Thursday, June 17, 2010

clean sweep

I'm a purger. My soul sings when I declutter a room or have bags upon bags to bring to Goodwill. I regularly go through the kids' toys, clothes and artwork sorting into toss, donate or save piles. At least three or four times a year I go through my own clothes as well. I even secretly sift through Joe's collection of clothing and shoes. The man holds on to everything. Seriously. He had shoes in his closet from the seventies. Pointy, white, woven loafer like shoes that I can't imagine were ever in style and I still had to argue with him to get him to part with them. His default line is "I can wear that for working around the yard." Umm, no, you won't, just let them go. So I'm forced to toss items as they come through the wash; t-shirts with holes so big I could fit my head through, boots whose soles have come apart from the actual boot, jeans covered in paint or grease. This time of year, when I change out the clothing from winter wear to summer, I always end up with oodles of stuff to donate.

But I have been swamped with sports, school and work and I haven't managed to swap out the clothes yet. I'm pulling things from boxes stored under the beds every morning and the laundry is folded and stuffed back under the beds. We have construction going on too(OH! by the way...we've got four walls, a shingled roof and even a skylight!!!). The result of all this are toys, books, clothing, craft materials and shoes are piled everywhere.

And it's making me very very anxious. I like a well ordered world. I can handle the crisises of the day so much better when my counters are not hidden under piles of papers and sports equipment, laundry, boxes of books and art supplies aren't spilling out of every corner. I tell myself I'll get to it later, tonight, this weekend. And when that doesn't happen my anxiety grows. Have you ever seen that show "Hoarders"? I can only watch for a short time because my stress levels rise just from looking at the mountains of stuff those people have. My clutter may not classify me as a hoarder but, right now, I'm feeling the stress of all this clutter. I get distracted easily. This morning I went over to the art supplies to pull out paint and ten minutes later I'm still sitting on the floor trying to sort through the receipts I found stuffed in one of the desk cubbies. I don't have time to be sorting receipts. I need to be making breakfasts, lunches and brushing hair and getting the morning going. But I can't seem to focus my brain on what HAS to be done because there is just so much that needs doing.

I have Goodwill coming on Saturday morning which will force me to get started on some of this. The rest may have to wait until summer starts and I have just my kids, who I can leave to fend for themselves, before I can really find the time to sit and sort, organize and clean. Once that is all done, I will be able to enjoy the summer. Which I am really really really looking forward to. Unlimited time (or so it seems at the outset of summer, doesn't it?) to spend with three of my favorite people in the entire world. I just need to get through all the clutter to get there.

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