Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Spark Starts a Fire

I have a shiny sink. I must adore seeing a pristine kitchen sink because once I saw it this morning, I turned around and went back to my bedroom. That may not make sense right now, but it will. Once in my bedroom, I made sure my bed was made, I got dressed (right down to the shoes), and I put on some make-up. All before getting my little tater tot out of his crib.

My boy, clearly used to seeing Mama wearing a robe and slippers every morning, did a double take when I entered his room. I opened his curtains and blinds (don't ask why both are necessary, just know that they are) and announced that we had a busy day ahead of us. I quickly grabbed some clothes for my son and I knew exactly where to begin our day.

After breakfast, I returned to the kiddo's room and opened his closet. His closet is huge and we only use one-third of it for his clothes. I couldn't believe just how stuffed his section was because he only wears about six different outfits in rotation. I do laundry every night, so it isn't like the boy never has clothes to wear, but I was bothered by all the extra clothes this morning - the ones he never wears. Why did he never wear these clothes? And was it really necessary to keep them with the clothes he wears every day?

My son wears size 24-months/2T in everything. I found onesies (and he hasn't worn onesies in months - that should have been my first clue what I would find), pants, shorts, and swim clothes. Onesies were in every size from 18-months down to 9-months. I found pants in the same range. And I found shorts that were now so short they could probably be considered bikini pants. I filled a huge box with all of the clothes he had outgrown. I'm saving clothes for our next child (whenever that may be), so I can't donate or give them away, but I could get them out of his closet. And I did.

As I was cleaning, I came across some shoes that he had outgrown. He had an aversion to footwear for the longest time, so they were hardly worn at all. I boxed them up to give to Sport Chalet for distribution in Haiti. After I boxed up the kiddo's old shoes, I ventured into my own closet. Before I heard about the shoe drive at Sport Chalet, I threw two pair of tennies away earlier this week. So why did I still have three freaking pair of tennies that I never wear in my closet? They were boxed up too.

Then I noticed that my husband's shirts were hanging from the closet doors. I opened his side of the closet and found places to put his dry cleaning. I regret that I didn't go through his shoes for donation, but I was concerned that I might toss a pair that he wanted to keep.

Once I spent about an hour on these tasks, I figured we deserved a break. So I loaded the boxes of shoes in the car and we dropped them off to our friend who is doing the shoe collection. Then we met with another friend and her kiddo for lunch. I excitedly shared how productive my morning had been and we both couldn't believe that it all started with the stupid shiny sink.

The little one took a nap once we returned home from playing with our friends. Uncharacteristically, I did not. See, I had my shoes on and in reaching down to take off my shoes I thought that I might want to tackle a couple of things that I'd been putting off. The shoes stayed on and I was off flying once again.

Cosmetics. I love cosmetics and I like to play with them. But I wear very little make-up in my daily life. In fact, I couldn't remember the last time that I had played in my cosmetics case. I opened my case, took a deep breath, and forced myself to be brutally honest. The truth is that I haven't even touched any of my "fun" make-up in over 20-months. So I pulled over a trashcan and out it went. I don't even own a single lipstick anymore. And I don't care because I haven't really worn it in years anyway. I'm a gloss gal these days - easier to apply on the run.

Feeling oddly liberated, I turned my attention to my clothes. I had a stack of eight pair of jeans that I haven't worn in 15-years. I have moved this stack of jeans to five different places I've lived at in those 15-years. Why am I keeping clothes that I don't wear? I can't say why I have held on to those jeans. Perhaps they signify my wild youth? Or maybe I just have trouble parting with clothes I like, even if they don't fit? I don't really care why I've kept those jeans. I just want to get rid of the clutter. Out went the jeans.

In less than 1 1/2 hours of purging, I got rid of two boxes of clothes and two boxes of shoes. None of these items were being used by anyone in my home and none of these items will be missed. How extraordinarily blessed we have been! We have so many material things that literally boxes of them can disappear and our lives will go on without skipping a beat.

So what spark started this fired frenzy of activity? A shiny kitchen sink. And why was my sink shiny? It's all thanks to a wonderfully motivating website if ever there was one. If your life is cluttered, if your home is a disaster, check it out - you'll be glad you did!

NOTE: I am not being paid by The Fly Lady.

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