How far behind do you have to be that you can spend four days cleaning your house and STILL feel like you have a way to go to get caught up?

Yeesh! Our house has gotten frightfully out of control lately. You know that feeling (or perhaps you’re one of those annoying ORGANIZED people, in which case you DON’T know and you shouldn’t be reading this blog because I probably wouldn’t like you!) when you look around at the mess, and it’s gone so far past the point of manageability that you just throw up your hands and walk away? Yeah, that’s been me lately. It just seemed so much easier to avoid the house (go for a bike ride, go camping, visit friends, whatever it took) than attempt to put it back into order.

But the mess was starting to get to me, and I could avoid it no longer, so I finally tackled the monster. First it was the basement (and sadly, that was over a week ago, so it’s already beginning to revert back to its former state), then on the weekend I thoroughly cleaned out three of the bedrooms and bathroom. Yesterday, I was off work, so I finished the last bedroom. (Yes, the residents of each bedroom were required to help with their rooms – Mom’s not a SLAVE after all!) Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum to finish the living room and kitchen (not as seriously out of control as the other rooms – we usually try to keep those reasonably presentable in case of guests). Oh – and the laundry room, which is probably the most frightening. I’m a little afraid I’ll lose momentum and the rooms I already cleaned will get messy again before I can finish the final spaces.

It’s been hard work, but it’s been good for me too. With my long term goal of having less clutter and less attachment to “things”, I’ve managed to cull quite a bit and have filled numerous bags for goodwill donations. That process isn’t over yet (I suspect it will never fully be over), but I’m trying to institute some new rules in the house. No one can bring in anything new – clothes, toys, shoes, (notice I didn’t say books, because that would cause me some SERIOUS heartache) without getting rid of something else to make room for it. And no one can have more clothes than can easily fit into their dressers and closets. Our girls get alot of hand-me-downs, which I am SO grateful for, but it often means they have too many clothes and thus I never get all the laundry put away because I have to fight to make room for all of it. That’s GOTTA end.

And I hereby vow to address my packrat tendencies – I will not keep anything unless I KNOW I will have some use for it within at least a year (okay, maybe I’ll allow myself at least a FEW sentimental attachments – like that bottle of Old Spice that still smells like my Dad on Sunday mornings).

Spring cleaning came a little late to our house, but it’s in full swing now. Now if only everyone would cooperate and help me KEEP it clean!

(By the way, if you’re wondering where Marcel was in all of this cleaning frenzy, he’s been doing a GREAT job of fixing things up outside. He built a new brick sidewalk beside the house, put up some landscape ties along the side of the driveway, built a wooden box for the garbage cans, brought in new topsoil, and planted grass. Between all that and the new paint job I’ve almost finished on the trim, our place is beginning to look downright smashing! Next year’s project – a new deck for the backyard.)

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