I struck gold this week. Sort of.
While attempting to organize my closet and bedroom (and hopefully my brain), I found five pairs of pants, some with tags still on them. Nice. Even better, a couple were a size smaller and they now magically fit.
It’s funny how clearing out and organizing the stuff around you helps you organize your brain, no? I feel like this past year I was just surviving. When it came to Lil Man, everything was organized (at least most of the time). My diaper bag had every necessity and then some, continually stocked and ready for use. Same for my pumping bag, for the short time I used it. Even though my car looked like I was living out of it and still does, everything in there has a purpose and a place. I have an extra blanket for the baby, the clip-on high chair for restaurants, and the shopping cart cover folded up (because if I don’t use it, Lil Man will find the safety strap on the cart and suck on it, which makes me gag, and although I don’t think I’m a germophobe, the thought of him sucking on the fabric strap on a shopping cart kills me) with wipes and an extra diaper and a burp cloth in the storage pouch. The stroller is precisely placed in the back, with a padded changing pad folded up on the side. Everything he could ever need is in the car, at my fingertips.
But the rest of my life is a mess. My office at work is buried under piles of paper that somehow need to be filed away, yet how to do it totally escapes me. I have a small stash of reusable grocery bags that never find their way to my car when I go grocery shopping, which results in tons of plastic bags that I keep meaning to take to be recycled. The top of my dresser, which used to be a place that just held my jewelry box and a candle or two has become my closet. Clothes come out of the dryer and I lay them up there, waiting for some time to hang them up, but the time never comes. Instead, I run out of clothes and the cycle starts all over again. My closet just had odds and ends. I barely walk into it anymore, other than to throw clothes into the hamper.
Despite all this, I want to say that I am far away from being the next feature on Hoarders. I have very little ‘stuff’ hanging around. I was always too busy having fun to take pictures, so I don’t have boxes and boxes of snapshots like other people seem to have. So all I have is a bag full of sorority social T-shirts that will someday become a quilt (hoarder alert, I know), some craft supplies in a corner of the guest room closet, and my water polo ball (just to prove that I actually did get 8 varsity letters in high school – 4 in swimming and 4 in water polo). As far as childhood toys, and other mementos from my youth, they’re all at my mom’s house, and other than my Girl Scout badges, my varsity jacket and my Peaches and Cream Barbie, I don’t really want any of it.
The problem is that I can’t seem to find time to keep everything together. Things just pile up until it’s so overwhelming that I don’t even know where to begin. If it weren’t for my amazing husband, who is just wired to have to have order and clarity (he can’t make a sandwich unless everything in the kitchen is perfectly clean and put away), I don’t know what would have come of me. He is so patient with me. Helping me hang the mountain of laundry, encouraging me to get rid of clothes and keeping me on track when I want to quit and go to sleep. Because sleep is so precious to me right now, that I’d rather have a mountain of laundry on my dresser than give up half an hour of sleep.
But as much as I hate to bump sleep further down my priority list, it’s going to have to happen. Keeping my home organized and doing more than the required cleaning is just not going to cut it any longer. Besides, that’s not the example I want to set for my son. That’s not the type of person I want to be for him.
I think having uncluttered surroundings leads to an uncluttered mind, and I think I proved it yesterday. I had to go in to work today even though the office is closed for the week. I don’t know how or why, but I was so on top of things. I got ahead on some design work, and while I had a printing project going, I walked across the street to the tailor shop to have the treasure trove of pants hemmed. I managed to squeeze in some errands after my work was done and before my doctor’s appointment this afternoon. I came home and enjoyed my little boy and managed to get everyone (the in-laws plus some are visiting this week) out the door to dinner before it was too incredibly late. And when Lil Man started getting fussy, I swiftly pulled him outside to play instead of getting overwhelmed with the situation.
So it felt good to swallow my pride a bit and ask my hubby for some help with the mountain of laundry, which led to mini closet reorg, which led to an efficient, less-stress day.