Ladies and Gentlemen…prepare to be amazed…
BY ALL OF THE CRAP IN MY HOUSE!
Seriously. When did this happen???
I’ll tell you a secret. Before I had kids I had big, big plans to only let them play with wooden toys hand carved by silent monks who lived in remote mountainside Tibetan monasteries.
I know…I know…that was my hiiiii-larious plan. So how did this happen?
And that doesn’t even start to encompass the grown up stuff…
Stop! Wait! Put down the phone…do NOT call Hoarders.
I know that you’d look at these pictures and think you’d have to walk down a hallway of newspapers to get to that playroom but that’s the weird thing…we actually don’t keep a lot of stuff in the house. It’s just that we’ve slowly, slowly accumulated. As Mama Bear would say…”We’ve got a case of the messy build up.”
Remember all of those signs your grandma had up around the house?
“I put my scissors on this rack, if you use them please put them back.”
“A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”
“If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie.”
Hee hee…that last one has been making me laugh since the early 80s…
But you know what? G-Ma was onto something. I mean, not the plastic carpet runners that would flip over and impale your feet with their little spikey undersides.
But the ‘put your crap away and leave my crap alone’ way of ruling the house. That was golden. THAT’S what I need to do.
I’m slowly identifying my triggers…you know…those little things that make you a little crazy. One or two things aren’t a big deal but when you add them all up they definitely cause more stress than they should. And if you can get a handle on the little stuff then the big stuff kind of just naturally starts to sort itself out. You get rid of the brain clutter too.
So. Instead of doing my old thing where I make grand fantastical schemes and then get overwhelmed and instead of actually doing anything I lay on the couch and eat potato chips while I watch whole seasons of The IT Crowd, I’m employing my new baby steps method.
Identify what exactly is driving me up the wall:
2. Milk Waste
3. Toys. Toys Toys Toys. TOOOOOOOOYS.
4. Papers. Mail. Flyers. Bills. Magazines.
5. Emails. I currently have 26,987 emails. WHAT?? 6. Car Keys.
There is other stuff but I can’t remember it right now. Or my little pea brain has gone to Happy Place.
1. Laundry. It’s ridiculous. Redonkulous. Reeeedonkulosity. We all complain about it. And then continue to do it. Or in my case, continue to START it and then rewash the same load of musty clothes 3 times. Why is there so much laundry? BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY CLOTHES!! My 2 children have THIRTY EIGHT TSHIRTS. 38. THREE EIGHT! That’s stupid. So. Reduction in clothes will have to equal reduction in laundry, right? Reduction in folding. In putting away. In options for my 4 year old to change clothes 78 times a day. A box in the bottom of each closet and I’ll just drop the things we don’t need in as I see them. No big schemes to CLEAN OUT ALL OF THE CLOSETS! Because you know what happens? The kids come in and start to ‘help’. Which consists of pulling all of the clothes off of their hangers. And screaming. And beating each other with aforementioned hangers. And while that activity is Joan Crawford approved…it is not Curious Sea Turtle approved.
2. Milk Waste.
If you’ve paid close to $6 for a gallon of organic milk than you know the weepy frustration of finding full, 5 hour old sippies of it casually tossed all willy nilly around the house. ACK! I fixed that. I fixed that good.
Milk. Only at the table. In a big kid glass.
Done and done. I’m happy to report to the board that milk waste has been reduced by a whopping 56%! Just kidding…I have no idea how much it is but we go through SO much less milk now!!!! And it has cut out the mindless drinking so they eat better too.
That’s too big. That’s for another post. “But Turtle!” you say. “Box up half the toys and rotate them out!”
Yeah yeah yeah. Done it 100 times. The problem is that we don’t have hidden storage in this house so it’s only a matter of time before they stumble onto the hidden toys. It usually goes something like this:
Purple: “Mommy! What’s in this box??”
Me: “Uhhhh…it’s broccoli…holding a needle to give you a shot!”
Purple: “No it isn’t! What is it??”
Me: “Nothing! It’s private! Don’t open it!! DON’T OOOOOOOPPPP—NOOOOO!” (picture me slow motion diving across room…very Die Hard…all the sweat…none of the muscles)
Purple: “GASP! A 3,876 piece toy set! Is this new?? When did we get this?? Look at how TINY the pieces are!! Look how MANY of them there are! YAY!”
Trap: (Can’t talk because mouth is full of tiny toy pieces.)
Me: (Can’t talk because I’m curled up in a corner softly weeping.)
So yeah, we’ll tackle toys later, thank you very much.
Don’t we live in a paperless society? Then what the h-e-double hockey sticks is all of this tree pulp doing in my house?? Some of it is my fault. I’m very much a ‘pile it now, deal with it later’ type of person. Except subtract the deal with it later part. Ooops. I thought about one of those receipt scanners except I know in my heart of hearts that all that will accomplish is a pile of papers cascading on top of a $200 scanner. Still in the box. So this is another one that I’ll have to put to the side for now. I need to recycle, file and shred as things come into my house. I’ve stopped renewing my magazine subscriptions because I never read them but I THINK I’m going to read them so I keep them because getting rid of them would mean that I’ve become the person who can’t make time to sit down and read a damn magazine. And I’m not…I’m NOT! Except I am.
I’m pretty good about recycling but awful at filing. And the shredding? We keep the shredder unplugged and hidden because…well…Trapezoid.
Gilt. Totsy. Zulilly. West Elm. Fab. Touch of Modern. Living Social. Groupon.
For someone with no money to spend I sure subscribe to a bunch of shopping websites. So I’ve been employing the teeny tiny method here too. As I get an email from a site I don’t need, I unsubscribe. That’s it. One at a time. Simple. Effective. Easy…ooooh are those new boots on Zulilly…NO! UNSUBSCRIBE! Better for me. For my wallet. For my marriage 😉 I still have 26,987…nope now 26,989 emails but that’s because I’m a terrible deleter. TURRIBLE. I just typed Amazon Local (when did I start getting those??) into my email search bar and deleted 240 Amazon Local emails that I have never even opened or read. Slow and steady, my friends…slow and steady.
6. Car Keys.
Do you know how many times I have wept…literally wept over missing car keys? Only a couple of times but still…that can’t be good. And then I find them places like behind the television in the guest room or in my make up bag or even better…actually in my purse. All true stories. All the cause of tears. So I came up with the awesome, innovative, mind shattering way to never lose my keys again.
I think we can all agree that 19 years of driving is the appropriate amount of time to come up with a solution like this, right?
(19 years of driving?? When the heck did that happen???)
Update: Holy Shamoley I am a weak minded idiot. I’ve been driving for 23 years!! 16 + 23 = 39. Duh.
So I’m on my way to a zen and harmonious household. I figure at the rate I move I should have the toys sorted and cleaned out just in time to box them up and give them to my grandchildren. That’s recycling!
See…it’s already working 😉