Spring cleaning and me, we have a love-hate relationship. You see, I love that this yearly ritual spawns a clean, organized, and clutter-free house. Well, as clutter-free as the lived-in home of four kids ages 9 and under can be.
What I don't so much like is that whatever space I’m tackling always looks worse before it looks better.
Always. And I'm talking without fail.
My current project is our unfinished basement. The one that's littered with rows of storage bins and cardboard boxes, mounds of clothes our daughters have either outgrown or are waiting to grow into, and a sea of tools, screws, and thingamajigs that my husband Ted emptied all over the floor almost 24 months ago with the intention of organizing. Yeah, you could say it's a project indefinitely on his to-do list. It's located right next to the IKEA spice rack turned child's bookshelf I started to paint about the same time. Another effort still pending.
Why tackle this out-of-sight, out-of-mind location? The one we only venture to when we need a light bulb or stuffed animal gone MIA two moves ago?
Well, long term, we hope to finish it. Short term, we decided it would be nice to have a cozy underground room to retreat to during tornado watches. One with throw rugs and bean bags chairs and old school board games. To accomplish this, though, I have to figure out what to do with all the "treasures" that currently inhabit these living quarters. And, unfortunately, simply stuffing them into a jumbled mess won't do.
Several weeks ago, I spent three hours in the bowels of our house. Sorting, consolidating, purging. At the end of that 180 minutes, rather than looking tidier, it looked like tornado season had come early. It wasn't pretty. Or encouraging.
Frankly, it was downright discouraging.
Do you know what I was tempted to do? One, throw everything back into the boxes, walk up those basement stairs, shut the door, and hope we don't face any twister warnings anytime soon. Forget the cozy space. Forget the bean bag chairs and board games. We could make cold concrete work for an hour here and there if need be. After all, my kids could do with more "roughing it."
Or, two, simply get rid of everything. Pack it all up, load the lot into our mini-van, and drive with determination to our local Goodwill. No sorting. No consolidating. Only purging. And unlike Lot's wife, I wouldn't look back. Okay, so maybe I would when I realized I thoughtlessly gave away something with sentimental value. Oops.
As I've reflected on my basement woes, I've realized that sometimes marriage can feel like spring cleaning.
[Read the rest of the article at The Time-Warp Wife.]