Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

...just like starting over...

Well my niece has come and gone. Did I get through everything on my list? Nope. Crashed and burned. The heat wave a few weeks ago gave me an excuse not to do my daily tasks and things fizzled from there.

Even so, the place didn't look as bad as it might have. The Boy was very anxious to clean up for his cousin's arrival and he really inspired me. Things really are looking better. I got the new bookshelf put together and that is helping make the living room a much happier place, as all my photo albums are finally in one place in chronological order, and some of my other shelves (where albums had been stacked) are now freed up. Hopefully, having the albums arranged nicely will inspire me to get through the box of loose photos that still have to be album-ized. MAN do I have a lot of photo albums!! And they are heavy, too!

So I guess it's not going as planned, but it's going.

The Niece, age 14, actually commented, "where's the toys? It looks like you have a lot less than last time." (I am not sure what she is smoking but it must be pretty good stuff.)

Now for the interesting part. Hubby took the Boy and the Niece to Maryland for two nights, to see the Penn League all-star game. Since I couldn't take time off from work, mother-in-law agreed to watch the Girl - but she wanted to watch her at her own house. Fair enough. Which means that tonight, for the first time since, oh, I'm gonna say 1999 or so, I am sleeping in an empty home. Tomorrow night I will probably stay over at my mother-in-law's, but everyone encouraged me to have at least one night to myself, so here I am. And what did I do on this very exciting evening? Let's see.

  • Left work, took a hop over to The Container Store. Have you ever been to one? It's like, they could organize anyone's life... maybe even mine. I spent about an hour browsing, but realized that most of the baskets were really too small for my needs, and I didn't want to spend all my money buying multiple baskets when I didn't even have the floor space for them. I ended up with something I'd had in mind all along, though -- a chain with clips for holding stuffed animals. I also bought a toothbrush holder and a soap dish
  • Went home, picking up dinner en route
  • Ate dinner. Took a deep breath and...
  • dived head-first into the Kids Room, which looked like this:

  • My first task: tackling the Toy Box from Hell. I pulled out all the stuffed animals (that's all that's in there - stuffed animals) and put the TBFH in the hallway. Started throwing the animals back in - both the ones that were already in there, and the ones that were laying around. I stopped counting when I hit #94 and they were scattered all over the hallway because there was no more room in the TBFH.
  • Went under the bed and pulled out bags of baby blankets and crib sheets. I am keeping most of the blankets as most of them were hand made and I can't part with them yet. Since I have never actually owned a crib, I took out all the crib sheets and padding, and put them in a pile for giving away. Tossed some boxes and bags that were hiding under there. Made everything else neat and put it back under the bed, out of sight.
  • Started moving boxes and reorganizing shelves. This was like one of those puzzles where you have to slide the tiles around until they form a picture. Every step had to be calculated three moves in advance. Add in a few injuries from stepping on teeny toys (this is why FLYLADY says to wear shoes!), and frights from randomly talking toys and stuffed animals (I'm talking to you, Cheer Bear, Stitch, and Elmo), and you can imagine the fun.
  • tried to hang up the animal chain on a nail that was already sticking out of the wall. This worked until the chain got too heavy for the nail (which really was not nailed in all that well) and pulled a large piece of plaster out of the wall. Good thing I don't rent. I am going to have to cover the hole and also take the time to hang this thing up decently.
  • took down the FANGST hanging storage from IKEA, which was really useless for us
  • put several dozen smaller stuffed animals into two new pop-up hamper type thingies (also from IKEA).

And so it went, until I got too tired to do any more. I should have been in bed an hour ago, that was part of the "relaxing evening" plan. Oh well. I do feel like I made progress, but I also left things unfinished - including leaving a HUGE pile of stuffed animals in the middle of the floor (yes, BESIDES the ones in the toy box and the pop-up hampers) - and if I don't get them finished before my family returns, I'll be back to square one.

In any case, the space formerly hogged by the TBFH is looking pretty awesome...
beforeBefore and afterAfter
But... the TBFH is still taking up my entire hallway, so that's no solution. The Box in the Hall I don't know where it's going to end up, but I do like the kids' room WITHOUT it. If I can find a decent covering for it, I can actually make it into a coffee table - although the top is rounded, so that probably wouldn't work too well. Hm. It sure won't fit anywhere else. Maybe the kitchen, if I get rid of those end tables that are still hanging around. (There's that tile-puzzle metaphor again.) But first I have to get the kids to part with some of those animals. I was tempted to toss every last one of them... but if I was the type of person who could actually do that, my clutter would never have gotten so out of hand...


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