Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One Small Victory in the Battle Against Laziness...

So, remember when I posted about being totally and utterly lazy lately? Well, I have scored a MAJOR victory, my friends: I emptied, cleaned and reorganized our pantry yesterday! And it was long overdue. So long overdue, in fact, that the stupid project took me all damn day.

I'm dead serious -- I started working on it at around 10:30am and did not finish until 5:30pm. Of course, I had to take a few breaks in there to feed Super Boy, let Super Dog outside and feed her, use the bathroom, check email, etc. But still, it took me all... damn... day.

And here I was cavalierly thinking that I was going to ransack my house, room-by-room, and turn it into the most highly organized home on earth within my first month of being a stay-at-home mom. What the heck was I thinking?

So anyway... back to the pantry. Our friends know what a mess this teeny-tiny room of our house used to be, and it wasn't very pretty either. We had all sorts of stuff overflowing in there -- appliances, snacks, sweet potatoes and other stuff piled haphazardly on the counter, the cupboards bulging (literally) with poorly organized cans, boxes and bags, and the stand-alone shelving unit chock full of stuff in no particular order. Then Super Man had this awkward and over-sized rolling cart thingy at the back of the pantry that was also overly laden with just stupid stuff that we don't use often.

I made a pile of things to go into storage in the basement, a pile to go to Goodwill, a bunch of expired dry and canned goods went into the garbage, and the rest was neatly organized back in the pantry cupboards, shelves and drawers. It looks magnificent, truly. It was worth the aching back I had by the time I crawled into bed.

What prompted me to dig into the pantry, you might ask? I'd HAD IT with the mess and clutter. Blogging about my frustration with the lack of organization in my house the other day was just the self-kick in the pants I needed.

The thing is, I know that if I were to tackle the entire house with that attitude, I'd be crazy within an hour, so I know I have to limit myself to the smallest possible corner of the house, and take baby steps. While it took me all day, I woke up this morning, came down to the kitchen, peered into my now-beautiful and well-organized pantry and felt such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

My goal is to tackle two smaller areas of my house per week myself, and then Super Man and I will begin tackling the basement together to purge the stuff we've held onto for nothing and organize the things we want to keep into "The Things We are Simply Storing for the Future" (mementos from departed family members or our childhoods, etc., which will go in the furthest reaches of storage), "The Things We Don't Need Right Now but Will Need Again, Hopefully" (my maternity clothes and Super Boy's baby gear and nearly five years' worth of clothing, which will go in our front room of the basement), and "The Things We Use or Need Access To With Some Frequency" (the various holiday decorations, the picnic backpack, coolers, camping equipment, all of which will be in our laundry room storage).

And here's WHY I feel the need to start tackling these projects sooner rather than later, the little secret I've been keeping for the past few days: Our city's historical society called over the weekend and asked us to participate in the Tour of Historic Homes this year. Apparently, the Historical Society is highlighting the homes on our street this year, as our street boasts some of the oldest and grandest homes in the city, most of which have been beautifully restored and maintained. This is a huge honor, and it was very exciting to be invited to participate.

Unfortunately, it also means we'll have 800-1,000 people coming through our house in October of this year. (Can you hear the sweat pouring out every single sweat gland on my body?)

When they first called, I panicked and didn't want to even consider it. I mean, honestly, our house is gorgeous and it IS clean; but we have so much stuff! And while our family and friends love all our little treasures and think we have a great, eclectic style and find our house to be very warm, comfortable and inviting, the fact is that we have a lot of clutter and we have to seriously pare down before I'll allow 800-1,000 people to stroll through our house, both because I want them to really be able to appreciate the bones of the house and because I don't want strangers making off with any of our antiques or other valuables or important papers.

All I can say is thank GOD the tour isn't until October because we'll need that long to go through all the rooms and pare down, organize, re-paint, and really have the house ready to shine.

Super Man is beside himself with joy about the whole business (probably because he won't have to do as much to prepare as I will given that he's working full-time and traveling half of most weeks, lucky bastard), and I'm gradually warming up to it, as long as I don't think about all the work that will have to go into preparing. I know it will be a good thing in the end, and that it will help us sell our house in the next 12-18 months, as was our plan. I just hope we can stay on a steady course of preparing the house - and ourselves - so I'm not killing myself doing it all solo in the final days leading up to the event!

So, really, this battle is won but the war rages on...

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