BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


5 Comments

Eating an Elephant One Bite at a Time

elephant-300x234

In Other Words, Cleaning Up My House

I’ve never claimed to be the world’s best housekeeper. I’m not. I do like a certain sense of order, though.

For example, the glasses in my kitchen cupboards are organized by type and are in precise locations. The wine glasses and crystal are in one cabinet, the everyday glasses are sorted by type and size in another.

It’s not just in the kitchen, though. My fabric collection is folded and stored on open shelves by color. The clothes in my closet hang on identical hangers (well, one type for pants, another for skirts, and a third for dresses and tops, but you get the idea). The tops progress from teal to green to white, then tan, brown, black, into red, pink, purple, and finally blue. There’s a system.

I don’t have systems for everything, though. Or if I do, they break down. Take books, for example. I’ve been trying to get most of my books from Overdrive, the online library app. It saves me money and storage space. Still, I like to support local authors, and the professional books that I use are valuable additions to my library. As a result, I have more books than my current system allows. There are books on the kitchen table, books on my nightstand, and books on the kitchen counter. And yes, there are books on the bookshelves too, but they’re a mess.

Purses are another issue for me. I don’t have nearly as many as lots of people I know, but I do have a few that I use routinely. Where do they end up? On the kitchen counter. There a small section to the left of the fridge that is a complete disaster. Mail, meds, purses, you name it, it might be there.

the-japanese-art-of-decluttering-and-organizin-2-638All of this extra stuff brings me down. It drains my energy. It doesn’t bring me joy, as Marie Kondo, of The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up would demand. But on the other hand, it’s stuff I use. Just not all at once. So what’s the solution? Put it away, of course.

Flylady, of Flylady.net often says, “You can’t organize clutter.” I agree. There comes a point where too much is simply too much, and no matter how clever I think I’m being, I need to scale back. It’s time to do that, but I can’t do it all at once.

Here’s where the eating the elephant comes in. They say it can only be done one bite at a time. Well, I’m starting to bite. For me it’s more like one area at a time. The kitchen island has been done, but that one keeps accumulating stuff. It’s what Flylady calls a hotspot.

My bathroom vanity has been done, and man, it’s so much more pleasant to get ready in that area. My brain knows this, and yet, I let it get cluttered over time. WHY?

There are, unfortunately, so many more of these areas to go, but if I keep at it one bite at a time, eventually I’ll eat that elephant. Today’s goal? The kitchen table. Where I’m writing at the moment. It’s not a second office, it’s a place for meals. This one should be simple, just a few notebooks and books, a laptop, and leftovers from someone’s birthday, last month. Yeesh. One bite at a time.

DISCLAIMER: I would never eat a real elephant. Just so you know.


2 Comments

Thank You Lego

This morning my eighteen year old and I were doing some holiday preparations. I asked him to set up his model train around the Christmas tree, as a nod to Christmas past. He agreed and pulled it out of his closet.

While he was in there, he stumbled across a bin of old legos. He brought it out to the living room, and sat down on the floor with me. One by one he removed partially built (or, more accurately, partially destroyed) models he’s created over the years. There were so many of them.

4da2dc554379966dbb8cd16d4be335a9I recognized the pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, and some of the Star Wars vehicles, but there were quite a few that didn’t look as familiar. “Oh, that one’s from the Mars Mission series,” he would say, or “that belongs to the police set.”

We sat together for a while and looked for specific parts to rebuild a wing, or replace a cannon. It was nice. Really nice.

Someday I hope he has a child in his life who enjoys these legos as much as he has over the years. Someday I hope he gets to experience the simple, yet profound, joy of watching and helping a young person build something special.