Organize All the Things!

It’s mid-January. Which means a few things. One, I definitely have not yet taken down any Christmas decorations, and as the days go by, that is becoming less and less socially acceptable. I do have a big pile of christmassy decor started on top of the dog crate in the living room; as things fall down or get found in random places (why is this baby Jesus under the kitchen table? How many jingle bells do we own, exactly? Where is the Rudolph this nose belongs to?) I have begun to place them in this designated dumping ground rather than re-decorate with them. So that’s progress.

Another thing January brings is the stark realization that it’s going to be winter for A THOUSAND MORE YEARS (even though this week is supposed to be weirdly warm and kind of a nice break from the polar vortex norm) and I may as well settle in and get some projects going, cause spring is still a long time off.

So of course I hop on to Pinterest and start drooling over lovely offices and home photo studios and hardwood floors. And then the other night I took a step back into reality and realized I was sitting and pinning in a room that looked a bit like this-


Now, these pictures are actually kinda old, because I am terrible with remembering to do true before photos. I tend to get an idea and run with it and then 17 episodes of Leverage later I’m all “Damn, wish I had a nice before pic to compare this to.” So anyways, these shots are from January of last year, which coincidentally, is probably the last time I did a real good tidy job in here. I’ve since moved my desk so that it’s against the far wall, opposite Nate’s. We had to fit an air mattress in here back in the summertime.

Those boxes of clothes had been moved, but they’d just been replaced by the next size/season that the kids outgrew. When I did my clean-up the other day, I was putting away clothes ranging from 3-6months all the way up through size 4 summer clothes. So- a shit ton of clothes. Spent a whole night just sorting those, and then the next day I got them all down to the basement and was able to have room to start in on the things that actually belong in this room.

After 3 nights of organizing (and yes, purging), I ended up with this-


Now I’ve got a nice clean slate to work from, and I can start on fun things like choosing a paint color (I’m thinking a nice neutral gray. Because the other two rooms on this floor are gray so why not go with it. I so wish I could do something bright but my bright paint privileges were sort of revoked after the great port-a-potty-aqua bathroom disaster of ’09. Note to self: When the inspiration photo you find is of a large bathroom filled with light and windows and white tile with aqua accents, painting your windowless townhouse half bath aqua is NOT close enough. It WILL just look like you installed a teal port-a-john inside your house. And it will make your pregnant self bust out in tears. Also, paint samplers are your friend.)  and BUYING ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS FOR THE CLOSET. Seriously, you guys. I’m so excited. It’s going to be great. We’re going to put up several more shelves, and I’m gonna get baskets and boxes….oh man. I’m going to have a container devoted just to mini-USB cords. It’s kind of sick how many we have.

And speaking of how many we have. It’s been acknowledged that I have a problem. To be specific, I have a problem with boxes. I cleared out that closet, and I am not exaggerating when I say that the majority of what was taking up space was boxes. Empty boxes. I just cannot throw away my good boxes. Some of them had handles! And tabs to fold them closed! Sturdy cardboard! Last weekend Nate and I were cleaning out the basement (that’s a whole ‘nother post, but it too is going to be flipping sweet once we’re done) and I finally agreed to let go of my box of good boxes that I had down there. It was huge. My apologies to the garbage man, this week’s recycling is going to be bulky and boxy but lightweight because they’re all empty.


Some of these boxes I’ve been carting around since before I knew Nate. No joke. Look at those. Clogs from Payless? Ugh, I def bought those in high school. Also in that bag are “Learning Journey” manuals for becoming both a barista and a shift manager at Starbucks. Good thing I’ve hung onto those for over 8 years, they’ve really been a crucial part of my life. The amount of times I have to refer to those puppies, whew. I tell you, I’m not sure how I’d ever have known how to properly clean my kitchen if I hadn’t learned the basics of a lobby slide while on my learning journey.

But I’m growing up, you guys. Nate’s stopped secretly submitting my application to be on Hoarders. I have let go of all most of my boxes.

Really, I mean- the ones from my running shoes are so nice, and would be perfect to store all the millions of race bibs I have saved up. And what if somebody wants to make a diorama? I can’t get rid of ALL the boxes.

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