Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Sigh of Relief

Life can get very stressful.  That's a no brainer, huh?  It gets even more stressful when your house looks like a hurricane followed a tornado through the middle of the house, then a bulldozer and a herd of kids ran through.  The "stuff" piles up, adds up, gets in the way, demands either step over it, push it aside, or fall over it, collects dust, takes up space, and just brings anxiety. 

I'll admit it, my own house looked like that.  My dustbunnies had multiple generations of snarling, drooling, wild bunnies that threatened to attack at any moment.  Here I thought I'd tamed them and made pets of them.  Our "stuff" had taken over the house and our lives, with piles on everything, little space to walk, clutter everywhere, and the ravenous dustbunnies.  I had lost my home to stuff. 

It wasn't just the bedrooms, it was the kitchen, dining room, living room, you name it.  I'd not had motivation to deal with the "stuff" and seems it kept growing and growing and growing. 

The family here wasn't exactly helpful either.  The kids all had major hissy fits when asked to do something.  Daddy did too.  Daddy is also a hoarder in training, just little things in case we may need them 20 years from now.  I'd have a cow and demand help, hubby wouldn't enforce making the kids pitch in until I was in the middle of giving birth to a 3rd or 4th calf.  I wouldn't let people through the door voluntarily.  I was completely ashamed of how the house had gotten in the span of years.  This wasn't me, this wasn't how I was brought up, and this isn't how I'd kept house before moving to this one.  I'd kept a huge Victorian with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and tons of space near immaculate with 3 much younger kids and the hoarder....but smaller space and more "stuff" won. 

Then....a hard hard life changing event rocked our world.  Lots of visitors started coming, and I was totally ashamed of our house, and had been for a long long long (did I mention long?) while.  I had to do it.  I had to get the clutter gone.  I had to crack the whip on the dust bunnies even if I lost an arm in the process.  There was a deadline to meet, and Lord bless me it was gonna get done.

In under 48 hours, I decluttered the entire house.  3 Bedrooms, a bath, dining room, living room, kitchen.  Things I'd held on to for a long while suddenly lost value and either went to the storage shed or the trash bag.  Things hubby had coveted, they went in the same locations.  The kids had fair warning, either pick it up or I would, and if Mom had to then it went to the trash bag.  One child figured I was full of hot air, and came home to find a totally decluttered room and much of her goodies and papers filed away in the stash for the landfill.  Broken toys, crayons, torn papers, you name it...  The older ones took me serious and their room was a breeze, even the black hole of the closet.  The bedroom, that was the hardest for hubby, to let go of things that he'd held on to, collected dust bunny families, etc.  But he let go.  My own stash of things had a quick sort, and many of my own things made it to the trash or shed.  And the back storage closet. 

We took out a truck load of junk in trashbags, as well as 3 barrels of 55 gallons each, 2x.  It was a smaller scale version of the "Hoarders" show on cable.  The storage shed gained a lot of things. 

And I got my house back.

Things are in order now.  I can see my floors.  I can even keep them clean!  Now each night I mop the floors with linoleum on them.  Each day or every other day the entire house is vaccuumed.  Dusting is very regular, and it's a game.  You can try this one too:  grab the kids, give them a dust rag with your favorite cleaner, and set them out on a journey to wipe out dust bunnies.  The boys are professional dust bunny killers.  For us, Old English is dust bunny kryptonite.  It totally works on our pocket doors and in the grooves that the little dusty families moved into.  They learned how to use the big duster, that looks like a fluffy Persian tail on a pole, and go to the ceiling with it.  They've started taking pride in a clean home, and are willing to help keep it up.  Hubby loves the cleanliness and helps as well. 

And it's much much more relaxed in the house.  The whole atmosphere changed.  I'm not depressed and ashamed of my house.  Wanna visit?  You don't have to schedule 3 months in advance, just stop on by. 

Why am I admitting to all this?  I know there's others out there like me, who have been overwhelmed by things in life and let the basics go.  Life gets overwhelming, and then add in clutter and the rabid dustbunnies, and it gets downright depressing.  You look around, wondering where to start, and give up. 

I'm finding that a loose schedule for cleaning is great.  I downloaded the one from Time Warp Wife, and it works well for our family.  It may be something you may be interested in too!

If you're in the cluttered house can come out of it.  Start somewhere and work through it.  Or do a major declutter/clean and make a very short deadline--that works unbelievably well.  You can do it! 

Call upon the Lord to help you--He is there, He knows how you feel.  You're called to be a homemaker and keeper of the home--be encouraged that there is help and others out there who have been there in the dust bunny depression!  You CAN do it!

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