Saturday, May 9, 2009

An Ounce Of Prevention...Spring Cleaning

I had a revelation a few days ago, as I was scrambling to reorganize the disaster zone that was my living room. Toys littered the floor, kids' clothing piled up on chairs, blankets hung from playthings or sat in little heaps in corners. Books, papers, and other random objects were strewn across the room by my enterprising toddler. The chaos was overwhelming, and I thought, how can one small child create such bedlam in one afternoon?

It seems that this has been a daily (and worsening) occurrence for the last few weeks, and slowly more items have been finding their way into the mess. I started seriously considering calling a maid service and using my grocery money to pay for domestic help to help overcome the madness. It took me two hours to finish sorting, folding, organizing and putting away everything in its proper place. We have too much stuff!

That observation got me thinking, maybe I can outsmart the mess by getting rid of some stuff. Turns out, more than half the clutter was things that didn't belong in the living room at all. In fact some it was totally unnecessary for any reason. So now I am in full-on spring cleaning mode. There are probably hundreds of things in our house that we don't use, can't use, rarely use... some of which are garbage, and some of which are yardsale material. Even a few things that are casually giftable.

The amazing thing is, having removed everything from the living room that didn't belong there, the biggest mess my toddler has managed to muster up has been a no more than 3-5 minute tidy-up. The old saying, "A place for everything and everything in its place," sure does work. Can you guess what my next project is? I need to do the same for all the other rooms in this great big house - sort, trash, and de-clutter. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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