February 28, 2007

Digging Ourselves Out, Day 5

Today I thought I would tackle the twins' closet. They were playing in their room anyway, and that way I could supervise them and also get the closet done. Oh, ha ha ha. Ha. That worked as great as you might imagine.

Here's the closet Before. This is just the left half of it. As you can see, I have helpers.

Unlike my other clutter projects so far, this closet contains mostly items that really do belong there. However, clearly we have a "stuff it in and worry about the 'where' later" problem going on. We also have a "too much stuff" problem and a "time to put away the pink receiving blankets" problem.

This is a multi-day project, and today's part was to see if I could do something about all the clothes I've been cramming onto the bottom two shelves. The twins are unfortunately blocking your view of one of those shelves, but it looks pretty much exactly like the one above it: completely full of disorganized fabric and plastic.

I like to buy clothes on clearance (have I mentioned I like Target clearance?), and put them aside for future sizes and seasons. "Aside" means, apparently, cramming them anywhere. All the sizes are mixed together, and what good does that do me? The twins will be entering college and I'll still be finding 2T stuff in the back of this closet. Some of the stuff was still in store bags, some of it in some small boxes (an earlier attempt at inflicting order), most of it just stuffed anywhere it would fit ("fit").

I got two boxes and put them on the changing table, labeling one of them "2T" and one "3T." I put anything 4T or above in a pile nearby--I wasn't sure what size box I'd need for that. By the time I had most of the stuff off of the two shelves and into boxes, I had this on my hands:

They were mad because I wouldn't let them take down everything else off the shelves, nor would I let them put things into or take things out of the diaper pail even though I kept opening and shutting it enticingly as I got rid of plastic store bags and ancient receipts.

Time to wrap it up for the day. I put the three new boxes on the floor of the closet. The 2T box is overflowing, but the other two are about the right sizes, with room to add more things. You can only see two of the boxes in this photo; the third box is behind the sliding closet door, more onto the right half of the closet.

It doesn't look a whole lot better, I realize. There's no gasp factor here. But there is some empty space on the bottom shelf, and the shelf above it looks fuller than it is because of a big winter coat and also because of me not doing any organizing yet: all I did today was take things off. Also, some bags of extra school supplies came tumbling down when I removed the wads-of-clothing support system they were leaning on.

It's difficult not to get discouraged, comparing this project to the kitchen table and the bureau: those two projects, it made such a difference spending even 10 minutes on them---whereas I spent about half an hour on this closet and barely made a dent. But this closet has been driving me crazy, and I was worrying as the twins outgrew their 18-month and 18-24-month stuff, and I knew I'd need the 2T and what would I do then? So this is good work, and worth doing, and we will hold our applause until the end--which will probably be in about six weeks, at this rate.

For you: Today's assignment, should you wish to follow me down this dark and dreary road, is to pick a closet or cupboard and spend at least 10 minutes on it. Tidy, purge, reorganize--whatever it needs. If you get to a point where you think, "But I need a set of matched organizing containers, or I can't go on!," don't stop. Find something you can make do with for now (I found an old diapers box, a old moving box, and a Rubbermaid bin), and replace the containers later.


Mommy Daisy said...

Oh, I'm a day ahead. I just cleaned my son's closet the other day. I've been VERY organized with his clothes since before he was born. But we had blankets and such that don't belong in his room taking up the top part of the closet. We finally finished building the bathroom clost, so I was able to move all the blankets there. And then I completely reorganized son's closet. I put the bags of organized clothes on top, and then put things he isn't using anymore on the bottom. Wow, it looks lots better. But I'm with you, this was about a half hour project. Good job on the progress you made!

desperate housewife said...

Dang it you guys, now you've guilted me into it- maybe! I really do need to get a handle on the clothing eruption going on in both my daughter's closet and the playroom closet. I've made a couple of attempts during her first year of life to keep her outgrown and "to-be-grown-into" clothes seperate and organized, but there are now two closets and three dressers with all different seasons and sizes of outfits jumbled together. It makes me want to put the back of my hand to my forehead and swoon just thinking about the job awaiting me!

Erica said...

Be ye not discouraged, Swistle. I see a big difference in your before and after photos. And that's a big job to tackle with two toddlers in the room "helping."

I'm skipping this installment of the digging out program. I cleaned out all of our closets when I was pregnant and nesting.

Devan said...

Hey it looks great!

JMH said...

The picture of your "rebellious helpers" cracked me up! They look MAD! :)

Kara Marie said...

I'm loving the photo of the angry twins. Many photos of my twin and I exist that are similar to that; usually we were angry because of something just as unjust. For example, in Mom was wearing the Lone Ranger mask instead of my brother.

Kara Marie said...

*in ONE Mom was wearing, I meant.

Katie said...

The pictures are just GREAT! Do they often set each other off when one starts crying?

Swistle said...

Katie-- Sometimes, but not usually. If Edward cries, Elizabeth will point to him and say "Uh oh! Uh oh!" but she only cries in response if he wakes her up. If Elizabeth cries, Edward is completely oblivious.

McMama said...

I love the protesting faces! I applaude your efforts. I am with you on the fly lady freakish mind control cult thing....."no no i must not sleep until my sink is bleached"

I recently conquered a small area of my kitchen counter. now it is minus books but has assorted messiness of papers and receipts scattered. i have a bad habit starting something and then not finishing it.

Anonymous said...

Here I am reading your archives in 2011 and finally all that industrious digging out got to me.
Hmmm. Dark and dreary road? I musta missed that part.

The part that sank in was: "Okay, 10 minute project, I can DO that!"

Now, several HOURS later, my 10 minute project has mushroomed over the river and far, far away into the woods. I have tripped over brambles, heard unfamiliar rustlings, peaked through the thickets fearing lions and tigers and bears - and finally come to a grossly dank and frightening spot.

I’m exhausted, I forgot to bring a flashlight and a space blanket, not to mention the trailmix.

If it was just not having the right container – I could have cheerfully ignored that. But underneath that 10 minute project lurked
(Please, God, NO!)

the HIDEOUSLY funky smell of a dead MOUSE!

This is not fun any more. Who cares if I got the 10 minute thing done! I wanna go home. Crap. I AM home. I do not like this, Sam I am, not one bit.
Now what?

Swistle, I’ll trade you two grumpy twins for a mouse.....
Anon NC again.