Sunday, January 23, 2011

In which our heroine drives everyone crazy...

The organizing bug has bitten me.

Organizing isn't like weight loss. You get to see the results and the benefits immediately, and not in a month. Perhaps that's why I'm up to my armpits in linen closet fodder and haven't been to the gym in two weeks. My spring garage sale pile is huge and growing daily. I'm really starting to realize now all of the demons that I need to shake off. I love my parents dearly, but I'm really starting to realize how I was raised to be a pack rat. I think that this was compounded when I moved out of my parents' house. Richie and I were dirt poor. Let me get you into our first year that was 04-05. I remember Richie needing to buy peroxide (can't remember why) and we couldn't afford it. Richie's mom said, "But that's ridiculous, it's not even a dollar a bottle". Exactly, we can't afford it. When you're poor you hang onto everything. You convince yourself that you could somehow re purpose it and make it great. Like you're freaking MacGyver or something. So while I sift through piles I've been asking myself some questions. Here they are:

-Have I used this in the last year? If it's not something that is meant to be used frequently, then can I afford to repurchase it in the rare event that I would need it again?

-Do I love this? Sometimes I get swept up in the fact that it was a gift. I actually donated a stuffed rabbit that my grandmother made for me. I remembered that I didn't exactly like it when she gave it to me. I love her, but I can honor her memory in a different way. Not to mention, I have a handful of other handmade things she gave me that I LOVE. Those things need to be showcased, and not shoved in a box where no one can see them, including me.

-Do I have something similar to this that I like more? I was going through those above the fridge cabinets in my kitchen this last week, "the cabinets of plenty". You know those cupboards. The cupboards where you store all the crap that you don't really use, but can't get rid of. I found four decorative creamers. I mean really, lets count up how many times I've had a guest over and said, "Would you care for a spot of tea lovey? Ok, well which creamer would you prefer?". Ridiculous. I kept one, because it actually went with my tea pot that I do use. You never know, the Queen may swing by one day and demand that the creamer be brought to the table.

-How does this item make me feel? Most of the time my answer to this is, "Well self, like crap quite frankly. It clutters up my closet/counter/life, and then I get stressed out and I treat people like crap, and I over eat. Once and a while I find something where the answer is, "Like a million bucks!". That item, piece of clothing, etc. goes front and center.

I've made a lot of progress in the last week. But, along the way I've annoyed my family. Richie might just level me if I ask him one more time, "How often do you really use this? Does it have a specific home? No? Well then find one". Today I actually caught myself asking the kids, "Don't you want to clean up your rooms and reorganize? It will be so great to be able to find all your stuff when you want it!" Picture me looking exuberant and my kids wondering what happened to their mother.

Everyone else may hate me, but I'm pretty happy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mad at Myself

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I want to change about myself. One of the things that tops the list, just under making the relationships in my life stronger, including my relationship with God, is to be a more organized person.

I've started putting things into action this week. I started meal planning. We're on week one. Since we have the actual planning and shopping behind us, Richie and I sat down together tonight to plug the planned meals into each night of the week. I took a pad (specifically made for meal planning) out of the plastic, and Richie laughed at me. I said, "What? I thought it was a cute idea, I bought them a couple years ago". For real, I bought these almost two years ago. He told me, "No, that's great. It's very organized. I can't believe you're being so organized." That pretty much sums it up. I'm not all. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sort of girl. My kids never had schedules, we ate when we were hungry and slept when we were tired. Up until this last year they never had a bedtime. One of the reasons I loved breastfeeding was because I didn't need a schedule. Just whip it out wherever, whenever. I'm sure that this has had a positive impact in a way. I know that my kids can adjust. They learned to fall asleep anywhere, and our lives were never a slave to nap times or routines.

But there is another really ugly side to my laid back personality. I absolutely suck at time management, managing tasks, or being organized at all. This is strange, because I love to organize. I would sleep in a tent for a week in anticipation of The Container Store opening its doors if they ever open one in my state.

