February 21, 2010

Some Progress, Some Setbacks

The week following the post about cleaning up my house, I did manage to actually clean off half my kitchen table, even though I wasn't feeling well at all. On the table was an old, large tuner and an even larger, old turntable that we removed from our old entertainment center so that it could be hauled out by the Salvation Army. Our new TV furniture holds less equipment, so those pieces had to go. They sat on our table for over a month. We ate on trays or on the other half of the table. I was sick of it. Like I said before, our garage is full, so I knew I would have to create an area to place those pieces and guess what, I actually did find a space they would fit in perfectly! Will wonders ever cease...? !

I felt such a sense of accomplishment that I started cleaning out a drawer and a cupboard and filled up a couple bags and boxes. My next projects were already brewing in my head and I was making mental to-do lists while hunting for more boxes and bags to fill up. I was on a mission!

Then, last Wednesday, my husband had to be admitted to the hospital and it has been crazy ever since, with me driving back and forth and nothing getting done at home. You see, my husband, who has kidney failure from diabetes, is on dialysis and contracted an infection from the procedure. He's still in the hospital, but finally getting better. One evening I was too uptight to sleep after coming home from the hospital, so watched a TV show called, "Hoarders" that my daughter had recorded. Although the people featured were extreme cases, I recognized and empathized with the feelings of the people that hoarded stuff and lived with clutter and messes.

So I had an idea. While my hubby is in the hospital, I want to attack the corner of the livingroom where he lives in his easy chair, and keeps his blankets, pillows and other stuff. He doesn't walk much due to neuropathy in his legs and feet, so he spends his days watching TV, using his laptop, reading, talking on the phone, or just sleeping. He keeps his cane, walker and booster pillow for his legs within reach. He also has a stash of sugarless candy and gum in an old box on the table, magazines, old mail and other papers scattered all over. That corner of the room looks more like a hospital room, so it is a challenge to keep it looking nice and clean.

I pray God grants me the energy and know-how to make that corner look nice, while also being helpful to my hubby. I need strength because I'm so wiped out emotionally and physically from driving and being at the hospital so much. But I would like it to surprise him when he comes home to find it neat, tidy and organized for him.

Mary Lynn xo

February 5, 2010

Declutter or Bust

They say confession is good for the soul. So, today, after tripping over my grandchild's toys and losing my slippers in the mess on the floor, I took pictures of the inside of my house. BEFORE pictures. Cuz I'm going to clean and purge the guts out of this place & I want you all to see the difference when I'm done. This place is downright depressing and overwhelming. This could take me 6 months, but I hope it will take less once I get the hang of it. (Where's Oprah when I need her?) My house is small and we have a lot of stuff. The garage has two paths, one to the washer & dryer, the other to the freezer. So, guess what. There's no room left to put anything from the house. Time for a couple of garage sales for sure. And the pictures don't even include the messes in our bedrooms. Yikes, the closets alone...

My daughter watched a TV show the other day about hoarders and ended up crying because it was about US. I'm not a hoarder so much as I am unable to decide what to do with something or where it should go. If I don't want it, do I just throw it away, sell it or give it away? That means I'll have to make a decision, which is hard too because I'm very indecisive about many things. Here is a sampling of my 'before' house. Whew... it's hot in here. Oh wait, that's my face turning red from embarrassment:

I'm thinking about using a card system that my sister uses. Or doing the systematic approach, working my way around the room. The only problem is where to put stuff once I throw it in a box to be taken out. I'll probably have to pick a wall & just start piling boxes there as if we're moving. Which could be just around the corner anyway considering I still haven't found a job and we'll have to sell. But that's another story.

Wish me luck! Pray! I really need it. Send suggestions, advice, comments. And if any of you out there have done the 'before and after' decluttering in your home, let me know how you did it. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

MaryLynn xo