Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cleanliness Is Next To . . . Fun.

I really like to clean up messes. In fact, I even think it’s fun! (And no, I don’t have a fever.)

And at the risk of sounding a bit cocky, may I also admit to you than I am rather good at it? In fact, really, really good? In fact, almost scary good?

I know that most people might be tempted to brag about other sorts of skills—golf, playing the piano, drawing, cooking, writing songs, etc. But me? I’m good at cleaning. I certainly do hope that I don’t engender too much jealousy in your hearts as I talk about this particular gift. Especially since I was just born with it. I didn’t go to college to learn it. I don’t have a Doctorate in De-cluttering. It’s just a God-given talent that was present from the womb. In fact, when God put me on earth He said, “This particular child of mine shall verily be very and exceedingly good at cleaning!”

Now before I go any further, let me just make something clear. When I say that I am good at cleaning and that I think it’s fun, I am talking about clutter cleaning, not dirt-n-germ cleaning. Dirt-n-germ cleaning, i.e., toilets, shower stalls, kitchen floors, is no fun. At all. But give me a room full of clutter and I am one happy woman. (Yes, Steve already knows that I am so easily—and cheaply—entertained.)

So anyway, last week while Steve was out of town for four days, I decided to declare war on the clutter that had sort of just “appeared” in our home office. When we moved into this house six months ago, all of the miscellaneous miscellany seemed to float off to the second floor and congregate and coagulate in the office. (Do you have any congregated, coagulated rooms in your house?) And then to compound all the congregating and coagulating, during the weeks following my surgery, my cleaning suddenly seemed to consist of just throwing stuff into the office to be dealt with “later.”

Well, “later” finally arrived.

The first category of mess I had to deal with was our wrapping paper stuff. Gift boxes, tissue, gift bags, ribbon, wrapping paper—it was everywhere! And whenever I would run upstairs to try and do a quick wrap job on a particular gift, I would find myself spending half an eternity in the office, trying to locate just one appropriate gift bag. And matching tissue. And I would think, “Someone needs to organize this stuff!”

And so someone did.

I pulled out every gift bag, piece of tissue paper and strand of ribbon that had made its way into the awful, messy morass. I stacked them up all around me and started sorting and organizing. (Humming happily to myself as I did.)

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Snowy felt compelled to place himself outside the office and guard me from any bad guys while I worked.

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This is what I finally ended up with. A container just for small boxes.

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A bin (which I already had) for gift bags and tissue paper.

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I lifted up one of the inner containers to show that the tissue and bags are stored separately. (I had to tuck a few of the really big gift bags around the outside of the container.)

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And here it is, all stacked in the closet on top of plastic drawers that will be my next organizational objective. (If you don’t have an extra closet, a lot of this could also be nicely organized in under bed boxes which I use all the time.)

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Here is a container for rolls of paper and a cardboard box for shirt boxes. The little white plastic bag in the corner holds all of our packing materials, Styrofoam peanuts, etc

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After attacking (and happily organizing) the gift wrap stuff, I turned my attention to the desk area. (It isn’t always that messy—I had temporarily stacked some stuff there from the closet.)

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I eventually ended up with this.

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And here’s our book case, finally neatened. (We have another big book case downstairs which holds some of our more lovely books.) We could actually use yet another book case in the house since we are all inveterate bibliophiles.

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The bottom line? I finished my cleaning job with joy. And happiness. And gratefulness that I got to spend some time doing something I love. Also, Snowy and I got to spend quality time together with me cleaning and him guarding me while I cleaned. And he was so effective in his guarding that not even one bad guy came and got me.

Fluffy, cute watch dogs are obviously the best.

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A question was left concerning whether or not Nathan has found a job yet.

Unfortunately, no. He’s been putting in applications everywhere, including Disney World. We’re going to keep on praying for something to open up soon!

11 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Redeemed1 said...

Isn't it amazing how the office can collect clutter so quickly? I'm married to a neat freak, so there's no clutter to be found anywhere in our house - except for in the office. It's hidden clutter - our office has a nice closet and cabinets - but it's still there.

Now our office is being turned into the nursery and I'm just amazed at how much stuff has accumulated over the lat three years.

Anonymous said...

Do you hire yourself out? Could I ever use you at my house. I hate cleaning of any kind.
Your cousin Sandy

Margie said...

I just did the same thing on Memorial Day. It looks so nice in that room. The next project is the closet in the same room that's full of clothes most of which need to go somewhere else!

Anonymous said...

My junk room needs help right now. You have inspired me to tackle it tomorrow...maybe!

Let me know if Nathan gets a job at Disney! We go there now and again, will be there end of next month. We could tell him "hi" and take his photo for you! Has he tried Chick-fil-A? Jill

Vicky Elder said...

Can't say I enjoy the cleaning...but i SURE enjoy the finished product!

Nancy(bratt) said...

Becky,
Can you come clean my house?? Pretty Please :-) I pay in loads of chocolate!

Lesley said...

Becky, you are my soulmate! I derive just as much pleasure from organizing it ALL! And then when I am done I have to keep returning to said room and admire the loveliness of it.

I do have to say, it never occurred to me to use 'under the bed' bins. I have all these beds with empty floor beneath them. Egads!!

Ann Martin said...

Becky--my house needs you!!! I use under the bed boxes for wrapping paper and sweaters. I desperately need to clean the "clutter" in several rooms. I get started and then something stops me. Too much going on and not enough time to declutter. I spoke too soon yesterday about Prince sleeping. This morning he got me up at 6:23 AM which is unusual. So much for my "late" sleeping pup.

Anonymous said...

I love to de-clutter and organize, too! I enjoy it so much, that I actually thought about becoming a professional organizer at one time in my life. Sometimes, my husband complains that he can't find some item because I actually put it in its' logical place! I do get some strange satisfaction from organizing, though, and hope it will rub off on my kids...
Glad to hear you are doing well!

Debbie H. in Sacramento

Sue said...

You've caused me to sin, Becky. I so envy your gift. My husband and I are both sentimental "savers" and that combined with my natural disorganization is so irritating. I hate the clutter, but feel overwhelmed at dealing with it.., like I only have the ability to make a limited number of decisions each day. So I will end up staring at a piece of paper completely unable to decide whether to shred, save, toss... or whatever!

Anonymous said...

Becky, Your decluttering ability is phenomenal! Have you ever thought about matching the tissue paper with the gift bags and storing the tissue in side the bag? Of course, you always have the "extras' that don't match, but having the matched sets ready to grab in a hurry has been a real help to me! Hugs to all 5 of my favorite Smiths (of course Snowy is included!)