Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pure Satisfaction

Seriously, is there anything more satisfying than getting your personal life in order? I really don't think so. I feel so good after this highly productive weekend that I just have to write. Put the overflow down on paper...or on blog...whatever!

I spent all day yesterday purging Snapper's and Pepper's rooms. Each child helped me work through their rooms. I am pretty strict about not letting too much stuff accumulate. We absolutely do not keep toys that are not regularly played with, so the kids' rooms were already manageable. But since Matt and I have decided that the theme of our life right now is Simplify, we needed to scale back even more with the kids.

Pepper put every piece of clothing he owns into two laundry baskets for me to sort through and put away. He also helped me sort toys into piles based on where in the room they belong. Then we went through each toy together, and decided what to do with it--keep it, throw it away, or give it away. He really surprised me with his generosity, and his willingness to throw away things that were broken or missing pieces. I was pretty surprised when he chose to give his big firetruck "to a little boy who doesn't have one." He also gave away several stuffed animals, some of his cars, and a few other toys. I cleaned out his closet, and packed his baby bedding into Rubbermaid totes. He stripped the sheets off his bed and dusted everywhere he could reach. I took care of the rest, and vacuumed. Then it was on to Snapper's room.

Snapper, being older and interested in more things, has more stuff in her room. She also has more toys with small parts. And her room was a big, fat mess. She is usually really good about cleaning up. This week, though, she has been lazy, and I haven't checked up on her. Nothing was in its proper place, and everything was stuffed somewhere. While Snapper put all of her clothes on her bed, I went through and pulled out every toy she owns and made a big pile in the center of the room. We completed the same process as I did with Pepper, of sorting toys for keep, give away, and throw away. Apparently she has been watching me around the house this week because she was ruthless! After the toys were done (she cut them back by half!), I helped her clean out her desk and her closet. Then we went through all her clothes together, and talked about dirty vs. clean. She has been very conscious of the environment recently, so we talked about how doing unnecessary laundry wastes water, electricity, gas, and Mommy's time. She really seemed to get it, but we'll have to watch her laundry output this week for proof. While I folded her laundry (I did it because there was so much), she dusted her room, made her bed, and picked up all the bits of trash around the room. I vacuumed, and it was done.

Everything that came out of the kids' bedrooms clogged the hallway--five ginormous bags of trash, and 8 large boxes of clothing, blankets, toys, and stuffed animals to give away. The rooms look beautiful, and the kids are so happy! It will be easy for them to manage their rooms. Even better, it will be easy for me to do last-minute clean-up when we are showing our house.

Today Matt and I tackled our room, the bathrooms, and the hall closet. Again, we have been pretty good about keeping most of the clutter out, and staying organized. But when you are thinking about moving 900 miles away, you get a lot tougher on yourself. With each item I picked up, I asked myself, "do I want to move this to Orlando with me?" It was so helpful, because more often than not, I decided to say goodbye to the item. Our room produced three huge trash bags and two large boxes to give away. We packed up our books and many framed photos and decorative items into Rubbermaid totes. By the way, Walmart has 18-gallon Rubbermaid totes on sale for $3.25 right now. We are packing most of our stuff into those totes rather than cardboard boxes for a few reasons. First, they are much more sturdy than cardboard. Second, they only cost a little bit more than purchasing boxes from U-Haul. Third, they are much easier to organize and load onto a truck because they are all the same size. Fourth, we will use them again and again. Fifth, once they are empty, they all stack and store easily, without taking up much space.

So I am very happy right now. Apart from the laundry and regular cleaning chores, there is very little left to do to maintain the home. All the clutter is gone. Everything that is packed is stuff we regularly use. It fills maybe 1/6 of the garage. Packing the rest of the house will be so easy, likely do-able in a single day. Snapper's toys will easily fit in two totes, and so will Pepper's. Matt's and my remaining bedroom items will fit in one tote. Then there will be the towels and cleaning supplies from the bathrooms, and our one, small, linen closet. Downstairs, all that's left are a few photos, scrapbooks, laundry gear, and the kitchen items. Nice! I am SO happy!

Other areas of my life are coming into order as well, but that is enough for this post. Maybe I'll elaborate more tomorrow, between the 10 loads of laundry that are piled in the laundryroom. I love doing laundry, so tomorrow will be another good day!
TTFN! I'm off to go play Monopoly with my hubs and my girl.


Stef said...

Emily, you are inspiring me to do this at our house! Since we just moved and since the kids are ever growing and given a lot of stuff all the time; holidays or just any day, I find that they have less stuff that gets accumulated. Whenever we buy happy meal toys (which is rare) or like dollar store stuff - they are allowed to play with it for one week and then it goes to the give away pile. I also do toy rotation, which has been amazing for our family.

However, your post has convicted me to go through Jason and my stuff. :( Sadly we have so much stuff that's just accumulated over the years and its finding its way in our closets and garage!! I need to go through it. This is what i will do over the next week and I will blog about it to be held accountable.

Thank you :)

Stef said...

Also, your Rubbermaid idea is super smart! Those cardboard boxes are horrendous and they end up being more of a moving chore than anything else.
You know you'll always have a need for the Rubbermaid ones, somewhere down the line, so that's way more worth your money. thanks for the tip!

btw- I LOVE that you still blog regularly and actually write stuff!!!

Southern Belle said...

Good for you Emily! Wow, I wish I had your energy...I could accomplish so much. We too try to use rubbermaid tubs instead of cardboard boxes. It really helped us out during this move because most of the kids/baby clothes were in them and because they were clear tubs DH was able to easily locate what we needed.


MaryLynn said...

Emily, you have outdone yourself & that Proverbs 31 woman - ha! Too bad we can't do that spiritually, you know, like clean out our hearts & minds of clutter & things that displease or get in the way of the Lord. Oh wait, that is the Lord's job! Good to know... Love ya, Marilyn xoxo

RachelRuelas said...

Sister, you're SO inspiring!! Man I love these kinds of post!!! You are an awesome Wife/ Momma. Your family and hubbie are SO blessed to have you!