Spring Cleaning Part One: Getting Organized
The tulips and daffodils are peeking through the ground, and we survived February! I survived Love Day, my own birthday, and two family birthdays. Survived might be a bit generous; I’m more or less limping out of February toward the bluer skies of March.
For whatever reason, the pressure I associate with those occasions versus the reality of them don’t equate, and I’m taking an introspective step back to look at why.
Spring is the time to clean out and throw away things we have outgrown or just don’t need any longer. After a February that hit me harder than I expected, I’m grabbing the trash bag, bleach, and a toothbrush to clean up, clean out, and throw away whatever just doesn’t fit right these days.
When I started thinking about what sparks my stress sensors, I ended up with a short list of annoyances I could sort into three categories. The first amounts to a lack of organization due to getting busy and taking shortcuts.
Here’s a little secret–I am actually not a neat freak. My kids would call BS on that. In reality, I simply can’t function without a seriously tight organizational structure throughout my life. I have too many responsibilities, things to keep up with, and details to remember to leave those things to chance. When I have five minutes to get my purse and lunch, crate the dog, turn off the lights, lock up, get kids and associated accouterments in the car–and where is my coffee?–that isn’t happening in TEN minutes without a game plan. My trying to get out the door in the morning reality sans organizational strategies looks more like this:
Lights are all off, and I didn’t make lunch last night so I grab a Power Bar, yogurt, an apple, and the entire package of cheese from the fridge and stick it in my purse. At least I won’t starve. I announce to the kids it’s time to go. On the way to the car, one leaves the door open, and the dog makes a run for it. Wearing one heel and grabbing the other, I drop my purse and chase down the dog. After one game of tag with the dog-who-loves-running-more-than-steak, I lure him in his crate and turn off the lights again. Where’s my purse? Locating purse with busted open yogurt, I spend another couple minutes looking for my keys, lick off the yogurt, and head to the car…without coffee, irritated, and late.
Sound familiar? (OK, please say yes because I feel better about this fiasco if I’m not the only one who lives a Calgon commercial every once in a while…)
My answer to avoiding the above-described Third Level of Mom Hell is some proactive organization. While my kids call it oppressive, I call it Not Going Bald Prematurely. My pantry isn’t organized right now, the fridge needs cleaning out, and my desk is a pile of papers. My drawers contain haphazardly folded clean clothes, my closet holds garments on hangers at best, and, for the most part, I powerwalk 2.3 miles all over willing my overtaxed short-term memory to give up the location of _______ (fill in the blank). I just need to organize and clean out. Fix things that are easy fixes, like the shelf in my den barely hanging on the wall and last year’s dead tomato and Brussels sprouts skeletons looking like bad Halloween decor in my garden.
Forget about winter–Spring is coming! Time to let the sunshine in, clean out the cobwebs, and dig the flipflops and swimsuit out of the closet in preparation for some fun. I just have to be able to find them.
When I take time to examine the facts, so many parts of my life are different and for the better! My apple cart overflows, even when I hit a pothole or two. I have zero reason to be feeling gray and heavy-hearted, but I did. This puzzled me, and I want it to be different. That means I have work to do on myself, so I’m breaking out the yellow gloves and the mop bucket.
With my immediate surroundings decluttered and working with the flow of life again, I’ll be ready for Spring Cleaning Part Two.
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