Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Cleaning

So I made it home on monday and it only took about two hours for the clutter of the house to start getting to me again and for my ever-growing "to do list" to start following me around the house. My secret hopes of Brett having done some serious cleaning while I was gone were thwarted pretty quickly upon walking in the front door. But ya know what? It's all good because I am a woman on a mission.

Even though I didn't get to do even half of the stuff I wanted to do while down in Bradenton, I did make some serious decisions about the state of my life. I didn't get to see all the friends and family that I wanted to see. I didn't make it to the gym even once. I didn't get to read my latest book on decluttering. I didn't get to do our taxes. I didn't spend any noteworthy amount of time knitting, aside from finishing the bunny on my first two days there. In fact, I'm not really sure what I did in that many days aside from some thinking. Well okay, I changed diapers and fed the kids and rocked to sleep and gave baths, etc. Can't get away from that stuff no matter where I go. Kids still require being taken care of.

One really good thing that came from my time away is that I was able to think clearly without the clutter of my life invading my thoughts and emotions. And this is what I decided ... it has to go! All of it. I'm tired of so much stuff staring at me in every room of this house. And mostly, i'm tired of feeling bad about myself every time I walk in my bedroom and see the piles of clothes in both closets and both dressers and not being able to find anything to wear that makes me feel good about myself. I've had two babies, large ones at that, and apparently i'm not going to be that little size 6 again anytime soon. And ya know what ... if I am then halla-frikin-luya ... i'll go buy some more clothes that fit the thirty-something Celena vs. the ones that fit the twenty-something Celena. And i'll be much happier for it. I don't know why I have held on to all of these "phases of clothes", as I like to call them. I realized something this past week about myself and I think i'm going to be a much happier person for it. I tend to hold on to things as a way of holding on to the past or of holding on to something that I wish were true about myself. Time to let it go and start living in the reality of NOW.

So .... i've been going like a mad woman for the past day or so in our bedroom trying on every single peice of clothing and pair of shoes that I own. Here are some things that i've noticed:
1.) my feet have grown a 1/2 shoe size longer with each pregnancy
2.) my feet are wider than they used to be which, for me, is not good
3.) i was holding on to over 20 pairs of shoes that i can't even fit my feet into anymore
4.) if i haven't had a reason to wear a pair of shoes in the four years since i've moved back to florida ... then i don't need those shoes anymore
5.) the floor of our closet actually matches the floor in our kitchen and dining room .. who knew?!
6.) there's a reason i always feel like i don't have anything to wear
7.) dog hair travels farther than i thought ... i'm sure the dogs don't spend time in our closet yet i swept up an amazing amount of hair from under my shoes
8.) i can no longer successfully walk in high heels and therefore find no reason to allow them to clutter up my closet floor

Being a work-at-home-mom means that my house is my office and my home. I work here and I play here and it is here that is causing me a lot of stress. So ... i must do something about it. Nobody can fix it for me. Brett can provide some moral support and some childcare but aside from that it's all on me. Miss Nancy is having a yard sale on saturday so I have some serious motivation to get as much done by then as possible. I'm not going to kill myself over it so I have a prioritized list starting with the things that bother me the most. That would definitely be my clothes and shoes. Shoes are done and clothes are about 1/4 of the way there at this point. I'm having another cup of motivation, oops I mean coffee, while I sit here taking a break and blogging about my spring cleaning ... and then i'm back to it.

I set up a system that seems to be working rather well. You see, I usually have a problem with organizing and clearing-out because I just don't have a good system to follow and my brain just doesn't work like that. I've read several books on the subject and i'm finally picking up some things that work for me. Here's how I'm going about it:
1.) break down major task at hand into small, manageable list of areas that i can cross off as i go
2.) start with a small list item ... good for motivation
3.) pull everything out of said list item area and put it on the bed
4.) go through each item and ask "does this make me feel good?"
if yes, try it on, if still yes then put it back in closet/drawer
if no, put in yard sale pile
if i have to think about it for more than 30 seconds after putting in on then it goes in the "bin of contemplation" ... to be dealt with at the end of the list

With this plan i've sent at least 30 pairs of shoes, 15 tank tops, 10 pairs of shorts, and 10 pairs of pants to the yard sale pile. The bottom hanging rack in my closet, which was a single list item, now has one lonely tank top hanging on it ... and that makes me feel way better than looking at the 15 that used to hang there. I think i'm going to put an "everything's a $1" sign on it all at the yard sale, in hopes of selling it all. I really don't care how much money I make. It feels good just to get it all out of the house. And what doesn't sell i'm going to send to the consignment shop I have an account at and what she doesn't want i'm going to donate to Hospice. And whatever money I do make i'm going to keep to do some more thriftin' and find some clothes that fit me now and make me feel good to see them in my room.

It's absolutely amazing to me how much stuff I am now able to let go of. Who knew clothes carried so much emotion. Or is it just me? Anyhow, i'm allowing myself to let go of the time and place associated with each item of clothing and it feels good to do so. I never realized how much all of this stuff was weighing me down. I'm not sure what turned on the light either. Like I said earlier, i've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I guess I just finally figured some stuff out. A lot of it has to do with trying to hold on to who I am now that I am a mom before anything else. I've been struggling with myself emotionally and with the loss of independence and time for myself that comes with having children and I realized I needed to make some changes. That's a big part of the reason I decided to head down to Bradenton for a while. I needed to remove myself from my every day life as much as possible while still caring for my children so I could get a grip. I did not like the person I was becoming but i'm happy to say i'm feeling much better about the situation.

I've realized that if I can't change something about my life at the moment then i'm just gonna have to change my thoughts on it. And on that note, now that i'm recharged with motivation, oops ... I mean coffee ... back to that pajama drawer. :)

1 comment:

  1. This was a good mental cleaning post for you. :)