I had four days off work for the holiday - we have Creative Fridays for the summer and my last one was Sept 4 - and so I decided that if I couldn't snap out of the funk - I'd work myself to death and maybe that would help.
One thing I know about myself is that I get very easily overwhelmed with piles of stuff all around. I like for things to be in their place - if I need a nail clipper, a paper clip, my belt or the small skillet - I want to go to where it should be and find it there. I don't want to have to follow a trail around my house, thinking, "Well, I clipped my nails last on a Sunday, and I was reading the paper and drinking coffee after, so maybe the clippers are with the stack of newspaper..."
And that desire, right there, for things to be in their designated spot, that desire is anathema to children.
I'm CRAZY, I know.
I divided my house into four quadrants and when I woke up Friday, I had a firm plan. Friday meant the downstairs bathroom, the laundry room, and the overflow pantry (which is my fancy term for the hall closet that holds extra bulk foods, small appliances, serving platters and bowls and party decorations.) got a deep and solid clean out. I scrubbed, washed shower curtains, cleaned under the sink and organized until the entire house smelled clean. The laundry room is typically a catch all for all of us, but I cleaned it almost to the bare walls - really, other than the machines and the cleaning supplies, there's not much left in there. I left the house with half of my truck bed full of donations for the thrift store and three bags of garbage.
Day one, done.
Day two dawned bright and oh, I was sore, but I worked again. My little girls share a room and they share a desire to surround themselves with everything they own, and also a sofa. (I promise there is a resolution here.) We cleaned and cleaned and then I suddenly decided to rearrange their bedroom and at the same time, I was working on another kid's room and so suddenly I was moving a bookshelf and the top shelf fell off and onto my foot.
Two days later, I have a bruise on my foot that looks suspiciously like the shape of Mississippi.
And then I just - decided - that the sofa needed to go. And the beds needed to be on opposite walls, and that meant my husband had to get a ProMaster Van from his job for the sofa
and then we were into Sunday. Sunday meant the kitchen and the upstairs linen closet, the hall closet and ANOTHER truckload of stuff for donation and four more garbage bags. My husband took the sofa, a desk, a chair, two end tables and a bike to the thrift store and I wished, desperately, that I had never started.
Oh, I was so tired.
Parts of the house were super clean. Parts of the house were really, really messy. And parts of the house that are not typically visible required lots of cleaning - baseboards and the front of the kitchen cupboards and the ceiling high shelf in my kitchen spring to mind - and they were cleaned but no one noticed except me.
From now until at least October 15, if anyone comes in my house they'd BETTER notice the clean baseboards and cabinets.
Monday dawned and I lay in bed, utterly spent and so sore that I didn't even want to start, but I knew that the end was in sight - and besides, I'd *told* everyone on Facebook that I was doing this, and if there's one thing I hate it is not completing something I've started and having the explain to everyone that, hi, I'm a quitter
and so I got up, ate, and cleaned my office. And then I forced myself to go into the playroom and clean it, and finished off my cleaning out my closet.
It's now Monday afternoon and I'm pretty much done. I have a third load to take to the thrift store - we really shouldn't have anything left in this house by now, I canNOT believe all the crap I've gotten rid of.
Do I feel better? Kind of. Am I glad I did it? Yes. I now know who needs a coat for the winter, almost everyone needs beanies and waterproof gloves, and my teenage boy child really needs some shirts. I know exactly where every dish is in my house, got rid of several things I never use, and am not afraid to open any closets. I know that the house is all vacuumed, the dishes clean, the pictures and shelves and knick knacks dusted. The movies are organized, the Wii games in their cases, the tupperware all matched up and the junk drawer no longer overflowing.
Now? Now I am dropping off that last load, and plan to hang out at the beach for a few hours.
Time will tell if the Great House Clean Up of 2015 helped - but I bet it did.