I heard a speaker once who gave lots of great advice on keeping your home organized. One of the things she said that has recently come back to me is that a home can stay in good shape for a very long time on mini-maintenance. What she meant is that just doing the minimum tasks can keep your home presentable for quite a while, even if you don’t do major cleaning.This makes me think of the woman who owned our home before we bought it. The house was beautifully decorated and it was obvious that she loved this home and put a lot into it. I just assumed that it was spotless. It seemed that way to me every time I saw it before she moved out. I was quite surprised when we moved in, to find that it was actually pretty dirty. Corners, cabinets, behind where her furniture had been, etc, were dirty. But she had mini-maintenance down.
I struggle with thinking that if I don’t have time to move the couch and vacuum behind it, there isn’t any point in picking up the trash that is all over the floor in front of it. I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s how I sometimes think. If I can’t do it perfectly, why even do it at all? As the speaker said, (and I think Flylady says this too), “Even housework done incorrectly blesses your family.”
I focused on maintenance last week since I had no time to make real progress. It definitely paid off because this week I can jump right into a major de-cluttering project without feeling guilty about my kitchen sink being full of dishes while I work on a “less important” room.
This week I’m going to work on a “less important” room that has incredible potential. I love the idea of this room. It is technically considered a game room, and it is a living area off of the main living room. It has a door that closes it off, and it has a half bath in the back.
My dining room, living room, and kitchen were the first rooms I worked to get under control. They are the rooms that can’t hide from guests, and they are rooms with singular purposes. That makes them quite a bit easier for me to declutter. If something doesn’t go in the living room, I remove it. But when it comes to this room (which I call the office) my brain starts to ache. This room serves quite a few purposes. It is the computer room, the mudroom, the game room, the guest bath, and the guestroom. In my dreams, it is also the project room, the hangout room, the sewing room, and more. In reality it is the catch-all room. When something doesn’t have a definite place, it gets thrown in here. Sometimes literally.
I have “cleaned out” this room at least 20 times in the four years we have lived here. In order for it to be everything I want it to be and to stay clean, I have to find a real place for everything in it, and if something doesn’t have a place, it needs to be thrown out.
Here’s what it looked like this morning.
Keep in mind that for me, this looks good. I will actually let guests walk through here to get to the half bath.
Here is the back corner, my project this morning.
I envision this space being a sewing corner. I have a table that will fit here, but it will mean giving up my quaint little TV stand.
What did I find back there? Ebay stuff. I love ebay. There was a time when our ultra tight budget only got relief by my selling things on ebay. And now, I’m able to sell a few things when we need some extra cash. But ebay is not good for my slob issues.
For at least two years, this room was my “ebay room.” This meant that it was packed FULL of junk that I had found at garage sales that MIGHT have value on ebay. I even purchased a huge clothing rack that took up half of the room. You couldn’t even get to the half bath. Over the last year, as I have taken up couponing, our budget doesn’t feel nearly as tight, so ebay has become less of a necessity. I’ve been purging this room for a year now, and it still looks like this.
It is VERY hard to part with an item that could make some money. But I’ve realized it’s even harder to live in clutter. I haven’t gone to many garage sales in the last six months because I’m so tired of the clutter. I don’t need to bring other people’s clutter into my home, I have enough on my own!
I’m ready to love this room. Check back each day this week to see how much I can get done.