Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Taming the Chaos

'Tis the season for resolutions, promises to change, and excitement for a whole new year. But, as we all know, very few resolutions are actually carried forward much longer than a month or two. Changing habits is a rough road. I can readily admit I've been a resolution failure at many times in my life.

Last year we had some major changes in our lives. We closed our retail store in November. The economy has been so bad for the past few years that the bottom line at the end of the year was just not enough to warrant me sitting in a shop away from home. We opted to close the brick and mortar location and go rogue -- online sales.   Just before the holidays, I found my house completely filled with boxes. Everything that was in the shop from the bathroom soap dispenser to Marvel Comic hero bobbleheads was boxed up and moved to my house. Stacked everywhere. Floor to ceiling.

My house looked like a really bad episode of Hoarders. Paths between boxes.....papers everywhere.

Our house was not neat and tidy to begin with. We are creative, flighty people.....we don't put things away when we are done with them, and any open table space is often fleeting as stuff gets stacked there immediately. We are too busy (read as Lazy) to clean up after ourselves. Which means, the house was cluttered and disorganized to begin with.

So from the first week of November to just before Thanksgiving, I was rushing to unpack and sort boxes. I had to be finished by the holidays because my son would be coming home to visit from USNA. So I unpacked, sorted, threw stuff away, and donated a ton of stuff to charity. Shelves were installed in my bedroom (joy of joys) so all around my bed are shelves crammed with shop stock, empty packing boxes, etc.  I feel like I sleep in a warehouse. :)

I made things work for the holidays by stowing items out of sight (mostly in my room and in my husbands game room) until after Christmas.

But, now is the time of reckoning. I have to get my ebay shop back up and running ..... it's been on vacation hold since the shop closed. And, now that I am here all the time, I can't stand the clutter and disorganization around here. It's driving me NUTS!!

So, I joined a 52 week Home Organization Challenge. Even before January came around, I was working on it. I went through my kitchen cabinets and donated a bunch of items that were just filling up my cabinet space. I didn't need 6 cookie sheets, 4 casserole dishes, etc. I went through my plastic storage containers and threw out all of the ones that didn't have lids or that had some other defect. I donated my old set of pans, my extra coffee maker, etc. And I pared down our glassware. 3 people live in this house. We do not need 16 coffee mugs, especially since I am the only one in the house that drinks coffee or hot tea. We don't need 20 cups either.  I got rid of the ugly ones, the non-favorites and all the non-essential. My 20 year old ugly muffin tins are now happily baking cupcakes in someone else's home.

I also went through our clothing. I pulled all of my son's clothes out into the dining room. If it was too small or something he didn't want to wear, it was donated to charity. I went through my closet as well......everything I wasn't absolutely in love with went into a donation box. My husband put some things in the donation box too. And I called the Hospice Thriftshop.....they came with a truck 3 times to pick up stuff. Odds and ends of furniture, appliances, clothing, craft supplies.......all stuff I had in my house that we weren't going to use. I had to remove all of that stuff to make room for the entire shop to come home.

So.....my house was neat as a pin for......4 days.   Then......BOXES. 8 foot tall stacks of boxes. Everywhere. The shelving units from the store were assembled.....and product was put away.   Everywhere.

My livingroom contains 3 bookcases of Manga books tucked in amid our movie collection and my built-in bookcases.   My former linen closet is now a repository for empty shipping boxes. And I moved our DVDs from one spot to another so I could tuck away boxes of models that will be listed on ebay. Not to mention my new warehouse decor in my bedroom.

The holidays are over. The Christmas tree has been taken down. I am packing and sealing the boxes of ornaments, stockings, and all things ho-ho-ho to go out to the shed til next time.

My efforts to regain control of my house need to go into Phase 2 now.

I'm reading the weekly directives from my 52 week home organization challenge. And I'm going back to work -- while Josh is working on homeschool lessons, I am going to be getting my ebay business back up and functional. And I'm going to be going through the last of the boxes. There will be one more charity pick up, and a lot more re-organization of all the stuff that is now in my home. This is my job for the next year or two......so I have to get busy and do my job.

When we had the shop, the house was neglected. I was never here, except to sleep at night. Things are different now. We had a Christmas tree in our house for the first time in 4 years....it was WONDERFUL!!! Did it make a mess?? Yep! Did we care? Nope! :)

This will be a lot of work. But there are a lot of benefits. I have time to spend with family now. I have time to spend on things that are important to me. I have time to spend on crafts and sewing. I have time to write letters. I have time to be ME. Over the years we had the shop, I really lost track of me amid all the things I had to be responsible for. Now among all the responsibilities, there is a bit of time for me to be a person.

I've started a blog.....and after years away from blogging, I found I can't even remember basic HTML code. I did find a neat organizational challenge for bloggers today....check it out here.  I'm making some goals in that direction for this year. I love to read.....I have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my livingroom that are filled to capacity. And I love to write. I made my living writing for 10+ years. Now I'm re-routing that talent into working on a novel. So, why not organize my reading & writing blog and really start moving towards being more active in those pursuits. Make my book more of a priority and not just something I work on when the whim strikes me. Writing is the one god-given talent I have......I need to use it.
So, 2015 is a year in transition for me. My life has changed, my work is changing, my attitudes are changing. Whiz.Bang.Boom. Gradual change is for sissies. I like to live dangerously and have everything fall in my lap with little warning. ha ha! :) I'm going to spend 2015 transitioning my son to return to public school, or at least get involved in homeschool co-op classes. I'm working to transition my business/job into an online venture. And I'm going to spend more time writing and establish an online presence as a writer/reviewer.

Moving forward!!! And reining in the chaos to something I can handle! :) Woot!!


1 comment:

  1. God had given you MANY more talents than writing! You are also a great mother and friend! You are compassionate and supportive - and those are talents as well! Use them all, and use them well - and God will give you more! HUGS!