Spring Cleaning in December

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Something

I’ll Take The Eight Maids-a-Milking, Alex

eight-maids-a-milking
Eight Maids-a-Milking

I take back what I said about some of the gifts from the Twelve Days of Christmas the other day. If someone gave me eight maids-a-milking right now, I’d grab them in a heartbeat, take aways their milking pails, and quickly install them in my home to help with the purging of my living room and dining room of years of clutter and foreign objects.

This weekend, we finally decided to tackle the self-made art nouveau statue that had taken on a life of its own in the dining room, which led to a massive cleaning effort. We began in a two-foot circumference and started spreading outward. The motivation must have been catchy because soon my youngest son had moved into his bedroom and begun to dust and clean, really clean—egads! He filled, at last count, four garbage bags (I’m not sure of the contents). He finished his bedroom, and it looks really good.

We have yet to finish the big project that we are working on, so I am trying not to be too envious of him and to remind myself that he had much less square footage. I’m taking a break in my cleaning to write my blog, which at this point is turning out to be a less than literary post anyway. I think that my mind has turned to mush, that or the dust is beginning to absorb the little bit of grey matter that is still functioning.

Moving on, I tackled the living room closet, which is every bit as scary as you might imagine. I found at least one plastic storage tub’s worth of books to put in storage and another box of books for giveaway. I worked my way from the front door towards the dining room, and Corey started to pack everything on top of the buffet in preparation of moving that gargantuan piece of furniture to my mother’s garage (our perpetual storage place) for Alexis, and believe it or not, we agreed on a plan to set up the new dining room set that has been in boxes in the storage shed for at least a year. How do you spell h-a-l-l-e-l-u-j=a=h? We might actually be able to sit down as a family for a meal on a weeknight. I haven’t experienced such a thing in years . . .

We discovered several DVD’s and video games (discovered as in unearthed), found some missing tools. I came upon some kind of volt regulator thingy that Corey claims he had been looking for and why didn’t I tell him that it was in the closet and he had looked in the closet several times and never found it there and if I knew it was there why didn’t I tell him it was there . . . hell, I didn’t even know what the damned thing was.

Now that You Have it, What Do You Do With It?

 stack-of-books

We’ve managed to put together a nice pile of stuff to donate, and another small pile of electronics and games that we may be able to take to the pawn shop and make a small profit on because every bit helps. I like to donate my old books that I know that I won’t read again and that have already been through the exchange system between my mother-in-law and myself or whoever else wants to borrow or trade. I don’t think that books should ever be thrown out unless they have dry rot or meal worms or they have that old moldy smell. Books should be recycled whenever possible. I would donate these books to someplace that wouldn’t sell them if I knew of such a place, perhaps a women’s shelter. Maybe I’ll look into that. That would be better than a thrift store.

One year we had a huge yard sale, and I had saved up all of my old books, thinking that they would sell quickly. I only sold two books, both by Stephen King from my much earlier Stephen King phase, and I gave away a few more. We ended up packing up several boxes of books and taking them to the thrift store and donating them. I really wish that people would read more. Ah me. We made a total of $22 on the yard sale, and I have concluded that yard sales are much more trouble than they are ever worth.

But I digress . . . After two days, the cleaning is down to the nitty gritty. I still need to pack my china, which I am saving for tomorrow morning when I am fresh. I think that if I tried to do it tonight being this bodily tired and emotionally weary, there is too great of a risk of breakage (mine and the china’s), and we’re talking the good china here, the stuff I really like. Corey has one more pile of miscellaneous junk to go through and shred, and then we are done. After we move out the buffet and set up the furniture, then the fun really begins: Christmas tree and decorations!

Haul Out the Holly . . . and the spackle and the paint

Well, I’m running late this year, but definitely earlier than last year, and the best part is that once the decorations come down in January, I’ll have a decluttered dining room. Granted, it still won’t be painted, and the new floor won’t be down, but hey, we’ll be one step closer. I think that getting over this major hump of decluttering will help both Corey and me to get over some kind of mental block that we’ve had as far as the house is concerned. Do you know how when you let something go, and then it starts to bother you, it begins to loom over everything? It starts to grow and grow, becoming insurmountable, so you put if off longer because it seems undoable, and the longer you put it off, the more it seems impossible to do. A classic Catch 22 situation—that’s what our living room/dining room clutter had become.

I’m hoping that now that we have almost conquered it, and once we decorate for the holidays, it will become a work-in-progress once more, the one that just needs to be primed and painted, the one that just needs to have the rest of the old carpeting pulled up, the one that needs to have the new molding installed, the one that needs the new flooring installed. Not that much really, huh? I won’t even mention the bedroom furniture that is still in the boxes in the living room along with the paint that we had mixed back in the spring to paint the master bedroom and how that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe we can do that for Mother’s Day 2009?

I really have learned how to lower my expectations. It makes it so much easier that way. It’s also more rewarding once something finally does get done, such a sense of achievement! Whoo hoo! Look at me! I cleaned my dining room.

So, my anticipated timeline is that by Tuesday, we’ll have the tree up, and by the end of the week, I should have my shopping done and the presents wrapped. Oh, and somewhere in there, I’ll do my Christmas cards, and keep my daily blogs written. All righty then. We’ll check back in a few days and see how far I’ve gotten on that delusion, shall we?xmas-tree-ornament

A little update, my daughter came by, and she and my eldest son rummaged through the total of six bags that Brett ended up amassing. Together they scavanged two Game Boys and a couple of games, some Sharpies, a mini etch-a-sketch, a hat, pajama pants, a baseball cap, and lord knows what else. (I would have snatched up the Sharpies first if I had seen them. He wasn’t actually throwing them out; his sister actually just pointed to them and said, “you don’t need those, do you?”)

So I’m calling it a night. I actually slept last night, and I kind of liked it. I’m going to try to repeat it again tonight. I’m hoping that it’s habit forming. More later. Peace.

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