Piles and Piles

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Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in your own stuff? Everywhere you turn there’s something to trip over or pick up or dust or get the dog fur off of? Your closets aren’t safe to open and every drawer is so full you worry something might shift, causing the drawer to permanently stay closed? You have air conditioners hidden behind arm chairs because you’re too lazy to take them to the basement and there’s no room in the closets? Oh, that last one’s just me?

If I didn’t know better, I would say I was pregnant and nesting again. It hit me last night. And hard. My house is disgusting and needs to be purged. Do I really need the sippy cups whose lids were destroyed by Barkley three months ago? How about the tea that’s supposed to help nursing mothers? And the nine tins of hot chocolate from various holiday gift exchanges? What about the dog water bottle to use on walks that Barkley half-chewed two years ago? And the broken baby gate shoved in the closet? What kind of a sane person keeps these things?

I am done fighting a losing battle with my house. I started the purging tonight. I didn’t get too far, but at least I’ve started. The bathroom is clean and organized — at least until Justin finishes with his shower tomorrow morning. The kitchen cabinets are started. Robbie’s room is presentable (just don’t open the closet). But where, you ask, did I put all the excess? The only logical place. The dining room. The staging area for all disasters and unknown items. I’m giving myself through Friday night to get this house back in order.

Here’s my downfall: bags. Tote bags, larger purses, grocery bags. Even trash bags in a pinch. That’s where I put everything I don’t have a home for. And then I get frustrated with the whole project and put the bags into the closet, sure that I will sort through them one at a time. Which I do, the next time the closet gets so full that I don’t want to open it if Robbie’s within ten feet because I worry he’ll be buried in the avalanche of stuff.

Now, I’m a very organized purger. I have a list of everything that has to be done. Sample entries? “Empty linen closet.” “Empty Robbie’s closet.” “Empty nightstand drawers.” You can see where this is going, right? Being the good wife that I am, I warned Justin about the process and told him the house was going to look like a disaster for several days. And, being the brilliant husband that he is, he calmly replied, “How can I help? I don’t want you to have to do this on your own.”

Now, I know you. And I know you’re probably like me. When you get going on a cleaning frenzy, the last thing you want is your husband trying to help you organize. After all, if he did, you’d have no idea where anything was. And you won’t have any idea where he put his shoes when he can’t find them, even if he is the one who put them “away”. But, the point is, that he asked. And for that I am eternally grateful and further inspired to continue my cleaning spree.

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