Ms. Fish Fights Back
Enough is Enough
by Ms. Fish
One day I thought, I've a problem to face;
a serious situation of having no space.
It's really not your fault, or my fault you see,
STUFF has snuck in while we've all been asleep.
Well...ok...I have helped this predicament some.
For when there's a sale, you can bet I will come.
For example, think of the school supply sale each Fall
with the pencils and folders and markers and all.
Why! notebooks are always on sale for a dime.
I can't pass that up! I buy eighty nine.
A bargain is something I love to have struck.
It gives me a feeling of fortune and luck.
No matter if I need the item or not,
a steal of a deal is where I will be caught.
Besides the collecting, I don't throw away.
You just never know, we may need it someday.
It's okay if I haven't used it in years....
our children may want it. It'll move them to tears.
It's not in my nature to toss out in haste.
I don't like to see anything going to waste.
You say you are taking a load to DI?
Could I take a look and and give your stuff a try?
Our house is now bulging with folders of files,
chipped china from grandma and yarn stretching miles.
Our corners and closets and each little nook
store papers and gadgets and gizmos and books.
The storage shed (formerly called a Garage)
is piled with miles of boxes to dodge.
This shelters our junk piles from snow and from dust,
while our costly vehicles stay outside to rust.
Now, maybe I just shouldn't make such a fuss.
The problem is, though, there is no room for us!
Jenni Fisher Copyright 2009
So....the new year's improvement bug bit me. Inspired by my mom and my friend, Annie Oakley, who is a whiz kid at organizing, I decided it might be nice to 1) be able to know where any given item is in my house and 2) stop buying repeat items. "Oh will you look at that? I already have three bottles of red wine vinegar! If only I had checked in the hall closet before I bought more"
And then Wal-Mart dangled further appeal by putting 29-gallon Rubbermaid tubs on sale for only 5 bucks. With that kind of temptation, and no job, and another week until I start school again, I realized my deep well of excuses had run dry . So, I have been moving through my home like a chimney sweep in love! I have tackled closets, drawers, rooms and cupboards. Nothing is immune to my cleaning fury.
The problem is that in order to clean, one first finds themselves in an obligatory disaster zone. Just like the proverbial calm before the storm, the mess comes before the clean. This can be discouraging, (especially if you change your mind or run out of steam!)
I am happy to report that I am making good progress. The way I keep from being overwhelmed is by taking toddler steps: tackling a small section of the house each day. Then as I finish that section, I eat a piece of pie. Even sitting here typing this, I feel good and satisfied (having just devoured a piece of sour cream lemon pie is purely coincidental). There is something so invigorating and stress-relieving about being organized and de-cluttered.
Three things I have learned in this enormous project:
1) Label containers, drawers and binders. I borrowed my mom's labeler (BROTHER brand name), which is so slick. Now, everything has a place and it is known by all household members. Labeling also comes in handy if say, for example, you have a coveted can of Almond Roca. Simply place the candy in a small opaque tub, label the tub --cleaning supplies-- and your candy will remain undisturbed except by you! Now if you want to keep from getting into the Almond Roca yourself, label the box --exercise equipment--.
2) Do NOT accidentally throw out your husband's precious gold book.
3) Be prepared for the snowball effect. In the end, you will be thankful for it.
If I keep up my pace, I will have completed my New Year's Resolution by Jan. 12. Wow. That leaves 11.5 months to slide back into the status quo before making another NY resolution! And I will also be able to slide along my newly cleaned garage floor. And that, my dear friends, is a rare (for Mr. Fish and I) and beautiful thing!