Good morning, girl! Happy New Year. Feel like doing a bit of organizing today? If your house is like mine, the kiddos go back to school tomorrow, and next week, in theory, we’re supposed to be back to normal (whatever that is) so today is a good day to get ready, yes?
Maybe use today to pick one area of your house (pantry, clothes closet, that cupboard under the cookie jar) to clean-out and order-up. If you haven’t done this before, you will be amazed at the space it clears in your head as well as on your shelves. Seriously, give it a couple hours, it feels amazing.
I first did this shortly after my husband and I were told, about halfway through our pregnancy, that our youngest would probably have Down’s Syndrome. (My favorite nurse called us that evening, when she knew my husband and I would be together.) We did a fair chunk of research, read and read, talked to other families, and we realized that we were going to be very busy for a very long time. (We decided not to do the amnio to confirm because of the risk of losing the baby – we just prepared and waited and loved him, whoever he was going to be. Some of the most difficult and beautiful months of my life.)
I had one of those Mommy moments when my heart and determination crystallized around the idea that I absolutely had to get my house together. Had-to. You know, that blazing determination we get sometimes when nothing on God’s Earth is going to stop Mommy? Like that.
If you were born with the tidy-it-up-and-organize-it gene, I congratulate you and I am so jealous. I was not. I had to learn this stuff from an expert. An expert whom I love to this day. (Miss Mary, thank you from the bottom of my heart.)
That first visit, we told her why we needed to get ready. She was an angel. Angel. We worked room by room over the course of a month that first go-round. We’d work for a couple hours and then I’d lay down and she’d keep working. Never more than three or four hours at a go. She charged us $50 an hour, half her usual rate, bless her. We spent somewhere around $700 total during that initial blitz.
Here’s how it went: Whatever area we had chosen, we cleared out completely. COMPLETELY. All the stuff that had been in the pantry or the closet or on the shelves came out. After we wiped down the shelves with wet paper towels, we’d put stuff back in an ordered fashion, like-with-like. The broken stuff, the stuff I’d forgotten I owned, stuff that hadn’t been used in three years, that got put in another pile that she brought to Good Will or the Salvation Army.
When we were done putting everything back, we stood back for a moment of celebration. A moment of, “Ahhhhh”. Loved that. I still love it.
As it turns out, kiddo does not have Down’s. Yes, I am grateful, it makes parenting him easier in many ways. I am also grateful for the moment in time that allowed me to swallow my pride and ask for help. It brought, in addition to organized closets, an awareness of both weaknesses and strengths I hadn’t known I had. A rare gift.