Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Organization (Part I?)

Some things in life happen like clockwork, and when it comes to the holidays there is a definite order to the madness mapped out in my brain. For example, I cannot possibly have my Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. I just can't do it. And while the rest of the neighborhood has their holly hung and lighted reindeer in the yard already, I'm still rocking our front porch pumpkin and fall leaves.

But you better believe that from the moment my foot crosses back over the threshold of our home on Thanksgiving evening anything is fair game. Bring on the lights and the eggnog, because I will be in full-on Christmas mode from then until December 25! So as I sat looking around our humble abode this afternoon and daydreaming about where all of the Christmas decor will go this year, a stark realization jumped up and thumped me right between the eyes. My house is SO not holiday ready.

To the naked eye it may seem as if things are generally in order around here, but look a little closer and you'll see unfriendly surprises hiding behind every closed door and out-of-the-way nook and cranny. While no one else may know about my secret messes, I'll know about them, and it'll drive me nutso buttso as I'm dragging out more stuff to place here and there. So...I started opening doors like windows on an advent calendar and attacking messes as I found them. And for your personal pleasure, I documented my adventures along the way.

First up: The Linen Closet

Okay, so it doesn't seem that bad. Things just need to be straightened up a bit, right? Ha!

You would not believe how much junk was shoved underneath the bottom shelf. You know the great thing about cleaning things out is that it can save you money, because you discover things you forgot you had. Guess how many packs of unopened baby wipes I found lurking in this heap? Five. Five! Brand new, forgotten, perfectly good baby wipes. We just kept buying more, skipping along like nimrods while five packs of baby wipes were waiting at home wondering what the heck was wrong with them. Why weren't we good enough? Well, I'm sorry little wipeys...I hope we didn't give you a complex. You will be used, I promise. 

Also in the pile was our beach bag (?) filled with lotions and pool toys and little swimmers diapers, every single baby bath towel that we own balled up and shoved back in the corner (so that's where they were!), and so much random junk I can't even remember. But in the end, I tidied, I purged, and I restocked, and this is what I ended up with:

*Sigh* I wasn't going for perfection here, but that is so much better! At least I won't be embarrassed if company asks where the towels are.

I also decided that it was about time that our laundry "area" got a good organizing. We no longer have an entire room to hide away our piles of clothes, so everything has to fit behind lovely accordion style doors right in the middle of our kitchen. How many of our friends have strolled past these doors to grab a drink with no idea that this was what was behind them:

Once again, to the naked eye it seems like things could be much worse, but move a little closer and you will detect a half inch thick gummy film on top of the washer and dryer from one too many detergent spills. Disgusting. And then there's the junk behind the junk that you just can't see. Like the clothes chilling out on the sides and in between the machines...that has to be a fire hazard or something. Or the fact that half of the boxes sitting perched on the shelves were empty. Hello, Adrien. Throw some stuff away, girlfriend.

It only took about fifteen minutes, but it was fifteen minutes well spent. 

Now I can wash our unders without embarrassment. What a great feeling. :D

And now for the creme de la creme. The crowning jewel of the day. The mess I have been avoiding since the day we moved into this place. For real; this one has been a long time coming. 

Eek, I'm scared to even show you this one. For those of you who have been over in the past few months, there's a reason why our bedroom door generally stays shut, and you're about to see it up close and personal. This mess is the first thing you see when you walk through our bedroom door. It drives me bonkers, but I just never had the stamina to go through the piles and do something about it. But no more. I had to tackle this one, or it's NO CHRISTMAS TREE. That's what I kept telling myself as I dove into this:

Let me just describe what you're seeing here. First, we have the teetering piles of clothes on top of the piles of junk, which were placed there because the drawers of our dresser were busting at the seams and simply wouldn't house one more article of clothing. And within the boxes we have everything from books to video and camera equipment, every single memory of Eric's childhood (I'm not kidding), stacks of computer paper, approximately $50 in change and lost money, jewelry, purses....everything but the stinkin kitchen sink. It looked worse in person. Just trust me on this one.

So I sorted through papers and hung up clothes; I carried boxes of memorabilia down the basement stairs and then gave the surface a good cleaning. And once I had a blank canvas, I took it upon myself to pretty it up a little...you know, to reward to myself for all of my hard work...and FINALLY we have a dresser worth keeping our bedroom door open for.


Any excuse to drag up some of mommy's pretties from the basement is a good excuse to me! There are few surfaces Evelyn can't reach, so I'm taking full advantage of it.

So, to recap, here are all of the day's before and afters:

Before and After

Before and After

Before and After


It doesn't have to be super dramatic for it to just feel good knowing that everything has a place. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of our messes and THE worst of them all is not yet accomplished. Every other closet in our house needs a good organizing, and if I have the energy, I may just get a jump on those later today. If not, then it has to be Wednesday, or NO CHRISTMAS TREE. My gosh, I'm a great self-motivator. :)

So this may only be Part I of this year's holiday organization. I don't know if I'm brave enough to show you the EPIC BATTLE that will be sure to ensue when I tackle our master closet. No one wants to see that, right? Eric is reading this and shouting, "Nooooo....!" Well, in my head he is. This blog was your idea, dear. Always remember that. :) But you never know what will happen around here. With two babies to cater to, we can only see what the day brings. At any rate, I at least accomplished something today, and I'm pretty sure I earned some kind of mommy badge for this one. Alright, who am I kidding...I just want to put up the darn Christmas tree.


Meagan said...

Want to come organize my closests too?! :) Every single closet in my house is stuffed to the rim with crap...seriously, they make your "before" pictures look amazing!!

Christine Pettijohn said...

Finally someone I know refuses to put there tree up also until the day after Thanksgiving. Such a relief! I just cannot do it either, I have to let Thanksgiving have its time also. LOL, I know I am nuts. I just went through our house alos like a mad women and organized and got rid of a bunch of junk. It feels good in the end. It looks great what you did!

Ashley Mitchell said...

This makes me want to go home and organize right now! Thanks for the motivation! :)


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