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Fall Cleaning (Turning a New Leaf [or At Least Trying])

October 5, 2009

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I’m an organized person, in my head.  I know where my things are, when they are due if they are borrowed, how much money we have, where my family members should be and when.  I’m really not the best housekeeper, however, and this has translated into a disorganized home that has progressively worsened.  With the arrival of fall and the anticipation that we will be spending more time inside and the need to have more free time since my children are getting older and they need more focused time from me, I decided that we needed to go through and get a handle on our mess.  Since my kids are getting older, they are more able to help, so it’s more of a collaborative effort than trying to surreptitiously sneak their unused items into the Goodwill pile while they entertain themselves with a DVD or Mister Rogers’ episode.  Another lucky thing is that my husband had to work out of town for almost a week, so we were free of the constraints of our typical (albeit loose) routine and we could leave a big project unfinished overnight with no worries of accidental displacement.

We worked on every space upstairs and our main living areas and I went through my closet.  We donated two hatchback loads of items to Goodwill, and threw away or recycled things that were beyond use.  We got rid of the baby toys and rearranged some areas for more practical use and to reflect different uses that have evolved as my children have grown and changed.  The dress-up clothes have moved out of our living room and now have a home in the girls’ playroom.  The books are blessedly all in one place.  Even though my kitchen and the basement haven’t been touched yet and my office was only minimally touched, my house is the most organized that it’s been for a very long time.  Since everybody is clear on where everything goes now, even new homes for object, clean-up has been much easier.  The biggest challenge that I have had is constant reminders for the girls to put things away after they are done using them. This is something that we have not been very good at in the past since things didn’t really have absolute places they should go.  I can see the net gain in time with more organization and I am looking forward to the potential that this presents.  What shall we do with all this time?  All the clear expanses of desk and tables?  I know that we won’t have any trouble filling the new free time.

Next on my list of things to tackle is trying to get dinner on the table much earlier to free up more of our evenings and get everyone into bed earlier than we have been doing in a while.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    October 5, 2009 6:55 pm

    Congratulations on all the hard work. Organization really does pay off in freeing up time for other activities.

  2. October 7, 2009 7:47 am

    So we have been doing the same things! Isn’t it ridiculous how much accumulates? I could NOT believe how much stuff I pulled out of Emily’s closet, we are still at the pull it all out while the girls are falling asleep to a movie stage.

    i have five bags to go to Goodwill, about 30 magazines went to the library exchange and I’m hoping to Freecycle a few more things next week.

    I’m not quite to the organized part yet. Hoping that DOES help with the cleanup. Let us know!

  3. October 7, 2009 7:55 am

    Jen-I did have to sneak some stuff from my little one, but my older two were good about letting things so, realizing that they didn’t use it and somebody else could *and* they wouldn’t have to clean it up if it wasn’t here!

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