Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Deep Cleaning

Okay, well I said a few days ago that I was inspired by Sarah to write about the whole deep cleaning & purging issue in our home. Then yesterday I got all distracted by Facebook! (Very fun btw! But this place!) So here goes...

I am usually the one in our marriage who is good at "deep cleaning". It makes a mess while you do it, but it feels so very good to step back & look at an organized closet or cupboard, doesn't it? Sarah used a label maker & I am jealous of her for that little handy device, but I just made my own in the linen closet with the HOPES that single sheets would stay away from the double sheets etc. So far it's working....because I am the only one who changes sheets around here! But now I spend less time looking for that stupid tiny tag or for the matching flat sheet to go with the bottom fitted sheet.

So anyway, this year my hubs started feeling really driven to clean, clean, clean. It began in his domain which is anything outside. We are in a sub-division on a corner lot with a huge front & back yard & side yard. He has spent tons of time (tons of time?) clearing out old growth, trimming trees & bushes, getting all the old ugly vines off our fences & allowing some sun to hit my roses. Then the garage was his next quest & that was great to be able to see labeled boxes on the shelves & less stuff on the floor.

But right about that time I started getting a little bugged about it. I was not always "in the mood" to do this much work & he would call me to come see what I wanted to keep & what he could throw away. You really need to be in a certain frame of mind to do this job. You have to be ruthless & objective & that is hard sometimes. How many of the kids art projects do you really need to save? What about their baby clothes & stuffed animals? (Which btw get kinda gross after years in a cardboard box in a garage.)

Actually those items made much more sense to keep than some of the surprising stuff he found. Old coffee pots, old dusty candles, a box of melted crayons? A box of worn out tennis shoes, books that were given to us & we don't like at all, notes from a million conferences & sermons, wrapping paper that is dirty & wrinkled. Why did I decide to stick it in a box instead of tossing it? Cause you just "never know" when you might need it!

So he managed to let me off the hook & figure these questions out for himself. Don't interrupt my blogging to make me come sit in a dusty garage ok! But then I begin to wonder......"What if he's out there throwing out something really important to me?" I have this little chat with myself about how it couldn't be very important to me if I don't even know what's out there in the first place! "But, what if...?" And I hear stuff crashing into the garbage tote.

Later, as I "casually" looked in the garbage tote I had to agree with his choices even when my fingers were itching to grab some things back out!

Now he has moved into "my domain", the house. Our front hall closet is crammed with the whole families coats, as most of yours are also. That's fine & as it should be. But our closet revealed several big bulky coats that have not been on a body in 4 or 5 years! Some were too small for any of the people in this house. It was almost like a fashion retrospective! Huge lapels & shoulder pads in a long wool coat of mine that was actually dusty! Yuck! A few of the jackets we did not even recognize as ours! Ha! Several lucky people in the local goodwill store will be warm this year.

The other day as I sat here tapping away on my laptop, I heard him open a drawer that has become a catch-all spot for me. You know what I mean. The place you stash things that you don't know what to do with. Mine is (was) mostly full of random ribbons believe it or not. I love to tie gifts with real ribbon rather than the paper stuff, so I have a lot of ribbon in a lot of colors. That drawer is a handy dandy place to grab from or add to in a hurry. So, I heard him open it & I looked up as he looked in the drawer. His face revealed total overwhelm-ness at what he saw! He carefully closed the drawer & walked away. Ha!

The next day I organized it myself to safeguard my precious ribbon collection & found some other fun items that I had been looking for!

Overall this purging drive has been wonderful for making our home more user friendly. The shelves in closets are open for use instead of too full to be helpful to anyone. Why was I saving so many baskets anyway? It feels cleaner & fresher & more open. And the local goodwill store gained tons of interesting goodies!


  1. Can you come and do that to my place??

    I think it would give my hubby cardiac arrest though. LOL

    You've been awarded my friend...come check out my 1/6/09 evening post.

  2. Oh, good motivation. I have to stay around the house in the morning for a repairman---maybe I should dig into some cabinets or the front closet.

  3. Ooooo you were so brave! Good job hubby! Can he teach my hubs some tricks?

    I did a little purging of my own over Christmas by cleaning out my childhood bedroom closet. I found all sorts of good stuff...old boyfriend letters, journals, etc. I didn't even get through all of it! So fun!

  4. I wish I could just close my eyes and let somebody go in and purge for me. I'd love to just start over...

  5. Actually some of our process began a year ago when replaced all our wall to wall carpet with wood (fake) flooring. We had to remove every single piece of furniture for the few days it took and we decided not to put anything back in the house that we did not love.


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