Thursday, 11 October 2012

Clutter, vomit and other cleaning catalysts

Image from here
Just one bookcase. That is all I have left before I have officially decluttered every cupboard, benchtop and nook in this house.

The stars aligned, the job needed doing and so it was done. That's what I tell myself. The reality is that I have been procrastinating for at least two years and then a series of negatives, created positive energy in the direction of household organisation.

Firstly, our cleaner quit. What? Why would anyone not want to clean our house? Scrubbing our floors once a fortnight was probably her least favourite thing to do for a few bucks, so she resigned.

Initially I felt abandoned. She was practically part of the family and I was reliant on her to hit the 'reset' button every two weeks. But after the initial shock, I felt then surprisingly free! No more cleaning up for the cleaner.

After a while, it became clear that the house wasn't going to clean itself, and the bombsite was back. So I was forced to don my gloves, pull out the bicarb and vinegar, and scrub the bathroom, mop the floors and re-acquaint myself more frequently with the vacuum cleaner.

I am not converted to this new/old way of life but I am pocketing the cash and saving for Christmas, so all is not lost. But I did realise that there were a number of areas in the house that needed some serious elbow grease and a hell of a lot of stuff that had nowhere to live. Definitely a job for a far superior housewife than me?!

Then Winter turned to Spring and the children started to need their warm-weather clothes. The twins had grown completely out of theirs. I looked at their short shorts and midriff tops and dreamt that the boxes of hand-me-downs would miraculously unpack themselves. It didn't happen. People started to talk.

Then the kids got sick. Three cases of chicken pox and four cases of vomit virus over a period of three weeks. It was like the hand, foot and mouth disease crises of 2010 all over again. News flash: Being house bound with a bunch of whinging sick children for days on end is not a recommended way to pass the school holidays. Just sayin'. I felt the need to busy myself. I felt the need to reduce the amount of stuff in this house. One more Lego-induced foot injury could have landed me in the hospital...

And so I cleaned and decluttered. Swapped the kid's clothes around. Sorted and reschuffled. Reused and recycled. Folded and hung. Stapled and filed. Until it all had a home. Or was given to someone who can find it one.

12 garbage bags later (unbelievable even to me), my home is (almost) clutter free.

One more bookcase. That is all I have left. I wonder how long it will take me to get around to it, now that the children are on the mend, suitably attired and I am the household cleaner.

Are you clutter free?

13 comments:

joeh said...

Mrs. Cranky does not allow me to throw away anything!


cranky old man

Naturally Carol said...

You must admit that's the Mother of all Bookcases!! Without another round of childhood plagues I would give myself all summer to complete that one.

Emily said...

Wow. What a crazy time! Hope the kids are all A-OK now. And I'm betting it won't take that long. When you're on a roll, you're on a roll. And bookcase cleansing sounds more fun that sweeping, scrubbing and mopping.

I procrastinate as well, but because there's always another round of renovation mess coming. Why mop today when I'll have to do it again in three days' time? Why mop then when I'll have to again a week later? Months can pass in this fashion!

Kimberley Atkinson said...

Well done you! I have spent these school holidays doing much the same, but have ways to go! Taken a huge bag of clothing into school to dish out to several needy families. Just yesterday I discovered the joys of baking soda and white vinegar - no more janola and mr muscle window cleaner in this house ever again! Am loving the book "Down to Earth" by Rhonda Hetzel which took a bit of tracking down in NZ.
I hope sickness stays away from your house for a long time!

Lisa H said...

I'm hearing you... right down to the bookcase (but I also have a wardrobe on the de-clutter wait list too)
I recently had the floors in the main walk-through area of my house sanded and polished. This meant I was forced to move EVERYTHING and in the process of moving it back, de-clutttered. This, coupled with the exiting of one adult child, led me to de-clutter most of the house. It's a great feeling... but the off-loading of books is the most diffult! ;-)

At Number 32 said...

Oh lordy how have had a shocker!
Not exactly sure where you've filled 12 bags from, SERIOUSLY, thats some decluttering! Well done :)

Mum on the Run said...

Nice work - even if it was motivated by a terrible run there.
Good luck with the bookcase!
:-) xx

Jo @Country life experiment said...

I love to declutter - I always feel much more free when I get rid of stuff. What I can never get over is that I declutter regularly but there is always more stuff to get rid of!

Kristy@SeeMyFootprints said...

nope. not clutter free but slowly working on it (read: when I should be studying but the lecture is unbearable, it gets done).

So I have (in the theme of reducing procrastination) put up a list beside the list of lectures to be completed, that's called 'Holidays' and that's where I put all the 'I shoudl do this' ideas when I really should be studing instead.

Come end of the year, this house is going to get seriously decluttered. look out.

:) yay for you though - 13 rubbish bags is pretty impressive and now it's not cluttering up your house!

Miss Pink said...

Whoo hoo! Go you!!

Kymmie said...

You mustn't know yourself. I've been a bit mad with all the spring cleaning. It's a good feeling, but I wish I had more time to clean more often. And clean properly. That sure is a good feeling. Get onto it while you're on the role! x

Erin said...

How awesome! wonderful, wonderful feeling!!! um clutter free? well it is a constant work in progress, I have a few areas I'm planning to tackle soon, namely the shipping container and my husband's shed. Yes he said I could tackle the shed!!!!:):):) only the front part that has become a dumping ground for kids paraphernalia not his tools at the back (that's fine)This is major!!

Christie-Childhood 101 said...

I am trying, trying so hard right now!

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