Well, it is two days after Mother’s Day and I am still very grateful for the best Mom’s Day present ever, one that resulted in my son bursting in the front door, running to my husband and my room and shouting with joy, “Mom, this is great! Yes, today, I remain ever so thankful for my parents, who took the kids this weekend while my husband was away at National Guard drill so I could have time to focus on some much needed sorting, purging and organizing. There is just so much of it to do before Baby comes, and it is far easier to attack it when little ones are not (rightfully) demanding attention.
So, with no guilt Saturday and Sunday – as I knew Luke and Nina were happily playing with Grammy, Grampy and cousin Gianna – I was able to do a number of those little tasks that can metamorphosis into big ones when little hands are about to “help”. The main task? Cleaning my room per request of my four year old!
Yes, before the kids left, I asked them what I should do while they were at Grammy and Grampy’s. Luke quickly replied, “Clean your room, Mommy. It’s a mess!” so that is what I focused on mainly.
Our room had become a catch all for things that I had been trying to keep out of kids’ regular reach, as well as for projects “in progress” but never actually completed. With all the clutter this created, one traditional bedroom function had become cumbersome: accessing and putting away clothing. So, that was Task #1: Restoring Accessibility of Clothing and Facilitating Easy Dressing.
Task #1 meant creating clear paths to bureaus and closet, putting away and tidying Mike’s clothes and dealing with my own clothing disaster. Disaster recovery for my wardrobe required weeding out some items I cannot wear now and won’t be able to for a long while due to pregnancy and nursing, foraging in the frighteningly cluttered and occasionally mouse-harboring basement to uncover the few boxes of maternity and nursing wear items that I did not give away or donate to St. Vincent de Paul before finding out about surprise Baby #3, purging some of these items and putting the rest away neatly so I can actually cover my ever-growing 3rd trimester belly! Whoo hoo! Task #1 completed! (Just saying that makes me soooo excited, as I often begin, but rarely complete many home organization tasks lately. Likewise, being able to get out of bed at dawn to stumble to get dressed without fearing knocking anything over or hurting himself tripping over something thrills Mike!)
And, so it was onto Task # 2: Finishing (or rather, re-doing the final stacks of) Our Children’s Books Sort by getting all the books the kids have shuffled through and thrown about back into themed piles and then boxing the whole collection for easy, organized shelving once we get our home library area put together downstairs. That task is completed as well. The books are now nicely sorted in labeled boxes, which are temporarily stacked against a wall in the office-playroom, hopefully out of sight – out of easy reach – out of mind for the kids, yet still accessible for when I am looking for a particular book to support their learning and interest. Hoorah! No more book landslides the bedroom! Another unfinished task, which has been wreaking havoc on our bedroom and literally causing stumbling blocks to our days is completed. And – bonus! – in the process of completing this task, I found a library book we’d given up as lost. No fine or replacement cost to pay on it now – so organizing has helped keep money in our pocket, too.
Task #2 completed, it was onto Task #3: braving the basement and garage to Put Kids’ Activities and Learning Fun Items Away. Now, this might not sound daunting to others, but, trust me, if you knew the paths I had to navigate around clutter downstairs, while carrying very full boxes against my equally full 3rd trimester belly, you’d understand why I have been putting this task off. No longer! All items are now neatly put away in labeled plastic bins against the garage wall awaiting their next round of rotation in the play and learning spaces of our home. And, another part of the floor in our bedroom is therefore visible, while another task is –Oo, I love it! – checked off at last!
Which brought me to Task #4: Sorting through Sundry Piles and Stacks of Boxes to find better homes for things that are cluttering our bedroom floor space. This task was not 100% completed, as there are still a couple boxes and bins in the bedroom awaiting permanent homes elsewhere. But, it was done to satisfaction in that I was able to remove many items from the room and know exactly what is in the ones that remain. This gives me a sense of calm and encouragement: We now not only have walking space, but also places to put Baby’s cradle, clothing and changing area in the coming weeks
And all these main tasks were punctuated with sundry others tasks and tidbits Whenever my belly got too heavy, my back had a twinge or I just needed to sit-down, I traded off “heavy work” for lighter stuff and was able to attend to completing lots of computer work for my contract jobs with far more efficiency than I can when the kids are home, tidying all rooms on the main floor of our home, doing wash and changing beds… (Okay, changing beds was a it more strenuous than I expected with my huge belly. Far more so than the last time I did it – how big Baby is getting!) And, truly, as I look back on this litany of little tasks, I wonder: Whoever knew completing them could be such a treat? I honestly felt great doing most of them since I could focus on each one p—one at a time, at my own pace with no interruption.
Thus, I must thank Mom and Dad! It is only because they offered to take Luke and Nina this weekend that I was able to make such progress on Order in the Home. And it is only because I have ample confidence in how much Luke and Nina enjoy being with Grammy, Grampy and cousin Gianna (instead of suffering through Mommy-on-a-Mission Time), that I could get so much done without worrying if the kids were okay. So, now, we all remain “great!” as Luke declared.
The visible progress I was able to make without the kids home put me in a “great” frame of mind and has me on a roll that I hope to continue now that my busy bees are back and flying all about. Coming into a tidy home to enter a reclaimed bedroom makes Mike feel “great”, allowing him a bit of that comfort he longs to feel upon walking in the front door. And Luke and Nina both have proclaimed things “great” now that they can go into Mike and my bedroom safely, without being immediately chased out. Indeed, the small oasis of order I have been able to create has made a “great” difference in our lives so far this week. This weekend, then, proved to be one of the best Mother’s Day gifts ever! I whole-heartedly thank my folks — and praise God – for the opportunity it provided to help me be a better mom, oddly enough, through time spent apart from the kids. Better attitudes, easier living, Life is GREAT!
To see what others are grateful for today, see the links at Heavenly Homemakers. This week’s links are mostly about getting pesticides out, which, I know I didn’t talk about. But, in truth, cleaning and organizing helps! With less in the bedroom and easier vaccuuming, we will attact less of the ants that seem to trying to take over our home again.
At last, if you wish, I invite you to leave a comment. What de-cluttering and organizing gifts have you received lately? What successes have you met with? Tips about your successful home organization/decluttering efforts, notes about your own order-seeking struggles, or simply words of encouragement are all welcome! I do love comments…
(And, as always, realize the links below may not take you to posts in this blog. The ones in the Categories in the right column will.)