i found that as i was emptying the upstairs room, i was also sorting. and nothing was going into the garage.

when rollie came home for lunch, he laughed and said, "it's a good thing you moved your car outside--i can see how you need all that room for ONE SHOE BOX." yes, after working all morning there were several piles of stuff in the living room and family room, but just one shoe box in the garage.

well it was hot in the garage. and the floor is kind of dusty. and it was too hot to sweep the floor. so i found that i didn't really want to put anything in the garage.

so now i am working on plan b. i have removed most of the loose stuff and put it in piles downstairs. i brought the shoe box back in the house and put my car back in the garage (it is happy--i can tell!) i almost filled our huge recycle bin. when i go into the "not-so-scary anymore" room, i can see the floor and sit on the daybed again. progress was made.

and tomorrow, i am going to spend the day watching movies on tv while i sort through all the stuff that is now taking over the family room and the living room.

really, i am making progress . . .


GrayPhotography - Zach & Jody said...

LOL. I totally feel ya!! Just came across your blog and wanted to say hi.. :) - JG

Jewelielyn said...

thanks jody~i love to blog, but it is so much more fun when people comment back! i'm glad it made you laugh . . .