Nearly every January, I get motivated to declutter and clean up. Last year I was seven hours away from home for most of January and then had a newborn when I got home, so the annual work was postponed, and then never really done. I came home to a clean house thanks to my mother-in-law putting in loads of work while we were away. It was a huge blessing, but of course, she wasn’t getting rid of my stuff, so it was all still there, just organized.
I signed up for a two week declutter challenge starting on the first and did well sticking to the schedule for the first few days but then we went away for the weekend and I was behind when I got home. I did my best to catch up and focus on the areas targeted but it’s far from done. A few days ago, I tackled my *incredibly* messy kitchen. Like, no joke, cluttered, dirty, etc. Not pretty. It felt amazing to get that done as I had done my bathroom completely before our weekend away and my boys cleaned the entire basement last week. One thing at a time, right?
Part of this process is of course getting rid of things. I like what I’ve heard about making certain you’re not keeping things that only fit the ideal version of yourself in your head. Honestly, the hardest aspect of this for me is craft things. I LOVE to create. I poured myself into a busy board project in December as a Christmas gift for my youngest boys and it was so much fun. I have great storage for craft supplies which actually means that I probably keep more than I should. For now, I’m focusing on the more public areas of my house but eventually I know I’ll have to weed through all of it and get rid of things that really only suit the me that has loads of spare time to work on crafts.
As my house improves a little bit at a time, I imagine things that could be different in my home, that would make organization and storage easier. And I dream about building a house and all the things I would do differently there. They aren’t always practical dreams but it’s hard to shut them down in favour of more realistic ideas. At the moment, I know my goals need to be focused on this house and getting rid of things so that eventually, we can fix all the broken things (there are many) and sell it and move on.
I remember when we were in this position with our little house (2 bed, 1 bath, 768 sq feet and FIVE kids). We packed things away that didn’t fit but we wanted when we moved, decluttered, organized, fixed things and made it pretty. And then we sold it rather quickly. The issues in this house are so much bigger than they were at the little house and will cost us far more to fix. It is possible that the process will take us years longer than it did there, but we have acknowledged that without a major renovation and possibly adding on, this house will not suit us long term. When we moved in, we didn’t see it as temporary, but the small things we didn’t like when we first bought it have been magnified and are now fairly major issues as we’ve added three kids since then and the oldest ones are taking up a lot more space as they grow.
For now, the goal is decluttering and cleaning. Next it will be fixing things while maintaining the organization we plan to put in place. Eventually I know we will be able to dream about another house without it being a distant and unrealistic dream.