1+3+6+2.5+2.5= major, major success

talley_sue_nycSeptember 18, 2007

1 closet

3 days

6 bags to the trash (tall-kitchen garbage bag size, dont get TOO excited)

2.5 bags to paper recycling

2.5 bags to give away

We have this very large closet--it must be 14 feet long, but itÂs narrow. ThereÂs a door in the middle of one long wall.

On the right itÂs wider, and has a small dresser on the long wall, a ledge opposite, and a short set of shelves in a niche on the end. On the original floor plans, this section is labeled "dressing room." DD (age 13) uses it as a dressing room, since she shares the bedroom w/ DS.

ThereÂs a little chair in that end. And the floor of half that area was--IÂm not kidding, honest IÂm not--calf deep in detritus. Papers, books, clothes, socks, candy wrappers, crafts from campÂ..IÂm the one who threw it out, and I donÂt even remember what it was.

The other end of the closet is longer, and skinnier. Not the most efficient shape, but there you are. ThereÂs a set of shelves across the deep end, and stuff was sitting on the floor in front of those shelves. This was mostly grownup type stuff (wrapping paper & bows; cat carrier), but several boxes of toys. And it wasnÂt quite so trashed, but not good.

For months IÂve been walking in there w/ my hands up beside my eyes like blinkers on a horse: "DonÂt look, you donÂt have time to deal with it anyway."

And the kids room itself has gotten really bad as well.

We hit a slow patch at work, so I took 2 vacation days and tackled the closet. I spent 3 days in all, once you add in a chunk of time on Friday evening, on Saturday, and even some touch-up on Sunday.

I started on Wed. in the kids room, since thatÂs where DSÂs stuff is, and he gets out early on Wed. I wanted to be done throwing stuff out before he got home. From 9am to 12:30, I worked nonstop, at a nearly frantic pace, tossing stuff out, moving it from one shelf to the other, digging it out from under the bed, etc. Stuff to keep got moved to the LR, other stuff was just thrown out. When DH left to pick him up at school, I had bundled 1 very full garbage bag downstairs.

Then, I ate a fast lunch (20 mins) and started on the closet, since DD was due at 4:30.

Every now and then IÂd realize that IÂd been moving at a nearly frantic pace--I never really dawdled, and a lot of times, I flat out rushed. By 4:15, IÂd tossed 2 more bags, sent 1.5 to paper recycling, and had about 2 bags ready for giveaway.

When DD came home, I wasnÂt done. She did homework in the LR, and every now and then came through the bedroom. SheÂd start to drift over to the closet, and the trash can outside it, and IÂd say (very peremptorily), "out, out, go in the other room."


I was amazed. She wants to save EVERYTHING (even pretty candy wrappers), and sheÂs a big control freak. I think she was overwhelmed by the mess, and couldnÂt function in her dressing room, but knew she wouldnÂt be able to tackle it.

And later she came to me w/ a line from the book she was reading that she said could apply to her closet. Some character finds himself w/ more time, and he says, "What will I do with this unexpected space in my schedule? Maybe I should take up my long-awaited career in sculpting." She was really tickled--and I hadnÂt even started putting stuff back in or reorganizing!

Everything we were keeping was piled on the LR floor. DH said, "the closet looks great, but the living room is trashed!"

I worked until supper on getting rid of stuff from her part of the closet, and after supper I tackled decluttering on the other end.

Basically, I worked from 9am to 9pm, w/ short breaks for meals.

On Thursday, DD was off from school, so we started strategizing about putting stuff back in. IÂm going to put some of our specific triumphs & strategies in another post, bcs they might be more helpful there. (and this is getting long)

We started at 8:30 am. We did a lot of rethinking and reorganizing. One box, I must have put in six different places before I finally ended up w/ it where it is now, LOL! We talked about what new crafts and toys does she want to have in prime spots, etc.

Again I barely stopped to eat or to put the kids to bed. DD went to a sleepover at grandmaÂs, so it was only DS. The minute he was asleep, I went back to work, sneaking past his bed to put stuff back on the shelves.

I finished at 2:30 a.m. But on Friday evening, and on some of Saturday, I did even more work in there--though I tackled the godawful mess IÂd created in my bedroom, too.

By Monday, I felt as if I'd done nothing but work, physically work, for days.

And, well, I had.

But the results are great. It's too bad I'm lame enough to let it get to the point where that much effort was needed just to get back to some kind of baseline. I spent more than an entire day just getting rid of stuff.

But now it's gone!

I'm going to take pictures; the digital camera died, so it might take me a day or three to get them online. And it's hard to take pics there bcs it's so long and skinny.

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Wow, talley sue! You were a woman with a mission. Good for you. You must feel great. Congrats! I look forward to seeing the photos.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 12:05AM
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Great job Talley Sue!! Must feel great! I look forward to seeing the photos too.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 3:41AM
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Woot. You go girl! Just hink how good you will feel when you can walk into the closet and feel calm instead of anxiety.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 6:36AM
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How rewarding that must be! Personally, successes like that, they give such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment that I could kick myself for not tackling them more often.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 8:42AM
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That's excellent, Talley Sue! If I had a closet, I'd be inspired by your experience to do the same. :-)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:28AM
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OMG, did I write this: like blinkers on a horse????

BLINDERS on a horse.

My excuse: I typed this out 3 times--I kept losing it (deleted it from the pasteboard bcs I didn't know how the buttons work; kicked the power strip and turned the machine off).

It's a typo; same finger, different hand.

Thanks, all!

There's still more that can come out; one of those boxes has out-of-season clothes in it for DD, and I know that not a one of them will fit her. But I put my blinDers back on, and put it on the shelf.

I can only tackle so much at a time, and I had a deadline. i think I may get to those clothes before month's end.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:25AM
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Excellent job!!

Can't wait to see pics -- must be a wonderful sight to go past that part of your home and think "Thats DONE!!!" LOL!

Take a martini and Godiva chocolates out of pretty cash! :)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 1:26PM
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