Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Christmas Present

Let me start this by saying that some of you probably won't understand this at all, and will just tell me to "get over it already". Some of you will secretly feel my pain. I mentioned emphatically to my husband that the only thing I want for Christmas is a decluttered house. That's it. Then I can spend more time doing things with the kids, writing, and more time working out to lose weight. More time living instead of looking for stuff. James is now on vacation (mostly, he only worked about 1 hour today with calls and emails) so we started decluttering and cleaning the house today. I'm not posting any "before" shots, because it's pretty embarrassing. He and I have never been good at having places for things or getting rid of stuff--"Wait Honey! I think that's the piece to that thing that broke that I think I threw away but might have kept"-- we've been drowning in junk.

I hate it. If you've ever seen the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano" you'll remember where Joe was telling off his boss and he went on about the florescent lighting. He looked up at them and grouches about them sucking the life out of him, saying"Suck! Suck! Suck!" while his eyes get closer to the lights. That's how I feel about this extra stuff everywhere. It sucks the life out of me. I've struggled against it for so long, but never can seem to get on top of it. I am, contrary to my clothes would suggest, only one person. I can only do so much before I leave an area to go do something exciting like, say, cooking dinner, and by the time I get back it looks like a tornado went through my formerly shiny, clear floor area. Most of the time a human tornado has gone through, consisting of my three kids. They have an uncanny ability to find a clean floorspace and feel the need to make it match the rest of the house. It's not their fault, it's ours because if there's less stuff around, there's less to take out and throw, cleanup is more manageable for everyone and kids don't get frustrated not knowing where to put something. Heck, I get frustrated not knowing where to put things!

We started with our room today. You know what I found under my bed? Various sundry toys and stuff that were building their own city. Apparently they got to the point they decided they needed food, because I found an apple core and a small can of Hunt's Tomato Sauce. I kid you not, there was tomato sauce under my bed. The apple I could understand, since Princess has learned to help herself to food, but tomato sauce? Maybe Princess' pioneer-dressed doll I found under my headboard was preparing an Italian feast for the Little People elephant further down "the road".

I also found some of my yummy Bath and Body Works lotions I got at the 75% sale in January. Somehow they jumped off the dresser...or were they pushed? I have my suspicions that it was my beloved antique mirror my mom gave me for my bridal shower...or maybe the headless doll figurine looking for revenge on the loss of her noggin. Wait- what was I talking about? Oh yeah. My favorite is the Lemon Meringue Tutti Dolci body souffle. I'm really sad that they discontinued the line. I found a ton of other stuff and junk, most of it shouldn't have been my room to begin with. I have had a bad habit of throwing things in my room when someone is coming over because that is the one place they won't be going. I've actually locked the door so no one will go in and had to unlock it with a skinny screwdriver after they left .

Why am I exposing myself like this? I'm not sure. I don't like that I feel I need so much stuff around me. It feels comfortable in a way, because then I don't invite people over and I don't have to stress about being with other people, even though part of me wants to. Of course it causes a ton of stress when I'm trying to look for anything. I swear, half of my life has been spent looking for the boys' Sunday socks or shoes, for Princess' tights,...what did you say? I lived 21 of 29 years without my precious little ones whom I can't imagine life without? Ok, so it only feels like I've been looking for things half my life.

So, we're beginning with our room. Since James has this vacation until January 2nd we're gung-ho getting rid of stuff. The kids will watch movies until their eyes fall out if that's what it takes for them to let us work. We are going to get rid of lots and lots of things, and help each other be strong. "But Hon, I really like that" isn't a good enough excuse. We got into this mess (literally) because we hardly ever got rid of things that were good or useful. Since I've been working on losing weight -yes, maintaining it through the holidays counts as losing in my book- I realized that I've kept the extra stuff around me to keep me isolated from life like I've kept the extra pounds around me for the same reason.

My goal is to be able to look around me and not say- pardon my words- "I can't believe we have all this CRAP!!!" anymore. I think of people who have nothing, and I have so much. Hopefully a lot of this stuff will bless others, and that thought makes it easier to cart it out the door. Plus, it will be much easier to have a clean house if there's less stuff around. I think the satisfaction of seeing clear spaces will keep us going. I'm so thankful that James is supportive and helping with this, because it's definitely a two-person job. Well, actually we'd be great candidates for the crew of "Clean Sweep" or something like that, but I'll take one extra body to help.

Wish me luck! Oh, and lots of energy too.


mindyluwho said...

Oh, I do feel your pain! Last week I took 10 bags to the DI and every bag that went out felt like a huge rock being taken off my shoulders. All that extra 'stuff' weighs us down! Good luck...I'm sending lots of energy your way!

No Cool Story said...

You are not exposing yourself: You didn't take any pictures.

You can do it! You can do this!!
Those Little People have no right to start their own civilization under your bed.
You need to evict any and all squatters.

Good luck my friend, I hope it goes well and you end up victorious.

Kimberly said...

Luck luck luck! I could have written this post, I really could. We did a lot better before we moved here though. The closest thrift store? Two hours away. Yup. So even if we get it out of the house it takes up space in the garage...or the back deck...pretty scary stuff. The garage sale we planned to have this summer just didn't happen. Neil wants to sell the stuff rather than donate, but I'm not sure who'd actually pay for any of it! Argh! I'm ready to find a dumpster somewhere and toss the lot of it!

No Cool Story said...

Feliz Christmas!!!

No Cool Story said...

Feliz Happy New Year!!

mindyluwho said...

Hi Rebecca...have you come up for air yet? Hope your house is looking good. Miss you.

Happy New Year!

Heffalump said...

I could have written this post, or something very similar.
I dream of dumpsters, but its like $150 to rent on here and you only get it for a week, so I would also need D to be off work for a week to help me throw stuff out.
Its getting down to crunch time here as we are just five months away from a new baby, and I don't want to bring a newborn home to this mess. I sympathize with you.