Not bad for a fat girl


Ten Tiny Steps to Clutter Control

We moved into our house two and a half months ago. I used to be able to make that statement in weeks, but like the mother who claims that her little one is 42 months old, I need to face reality and admit that some time has passed since the blessed event.

At this point, it’s no longer ok to be surrounded by clutter and partially unpacked items. It’s time to finish the job of settling in. After all, one can’t decorate a mess, and a slew of holidays are right around the corner. 9155Jack-o-lanterns on top of piles of paper are more annoying than decorative, and I’m not about to drape lights over half empty boxes in the living room. I just don’t think that would impart the holiday ambiance that I’m going for.

In order to make headway on this daunting task I’ve decided to tackle the mess one tiny bite at a time. This morning it was my bathroom vanity. I’m telling myself that if I just take care of 10 items I’m making progress, and it’s true. Slow progress, but still progress. Besides, I usually go beyond 10.

The sad thing is, there’s no place in this house that feels “done.” Every room needs work. Every surface has stuff on it. Every closet feels full. Every box that’s still around has stuff in it. I don’t feel like there’s a single serene spot in my house. Oh, and the indoor temperature has been hovering around 85 degrees since the air conditioner went out a few days ago. It just doesn’t feel comfortable to be home. I need to change that.

Fortunately the ac guy is coming tomorrow, and the family room isn’t TOO bad. I think I’ll head there next. My work in the bathroom this morning was quick and yielded good results. After all, it’s not hard to throw out three items, place two in the hamper, one in the medicine cabinet, and four under the sink. I can do that. If I just keep doing that, the house will be put together in no time.

Hmm, maybe there’s a lesson here. A lesson about health and diet and exercise and weight loss. Maybe I don’t have to do it all at one time. Maybe I can make tiny changes to help move me in the right direction. Of course I know this to be true, but it’s difficult to resist the Halloween candy. I swear I’ve only eaten four pieces of it, and they’re the really small ones. Maybe I should put the bowl in the freezer? Out of sight, out of mind? Except that it’s in a weird place now and I have no trouble remembering where it is. Still, I’m not a big fan of frozen candy.

Now I’m off to the tackle the coffee table. It’s not too bad, which is good, since it’s a work day. Wish me luck as I try to move forward ten tiny steps at a time.



The house is quiet except for the sound of rain against the windows and roof, and the soft snoring coming from both the couch and the love seat. I couldn’t be happier.

We’re in transition, this little family of mine. There are four of us, three humans and a dog. My sixteen-year-old son stretches his lanky body across the long couch, breathing in and out rhythmically to the sound of the rain. My fiancé is on the love seat, one leg bent across the arm, the other on the floor, occasionally letting out a noise to let me know he’s still alive and asleep. They have both fallen asleep without meaning to, victims of their own exhaustion.

a_sleeping_dad_on_the_couch_0515-1005-1302-0329_SMUThey are missing the summer storm, with its steady rain and gently rumbling thunder. The dog has settled at my feet, more out of comfort than any sort of alarm. We are all at peace tonight.

I was a little worried. We are in the midst of a move, and we’re in temporary quarters. We had a 1,765 square foot, four-bedroom house that we sold. We’re moving into a 2,200 square foot, four-bedroom house, but it’s not ready yet. Right now we’re in a space that is about 750 square feet and has two bedrooms. Oh, and it was completely full when we got here.

There is not a single empty drawer or even two inches of closet space available in this house. There is no room in the medicine cabinet, the kitchen cupboards, or even on the counters. We have items in suitcases on the floor, items stashed under the one bed, and items under the kitchen table. We have a laundry hamper in the living room, next to a filing cabinet, behind the couch. You might say it’s a little cramped. Still, it’s a roof over our heads, and it’s rent-free at that. I can’t complain. I won’t complain. The air-conditioning works, there is a fridge and two functioning bathrooms, there’s a washer and dryer, and there’s a lovely swimming pool a short walk away. We’re set. Crowded, but set.

Tonight I’m feeling gratitude, not just that we have this place to stay, but that we are together. My son and my fiancé are the two most important people in my life, and the fact that they’re both snoring away on the couches just a few feet from where I’m writing makes me incredibly happy. They could have each retreated to their separate corners, but they didn’t. They could have been self-conscious about letting their guard down, but that wasn’t the case. They are both totally at home here, even amongst all the stuff that I feel is choking us. They aren’t craving solitude, they are embracing togetherness.

I was worried about the lack of space. I was worried that we would begin to get on each other’s nerves and argue, but that hasn’t happened. We’ve adjusted. They’ve adjusted, and they’ve taught me that I can adjust too.