Saturday, September 18, 2010

My world of excess

With a 7 week old baby at home (SEVEN WEEKS! Unbelievable), our house looks very different than it did pre-baby.

The reality is that the clutter is not really due to the baby gear. I've just noticed our existing clutter more now that we have baby stuff here and there.

I'm an organized person. My day is often organized. My purse is organized. Most important things in our house have a home.

I'm running out of places to put things, though. Which leads me to a very important conclusion: we have waaaay to much stuff.

I've spent the better part of this evening being thoroughly annoyed with STUFF. There isn't a flat surface in our house that doesn't have a pile (and, much to my dismay, the piles have piles).

I'm living in a world of excess and it needs to stop.

I've really struggled this past week or so with how much time I should be spending cleaning b/c I have this precious baby at home and I don't want to waste even one minute of time I could be spending with him. But the reality is that he sleeps. A lot. And he's sleeping really well at night, which means I'm also sleeping really well at night. Which means I don't need to sleep during the day when he's sleeping. Which ultimately means I should have some time I could be spending make our house a home and not a pile of piles.

My on-going plan is to declutter (I don't think it's an end goal b/c there will always be stuff).
Here is my plan:

1) Start in the kitchen. We spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen so if we start there, I should feel better about our efforts b/c I'll notice it more (as opposed to, like our master bathroom closet, which we use, but not necessarily on a daily basis).

2) Move onto the bedroom.

3) Repeat steps 1 & 2 :)

Interestingly, I stood up tonight, walked into the kitchen to start my project and just got completely overwhelmed so I came back to the couch and decided to blog about it instead :)

Before I start, I have to have a mental game plan. I need to know generally what my plan of attack is before I start chipping away.

For example, before I start cleaning out cabinets, I need boxes ready to accept things I plan on donating to Goodwill. So I really need to locate couple of good boxes.

I feel like I can't start one project without first doing something else. This faulty thinking prevents me from actually doing any decluttering. It's a procrastination technique.

But that ends today.

I've learned that there are several key items that I have an excess reserve of and as such, those items are consuming valuable cabinet and pantry space. I need to decide what to keep of the following items and what to donate:

1) Glasses/cups/mugs- I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many glasses (cups). We have two shelves of glasses that we've almost never touched since moving in back in November 2006. I keep them "just in case." Just in case what? We host 102 people at our home and I insist on using actual glasses instead of the standard red Dixie party cups? YEAH RIGHT!

Even knowing we have too many glasses, I still insist on purchasing the $0.99 Coke glasses from McDonalds every time they're sold. WTH? ENOUGH already! Seriously, I need a glasses intervention STAT.

2) Cook books- Let's admit a reality: I cook, like, once a week. And, it's usually hot dogs and beans. Last I checked, I didn't learn how to cook up a weiner from Good Housekeepings Top 100 Recipes of 2007. I'm pretty sure I haven't made a new recipe out of a cookbook in at least a year. Despite this fact, I've acquired at least 4 cookbooks in the last 365 days.

Another reality: there is only one cookbook I use- it's a homemade one that my Aunt Sher compiled for us as a wedding gift. It's a book of recipes that she gathered from our closest family and friends. I LOVE it. I use it all of the time. In the rare instance than I find a recipe out of another cookbook that we like, I put it into Shennie's cookbook.

I need to keep a few cookbooks that I think we'll like and purge the rest of them AND agree to not acquire any more until we're cooking more homemade meals.

3) George Foreman grills- I'm totally serious. I'm pretty sure we have THREE Foreman grills. Well, maybe we have two. Regardless, I use it (the small one) maybe twice/year. So why is it taking up precious space in our kitchen island? And the other one (the BIG one) is taking up valuable space in the pantry (it takes up about 1/2 of the shelf it resides on). Unacceptable.

4) Glass baking wear- I rarely cook, yet I own no less than 4 9x13 glass dishes in addition to my CorningWear. Again, in what situation would I have the need to use FOUR glass casserole dishes? It's a similiar situation with glass mixing bowls. I have TWO sets of glass mixing bowls that I NEVER use. When I need mixing bowls, I exclusively use my THREE sets of Pampered Chef bowls AND my TWO sets of Oxo rubber-soled bowls. You read that correctly. I own THREE of the same set of Pampered Chef bowls (side note: I LOVE those bowls and when I do bake or cook, I use them quite a bit, so those were a good investment).

If I declutter the aforementioned items, then I'll have more cabinet and pantry space in which to store the stuff that is currently cluttering the counters (blender, toaster, toaster oven, bowls, etc).

It would be really nice to walk into the kitchen and have visible countertops.

When my house is clean, my life is in order and I tend to eat better, sleep better, exercise and generally be in a fantastic mood. (Side note: let's not assume that once my kitchen is decluttered that I'll drop 20 lbs...but it's a possibility ;)- or maybe that is my procrastination method for nothing having lost more weight!)

I'm hoping that with this plan, my world of excess will shrink. I know I don't NEED this stuff and I'd like to do without it.

Here's to trying!