It’s been one week.

Since you looked at me. Dropped your arms to the side and said I’m sorry. Five days since I laughed at you, and said “you just did just what I thought that you were gonna do.”

Sorry you guys, I got lost in the lyrical genius of the most celebrated Canadian alt-rock band of the 90s.

TV Trope: Serious Business Annie: Intervention? Intervention? Intervention?Jeff: Count me out.Shirley: We can’t count you out, he listens to you.Jeff: Well he also listens to The Barenaked Ladies, go get their dumb asses to help you. [Everyone gasps in shock].Troy: OK Jeff, you are clearly in a bad space today, but Pierce is our friend and The Barenaked Ladies are triple platinum, are you?!Jeff: Why does everyone leap to defend that band so aggressively? And how much stuff do we have to go through this year before my friendship stops being questioned?Annie: Well maybe friendship is going through a lot of stuff, Jeff. And maybe BNL have two Billboard Awards to your zero.Jeff: Oh, OK, they’re BNL now? We need a shorthand for The Barenaked Ladies? That’s how fundamental they are. You know what Pierce probably needs more than anything? Some space. Maybe I do too.Britta: You know what, maybe we all need some space to pull the knife out of the back of the most celebrated Canadian alt-rock band of the 90s you selfish, jaded ass!Jeff: This is a fight! We are fighting! (2.15 Early 21st Century Romanticism)

The Barenaked Ladies are triple platinum, ARE YOU?

Annnnnnnnyways. What I’m trying to get at is the fact that it’s been a week since I cocked my head to the side and said I’m angry started trying to get my shit together. And thanks to some time spent doing some very exciting searches (I’m not even kidding, searching Pinterest for “organization” is really really really enjoyable), I found myself a plan that has started to bring about some positive changes. As much as I hate being told what to do, I REALLY  need somebody to tell me what to do. Enter A Bowl Full of Lemons. (the lemon thing is pure coincidence, but reminds me that I should do a little “behind the name” here sometime soon.)

So. In an effort to do something with a lasting effect, last week I started the “31-day Purge“. I’ve already got some semi-decent organization in some places, but many of my issues boil down to the fact that I’ve got too much stuff. A-DUH. The 31-day purge (which originally ran on that blog last fall) breaks it down into a task a day. Some days have bigger tasks than others (for example, there’s not a chance in hell I’d be able to go through all our toys in one day) but one week in, I am really finding this to be a helpful exercise. Allow me to recap what I’ve accomplished so far-

Day 1: The Pantry.


I combined some things, neatly stacked others, and threw out the rest. Let’s face it- we were never going to eat those 4-year-old cups o’soup. There is a bit more I want to do with this space, but this exercise is mostly about purging. On to the next.

Day 2:  Magazines.

My magazines were neat. They were neatly tucked into magazine holders, neatly sitting the bottom shelf of my bookcase, neatly bothering nobody. Buuuuut I guess I didn’t really need to have years upon years worth of old Professional Photographer and Runner’s World magazines. And if the magazines get tossed, I still have all those holders that I can now fill with other somethings. Like printer paper. And photographs. And such. So out they went.


I listed the photography magazines on a local swap page, and on Sunday an aspiring photographer came by and took them and their information and their outdated gear reviews all away. I am still trying to be okay with it. Just because I got rid of all my Professional Photographer magazines does NOT mean that I will never be a professional photographer and I KNOW this, but it’s still a hard thing for me.

Day 3: Dresser Drawers.

Clothing is a real problem around here. Just the thought of going through dresser drawers was enough to stop me in my tracks. I procrastinated even doing this one, just thought about it all day Friday and didn’t actually DO anything. Then on Saturday morning I woke up, realized that pretty much everything I actually wear (and consequently ends up as clean laundry) was neatly folded in two stacks on the chair next to my bed. SO what was the dresser full of? Clothes that I don’t wear. Nothing to fear. I quickly blew through the drawers, completely ignoring the piles on the top of the dresser, ignoring the mess of the closet, just focusing on the one small task of ridding myself of items in the dresser drawers. I did it before coffee. I did it with the baby in one hand. It took me less than ten minutes.


If/when I do get back down to an extra small, I’m fairly certain Old Navy will still be making t-shirts. And in the meantime I won’t feel like shit every single time I go to get dressed.

Day 4: Toys.

Okay, first up- this is WAAAAAAAY too big a job for just one day. I could probably break this one task down into 31 tasks. But I’ve started thinking about it, which is a first step. And today I put away a big bag of toys that’s been sitting at the top of the stairs for weeks. So that was something.


Day 5: Cleaners.

A nice quick and easy one. I have no emotional attachment to cleaning supplies, and was able to get rid of like 5 spray bottles with one spray of cleaner left in the bottom. Also, some truly random under-the-sink finds.


Day 6: Makeup.

Another straightfoward one. I wear makeup rarely, not because I’m anti-makeup but because ain’t nobody got time for that, and when I do it’s simple simple simple. However, in cleaning out the bins under the sink I found that somehow I owned like 6 different things of mascara? In three different colors? How? Why? Pitched.


Day 7: Shoes.

I actually went through and got rid of a whole mess of shoes a couple months back, so my 3 under-the-bed storage bins had already recently been whittled down to 2. I went ahead and tossed my old sneakers, and then brought all my summer sandals/flats/chucks up from the back hall closet. Why are they down there taking up all the space? Now they’re tucked neatly into that third bin. This is the tundra. All I wear is my winter boots, anyway.


And, that’s week one, completed.

People. I am aware that none of this is like, rocket science, but I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. Not only have these seven spaces improved, but it’s caused this mental shift, and instead of just making lists and drinking coffee, I’m actually accomplishing things. Not gonna lie, it feels amazing.

Bring on week 2.




chickety china, the chinese chicken…