I live in a small house. I love my small house. It’s the place where I became we and where we became three. It’s cozy and warm and it’s home. The problem with my small, well-loved house is that it’s where his stuff joined my stuff and our stuff joined baby stuff. Throw in the dog and you have a very full house. They say love grows in small houses; so does junk. It multiplies like weeds and soon, it’s busting at the seams.
Our third bedroom, small as it is, doubles as a playroom. The closet, with 3 rows of added shelving, doubles as kitchen appliance storage. The front room, now an office/foyer also houses the dog crate along with the coat rack and show bins. The laundry room is a closet and the actual closets… I would call them more of a suggestion on where you might place a couple things. Yet we stay.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the memories or the love our house has grown for anything (except maybe a basement) so I find myself learning to live in the clutter. It’s new territory for me.
See, I love to purge. I find it absolutely freeing when I drop off a carload at the donation center. My husband, on the other hand; well let’s say he does NOT receive the same unadulterated joy I get at the experience. Therein lies our difference.
So about twice a year I go through closets, dressers, toys etc. and clear out unused clothes, toys, Tupperware etc. Then I nag, beg, cry and eventually reach my breaking point until my husband reluctantly agrees to get rid of enough of his things to appease me.
The rest of the year I spend putting things in their proper place to keep it under control. There are bins, bookshelves and bags. Laundry baskets, toy baskets, waste baskets; it’s an ongoing battle. When I travel for work or on my much needed yearly girls’ weekend, it takes 2 days to get the house back in order after the patients run the asylum. I’m sure they are as excited to have the mess without my complaining as I am to escape it. So to try and eliminate some of the fun governing part of my job and I take the mom stroll every night before bed. I walk through the house picking up errant papers, toys and socks and putting them away as I lock the doors and check on my sleeping girl.
Still, to be honest, things get away from me. Our garage is one huge stack of plastic bins and outgrown baby slides, saucers and bike carriers. I cannot face that challenge just yet but that’s a story for another time. My Tupperware cupboard despite all my efforts continues to fight me with disorganized lids and odd shaped plastic that just won’t stack neatly! My too small linen closet is overflowing with towels and sheets that won’t stay stacked nicely 3 minutes after I fold things. My Pinterest board on “Organization” would shake its head at me in shame!
I take my small victories though; my neat bathroom drawers with Dollar Store containers separating bobby pins, barrettes and hair ties. I relish my neatly organized dresser drawers with socks paired up and clothes neatly folded. I appreciate my aforementioned closet with neat shelving to easily store the kitchen appliance overflow. These are the things that keep me sane. These are the things that keep me going between purges. That and the enormous love that continues to grow in our small house of clutter!