A lovely acquaintance of mine just gently inquired if I was still on track with my organizational efforts. She asked in such a way that I wouldn't embarrass myself by fessing up to complete failure, which is much more gracious than I usually manage to be, but that's a whole 'nother post. Anyway, I am glad to say that I have not fallen off the bandwagon - but I will own up to the reality that I had hoped to be done with the bulk of the work by now and free to enjoy the (rapidly dwindling) remainder of vacation. I should have known better, but that's also a whole 'nother post. So for those of you who are still interested (both of you), here's the tally of Stuffs I Actually Got Done:
- Tidied up my closet/laundry room, pulled out unwanted clothes, stored rarely worn/out of season shoes in plastic storage boxes, threw out random things I thought I could use/make into something else that had been sitting around since forever.
- Emptied out the corner cabinet where we keep bread and snacks; discarded everything old, stale, moldy, or unlikely to be eaten in any situation short of worldwide famine (bizarre "healthy" veggie chips made of extruded starch and colored with kale juice, Imma looking at YOU) (Warren bought those, not me) (as if you doubted that for a second).
- Cleaned out fridge and freezer. Then went away for an extended trip, came home, and cleaned out fridge again.
- Went through bookbags, school files, and piles of random papers. Whittled them down to reasonable levels, mostly by discarding eleventy-zillion spelling tests; worksheets; duplicate, triplicate, and in some cases, quadruplicate copies of field trip forms (Not that I blame anyone - have you read the blog post about the Worst End of School Year Mom Ever? Yeah. I was like that, only I was mom'ing AND teaching - doesn't the thought of that give you chills?)
- Tackled India's room, which was a task too great to do it justice here, but I'll try: Mucked out detritus blanketing every flat surface. Discarded random drawings, unwanted attempts at duct-tape crafts, broken crayons, and old American Girl magazines by the score. Bought storage cube to corral American Girl doll clothes run amok. Emptied closet, discarded old/partially used/overly complicated/dessicated craft kits and supplies. Exiled games to basement rec room. Reorganized closet so India can reach the clothes instead of leaving them to fall on the floor. Emptied bureau, sent unwanted clothes to find a new lease on life at the thrift shop/stored them in the handmedown bin, set up new system of rolling up shirts and the like so she can see what she has instead of rummaging around stacks of garments until they are all jumbled in a huge pile.
I am currently re-enacting the process of cleaning India's room in Cici's abode, with the exception that it is, if anything, more cluttered and disheveled than her sister's was. India is just messy. Cici is a straight-up hoarder - as in, she had not one, not two, but three shoeboxes full of extra-special wondrous gems that she referred to as her "treasure chests". And what, pray tell, did these so-called treasures include? A cheap picture frame with broken clamshells glued to the outside. Squinkies. Loose marbles. Miniature note pads with half the sheets used up. A much-folded piece of paper with an old "secret code" noted on it. Half-used tubes of glitter lip gloss missing caps and leaking sticky, fruit-scented ooze. A pen with a fake flower taped to the end. Hey, I think it's great that she has such a vivid imagination that these rather lowly items would be seen as exotic valuables, but no one needs three boxes of said trinkets. I let her keep one and told her that henceforth, she is allowed ONE shoebox in her room at any given time, so she needs to choose her treasures thoughtfully.
Yuo'd think that after all this effort, my house would be as an oasis of order and calm in a storm-tossed world. Lest any of my readers suffer from pangs of jealousy, let me hasten to assure you that such emotions would be misplaced. We are in the stage of cleaning where it gets worse before it gets better. My solution every time there's an issue of "there's too much stuff omg what do I do with this??" has been to stick the offending items in the basement rec room until such time as we can find our way clear to dealing with it (Ordinarily I would surmise that this time would be never, but I really really really want us to repurpose the rather purposeless finished basement into an office/TV space. I am deliberately filling it with chaos so that my loving husband will get sick of the sight of it and help me figure out what to do with it. Evil, I know.). Also, because I've been spending so much time cleaning up the bedrooms, our living areas are just as cluttered as they were when the summer began. BUT! I can see the floor in both girls' rooms, my room, AND my closet. That's got to count for something, doesn't it?