Thursday, September 16, 2010


Someone asked me once when I knew that I was becoming an adult.  Well, there are a lot of times.  

How about that 2nd grade field trip to McDonalds?  The one where I was playing on the playground with the rest of my class.  The manager told my mom that I had to get out because I was over the maximum height.  

Then there was the time were the times that I wasn't allowed to eat off the 12 and under kids menu.  This happened frequently when I was 8-10 years old.  By 11, I NEEDED the adult portions. 
All those made me feel like a freakishly big kid or a small adult (which is worse), but nothing has made me feel more like an adult than signing 4,873 documents to buy our home.  Then comes the cleaning.  Kids make messes.  Adults clean, and I clean a lot sometimes.
For the most part, I enjoy cleaning.  Not all types of cleaning though.  Not the sponge, mop, bucket,  and bleach kind.  I like organize, put things away, and purge kind.
I have even been asked how I keep things "so clean."  Well, I don't.  I can't remember the last time that I mopped and I don't even know where my Pledge is...or if I even have any.
Instead of actually cleaning, I organize and tidy and constantly find a home for things.  I try to be thoughtful about why and where I put things (method to the madness) instead of stashing  and piling.

I'm so in love with organization that I'm going to make a big fat nerdy list of things that I do to make my house look clean without actually cleaning it.  Maybe I can be on Oprah like Peter Walsh.

1.  Find a home for everything.  This is the most important thing!  Bills, mail, travel size toiletries, magazines, hand towels, gift wrap, spices, and other random items end up getting stashed any odd place.  That became a problem for me.  One day I decided that I wasn't cleaning, I was just moving my clutter to a better hiding place.  Once everything had a home, it became easier to pick up.  And...if I don't have room for something, then should I really have it? {Insert meaningful thought about obtaining too much stuff.}
2.  Keep things off the floor.  I am really bad about throwing my clothes down in my bathroom (which sometimes means the floor).  If I must throw them down, and sometimes I must, I try and go for the chair.  It gets the clothes off the floor (sloppy) and somehow makes the floor look bigger and nicer and neater.  Eventually I have to put them away...the chair can only hold so much weight before it tips over.  Been there.  Done that.
3.  Get rid of piles.  Piles of stuff just aren't cute.  There I said it.  Not even if I throw a Pottery Barn catalog on top of them.  At one point, there was a pile of something in each and every room.  Sometimes more than one.  It was U-G-L-Y.  I don't want to be on Hoarders, so I got/get rid of the piles.  For example, I keep a pile of stuff on the printer of things that need to be filed away.  It's always there.  I hate it.  It is looking at me right now.  Fine.  I'll file you away, pile!!!  Then, I'll feel relieved and happy and stress free and the room will look fancy.  See, it's that easy.
4. Use bigger stuff. My super cool aunt is a really awesome decorator.  She was in my house one day and mentioned "scale."  Like...knowing the scale of my room and accessories.  For some reason, that has stuck with me.  Scale.  Like, don't hang an 8x10 picture above a full size  couch.  I try to think of scale when I decorate.  Instead of 93 4x6 frames lying around my house, what if I used a few 8x10s that were matted?  I've done this once and it worked out for me.  What if instead of 2,655 little nicknacks on my coffee table, I just had one or two big chunky ones?  Check...that worked out too.  Instead of a bunch of free furniture I hoarded, what if I tried to use less pieces, but they were bigger?  Working on that...
5. Talk to people or read things that are inspirational. When I started reading decorating magazines, that got me motivated to keep things in order.  Looking at all those cute homes, I found one thing in common: no clutter.

I found a cool post by Emily who has four kids, runs a little business from home, and has a cool blog.  She made a list of things that she does that help her stay sane.  Below is a picture of her home cute!
Then, I read about how the Nester has become inspired by all the Hoarder shows.  She's making some changes about the way she collects things and how she decorates.  Below is a picture of her main living space.  She has three boys and a white sofa.  In her main living space.  With three boys.  And a white sofa.  Which makes me me feel just fine about my white sofa.  

Now, how's that for rambling???  To be honest, I have more.  Like Peter Walsh's 3 types of clutter...more on that, later!

First four pics from here.

1 comment:

  1. and I must be twins. I am all about "organizing" and not so much "mopping." I think I am in the process of finding a home for everything. Oh...and I am all about piles. My husband loves them and I HATE them.

    Thank you so much for the advice. {Came over from the Nester's party.}



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