imagine snapshots of your home interiors

jcs7March 17, 2006

One way I get in the mood to notice and actually edit my clutter is to imagine what photographs of my rooms throughout our house would reveal. I just browse through the Apartment Therapy website's 'house tours' and notice the junk that appear in slides (or for some of those minimalists - the lack of junk!) that we as homeowners get so used to seeing that it virtually disappears from our vision.

I first noticed this vision shift when I cleaned up my last house for sale and thought to get photos for my own albums. - My house looked so good! One would never even had guessed I had 3 kids under three until they reached 2nd floor bedrooms and attic playroom.

I'm not saying to get rid of evidence of life and joy and reality. I'm talking straightening framed art on the wall (or finally hanging it up), finding storage sites for the vases/candle holders/magazines/baggie of poker chips that seem to collect in the corner of the room, straightening the books and knick-knacks on the shelves, putting the stuff I keep on the counters that I don't use everyday back in a cupboard, passing on or recycling the notepads with some pharmaceutical propaganda on it and actually using the Paris one that is so pretty I keep it in a drawer, restacking the board games so that Monopoly is not teetering on top of the Yahtzee box, straightening the boots (maybe for the last time this season?!), and so on....

I have a weekend here in my home alone. I would love to have girlfriends over tomorrow night. I know they'll want a tour of the house (we moved in a year and a half ago) so I am trying to keep my adrenline going and FLYing through all three floors (glad I don't have the attic anymore, really.) Making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and seeing 1st floor through my clutter-angle lens.

It helps me.

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Several years ago, when I had a lot of energy and spent every Saturday cleaning house top-to-bottom, my DH got out his video camera and walked all thru the house. Funny how those "piles" that I thought receeded into the bacxkground seemed so big and looming. He opened closet doors and filmed away. Boy, did it look bad. Yes, I had two little kids. But everything just looked so messy. Now they're older and I am tireder (also have health issues), and the piles are bigger than ever. I try to overlook them but I am sure they stick out terribly to visitors. Now I understand Flylady's diagnosis, can't have anyone over syndrome.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 6:03PM
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I've taken a "before" and "after" digital picture of each room while cleaning/decluttering. It's real motivating! I tend to see so much more in a picture than I do in person.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 1:44AM
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I wish I had before and after pictures of the basement, just because I know how much junk I hauled out of there a couple years ago.

I'm going to think about taking pictures of every room before my next big dejunking. I'm not sure if I would find it motivating, or depressing. LOL

This has been a busy week, so only the basics have been done. It's amazing how fast the clutter accumulates. And why have there been hockey sticks in the living room all week??

Our oldest son is coming home "for the weekend" (which means about 24 hours on the college-kid calendar, because it's Saturday morning and he's not home yet) and hopefully THIS time he'll clean out his closet? He says he doesn't want most of the clothes, so it would be a fast job if I could get him to do it.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 6:15AM
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My home is quite small and photos foreshorten and compress everything, so the slightest clutter is noticeable. I am usually horribly embarrassed by candid snapshots of my "just-cleaned" kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2006 at 2:36PM
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LOL Julie! I am wondering why we've had 1/2 a Costco-sized bag of paper towels sitting in our upstairs hallway for over 2 weeks! Also an empty box. Everyone has walked by these things a million times and no one has done a thing about it. Including me. Oh, I know why. No one knows where to put them.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 2:58AM
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Thanks, I feel better now! It's amazing, during my especially busy weeks, how even *I* can walk by things a million times and not deal with them. My guess is I'm too distracted by the MUST do things. For example, I walk in the door from work, step over the hockey sticks on my way to the kitchen, and hurry to get dinner before stepping back over the hockey sticks to get out the front door to the next event of the evening.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 7:52AM
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I cringe when I look at photos of my home when my first kid was little--her bedroom was the sunroom, w/ french doors, so we taped newspaper over the glass to block the light. It took me forever to get around to making light-blocking curtains to fit it, and all the pictures looked crummy until then.

We were just oblivious to it.

DH is great at putting junky little stuff ont he front edge of the shelf--right now, he's fascinated by the new nickel designs, and he sets them in a stack ont he shelf. I've told him twice not to--the first time, he just moved them to HIS shelves.

I keep saying, 'they look junky, and worse--they're hard to clean around!"

I really want to eliminate all the little things that end up "perched" on the fronts of the shelves in front of the books. It'll be a big battle.

It amazes me too, what sorts of stuff I can just look right past.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 12:11PM
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