Autumn Cleaning

Since we took the older boy to college two weeks ago*, I was hoping that life would slow down a little bit. And it did, just a little bit. What I am finding is that, like so many of my good friends out there in the blogosphere (and IRL!), I still have too much to do with too little time. My to-do lists aren’t cutting it anymore, because I end most days disappointed when I assess what actually got completed: it’s usually a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but not a whole lot of anything in particular.

After putting some thought into it, I finally figured out what has been dragging me down, and it’s not pretty.

It’s Clutter, with a Capital C.

Or, as Professional Organizing Guru Peter Walsh says, “Cladduh”. I like that better.

It’s the bane of my existence. (<----Dramatic!) It’s been approximately six years since my last and greatest De-cluttering of the house. I went through every drawer, cabinet, and closet, took out what we didn’t need, and either tossed it or donated it. I spent a little bit of money at one of my favorite stores in the world to put some minor systems in place so that everything had a spot.

Things were good. I felt like I could breathe.

Suddenly, here I am six years later, and not everything has a place in my house anymore. We have clothes I could get rid of, toys that haven’t been touched in ages, orphaned Tupperware lids, old kiddie-sized glassware, and so many other things that are just hanging around, making me miserable. (<---okay, that's a little dramatic too.) Don't even get me started on the papers. The sheer amount of papers in all forms (including magazines I don't have time to read!) is just plain sad. There are things popping out everywhere, all over the house. And so, I have decided that I need to do some Autumn Cleaning, even if it kills me. (<---And the Oscar goes to….)

I have begun to prepare for this monumental task in front of me by restructuring my days off from work. My old M.O. was to write starting very early in the morning and basically be at the computer until…whenever, at which time I would do a little bit of this or that around the house (mostly dishes or laundry). My at-home workouts–including walking the dog–have suffered greatly with this plan, by the way. The new plan has been in effect for a couple of days now: I do housework in the morning–I’m still just scratching the surface, though–and write starting around 11:00 a.m. until lunchtime. I eat, and then go back to work for a few hours until everybody gets home. (I’m adding my at-home workouts back gradually, too!) Sometimes I write more in the evening, but it’s no big deal if I don’t.

I have made some good progress on my writing to-do list, and it looks like I’ll be in an excellent place to begin going through the Clutter/Cladduh very soon. Mixing up my routine has been exciting so far, and I look forward to continued productivity that will escalate with each Autumn Cleaning task I finish.

That’s the best-laid plan, anyway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t suddenly go awry.

*He’s doing fine, thanks for asking. He has already seen, firsthand, some of the “typical” (yet undesirable to parents as well as kids who don’t participate) college behavior, and he has also already survived his first accident, falling head-first onto the floor from his top bunk bed at 3:00 a.m. as he attempted to kick his legs loose from the twisted sheets. He’s doing his homework early as opposed to the last minute, and he seems very well-adjusted, so we’re thrilled!


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • WeaselMomma

    This is what I so desperately need to do too. I am just lacking the motivation/energy.

    Plus I would have to devote 2 solid weeks to this endeavor.

  • kat

    So glad that older boy is doing fine in college. Hope he didn't hurt himself falling off the bunk bed. Tell him I said Hi.
    De-cluttering sucks. It really does. It is right up there with ironing, cleaning windows and having a tooth pulled…. Good luck sis.

  • john cave osborne

    this made me smile from ear to ear. (loved and the oscar goes to…)

    six years since the last de-clutter? Lovie does one every six weeks.

    then, again, she aint right.

  • Heather

    I love de-cluttering and am in the process both physically and mentally in our house– it's been working *so far*. Glad to hear the older boy has adjusted well to college!

  • Patty@NYC Girl at Heart

    I have started this too! I have a donate bag going and I have so much more to do. Next week it's project declutter!

  • As Cape Cod Turns

    A drama queen that loves the Container store (which I have to drive 2 hours to get to, btw!).
    We are definitely related 🙂

  • LceeL

    We just finished (?) a major 'unpackratting' (it is so a word) of the house and now I have room in the basement for – the treadmill and – my trains – which we found while unpackratting (yes, it is) the house. So now I have a new time soak – finishing all those models I never completed 20 years ago – and a new money soak – more trains.

    Gotta love it.

  • Lynn @ Walking With Scissors

    I have to do a major declutter as well. I cleaned out the pantry next week but there seems to be stuff overflowing from every nook and cranny! I keep saying that I'll do it once I've got the laundry/dishes/tidying/vacuuming/etc under control but for some funny reason, that time never seems to come!

  • Michelle

    Freaky. Guess what I've been doing this past week…. And guess who's feeling much better because of it? 🙂