Here it is. My most profound and life-changing revelation (in the area of housekeeping) to date.
I know the cure for a home that is always messy. A home with clutter everywhere you gaze. A home that causes its owner to despair.
Now if you happen to be landing on this post as your very first experience with my blog, please don’t immediately click away. If you look around for 2 minutes, you’ll know that I know . . . it isn’t that simple.
But it kind of is.
I’ve been down lately about my lack of progress, about my regression. I wanted a Summer of Clean with my kids, but even though we’ve been cleaning bathrooms and mopping kitchens, other things, like clutter, are getting the best of me. I have been dealing with a very real fear that next year will be filled with posts about the exact same thing as last year, only proving that I am not capable of actually kicking this slob-thing.
What is the one thing that helps me when I get down like that? What is the one thing that helps me see progress? What is the one thing that reveals to me that my home can actually be clean?
I must admit that I have some external motivation. “We” have lost a library book. Shocker, right?
The child who is the real “we” in that sentence lives in a room that has been much better than his sister’s room has been. Still, though, the book hasn’t been found. And the room, while better, is far from good.
A clear middle-of-the-floor does not a clean room make. So this morning, we worked in there, pulling the huge amounts of random STUFF out from the places and edges where it has been STUFFED. (I’m just now, in this moment, understanding why “stuffed” is the verb form of “stuff.” Hmmmm.)
The above is a picture of our half-way-through point.
See, I’ve been waiting. I didn’t want to go through the boys’ room until they went back to school. It’s so much easier to do it while they are gone, throw away 3/4 of what’s in there, and let them come home to a clean room, which they always love . . . . and they never even notice what I threw away. And as long as I saw a clean(ish) floor when I glanced in the room, I could pretend that it wasn’t that bad.
It’s so much harder to do it with them, talking through every item, giving in and letting them keep something I know they would never miss. But when I combined our need to find the lost book with my own need to feel some traction in this deslobification process, I knew that we had to to this.
I don’t have an after picture yet. I don’t even have an after report. We had to quit when the floor looked like the above picture so I could go to a meeting at church. But when we came home, we did go through every book. We made a stack to give to my daughter, a stack to get rid of, and a stack to take to our other bookshelf where we keep the chapter books. We even made decisions on a few toys.
They did well. Well enough that I am encouraged and glad we worked on it. We have a lot more to do, and tomorrow we’re going to pull out the beds and unearth the scariness that lives back there.
Even though this room is far from done, I am reminded again that doing something, anything . . . even if it doesn’t get finished or done perfectly, helps to replace the despair with hope.
And just in case you’re wondering . . . . no, we didn’t find the book.