Hoarding runs in my family. I don't just mean people in my family have a tendency to be a pack rat, I mean hoarders. Just like the TV show. I don't talk about it much, if at all, with people who aren't family because it's embarrassing, and I would never mean to insult any of my family members' "weaknesses". I live in absolute fear of becoming that way. It tends to worsen with age, and it's usually with the loss of a parent that I've known family members to go full tilt.

So this brings me to tonight. After the meal planning was done, and the kids were ready for bed, I decided that I would make myself organize at least one small area of my house. Richie and I have the upstairs to ourselves and there is a door at the foot of the staircase. I have a horrible habit of stashing things there. Just throwing clothes there, or pictures, or books, or jewelry. Anything that needs to be taken upstairs. Then I shut the door. And I'm sure you're thinking a small pile, but no, it's more like you better be good at lunges, because you're clearing the landing and the first two stairs. This is so embarrassing to admit, but I want to be accountable. Even if I'm just admitting a very bad habit to a subscription list of five people, I'm doing it just the same.

I'm instituting a basket system, and a "get off your lazy butt, Molly", system asap. But before either of these go into effect, things needed to be cleaned up. Because things just get tossed there, whatever it is gets trampled. So I got it cleaned up and in the process I found a lot of things ruined, or close to it. Two photos that are dear to my heart...crumpled. A small shelf I had been meaning to hang up upstairs...broken, but repairable. A bracelet that belonged to Richie's aunt that passed away in October...broken. Actually, snapped in half. The list is quite long, and I'm going to spare my ego. Anyways, I cried. It wasn't even over the stuff...ok maybe the photos. Mostly, it was over me. I was disgusted. Thankfully, my whole home isn't like this. A few areas here and there, and the basement as a whole, but still. Shame on me.

Have I mentioned that the thought of an emergency worker coming into my home and seeing one of these messes makes me almost as anxious as the thought of having a reason to call 911?

But no more, I'm done. The next time that someone comes to my home and wants a tour, they're going to see every inch. I'm going to be ready.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm baaaaccckkk...

It's almost been a year since I wrote anything here. A lot has changed, thankfully. Reading over my old posts I realized how difficult things were for me. I had completely lost my joy.

But things are changing. I'm not there yet, but I have a new attitude and I'm putting what I've learned into action. I would say that's more than half the battle. This isn't to say that I was depressed, or miserable in my life. It was worse, I was stuck.

Richie lost his job, and we thought our world was ending. Come to find out it was a blessing. His department was completely rearranged when he left, and the pay scale was altered, and we felt badly for his work partners left behind. Finances then changed for us with the new job for the better. We now have two cars. They're old, but they're cars and they get us not only where we need to go, but want to go. The kids and I can have a life that extends past our block.

But the biggest change of all was spiritual. We found a church a year and a half ago, and Richie was baptised July 25 of 2010. This isn't just a church. It is THEE CHURCH. The church I was praying for. The church I had myself convinced didn't exist. I was so very jaded, and sick of being a nomad every Sunday, and never liking where we ended up. The people are amazing. I can tell you that I knew they were special that second I met them. The only other time that I had that feeling, and was correct, was when I met Richie. A feeling that makes you realize that something bigger is at work. It was so very right. In a short period of time they became family. It finally felt like there was a possibility for worship outside of our home. It saved us. It saved us from my prior attitude that church wasn't neccessary. In my past opinions, church was political and the people were hypocrits. Well sadly, I've been to a lot of churches that were, and so were the people. But then I read my Bible, and realized that as a self proclaimed Christian, this attitude was all wrong. Because things got tough, and inconvenient, I started making Christ and his gospel what I wanted it to be, not what it was. I did a simple internet search on a whim and found our current church listed. We showed up on a Wednesday night, and we instantly knew that God had led us to the door step. It's so funny to me now that we were driving an hour and a half to our old place of worship when our "new church" was 5 miles down the road.

So anyways, I have a lot of stuff bouncing around in my head. Way too much for one post. I'm going to start doing things differently. Not just the deep spiritual things, but mundane things. I've decided to slowly reinvent myself. I want to be a better Christian, wife, mother, housekeeper, I want my own business...the list goes on. A lot of growth has been going on while I wasn't here blogging. This blog will be changing, too. So hopefully you haven't given up on me and you'll be sticking around.