The state of the apartment has been driving me crazy for awhile now. It’s been bitter ass cold around here, so that meant I didn’t have a whole lot of motivation. Couple in all the issues involving work and you pretty much had two useless lumps of nothing occupying a space that was continually getting messier and messier. My husband does not come from a clean house. My mother-in-law will make you think he does, but he doesn’t. As for me, I was expected to do chores and the like growing up, but my bedroom was my castle. My parents didn’t give a hoot about it… provided I didn’t try to grow anything disgusting in there. All in all, though, we are not dirty people. My husband does not carry–completely–the habits of his parents; he likes things to be neat and orderly, he just doesn’t always have the attention span to accomplish it.
My husband… the genius with severe ADHD. Ooh, shiny! It’s a constant battle, it really is.
Since we both had off this weekend, I decided we were going to do some serious cleaning. Not just scrubbing, I mean gutting out the closets and really giving the fairly large dumpster outside a good workout. I decided it would be Sunday. On Saturday, we would have a nice day of shopping and taking the father-in-law out for his birthday dinner (which was Thursday). So, we woke up fairly early (for us) on Saturday and got ready to brave the cold. I finally, finally managed to get the husband to go to Corridor G so I could pace the aisles of Petsmart and coo over the cute, adoptable critters.
My husband hates and refuses to drive anywhere near Corridor G. It’s a large expanse of road littered with huge shopping plazas. It’s the go-to shopping place of people for miles. It’s a nightmare at Christmas time, you can wait at a stoplight for upwards of an hour. On off-days, though, it’s a fairly reasonable destination; my husband is just obstinate and traffic of any kind except the ‘familiar’ kind makes him nervous.
We had a nice time there, bought way too much stuff for our animals, and then headed towards the mall. We do not go to the mall located in our city. We hate that mall. I’m sure the people here like it, but then again, they also like living here, so there you go. Instead, we go to the mall we’re comfortable and familiar with (and also one not likely to be in the newspaper the following Monday.) So, we arrive, we eat lunch, do some light browsing and shopping… then it’s off to Target to buy storage supplies! We meet the in-laws, see an awesome winter sunset (see above picture), buy them dinner, part ways, and then we’re off to Walmart for more supplies (and groceries.)
Fast-forward to the next day and I’m forced to realize the mess I’ve gotten myself into. I made a list to try and give both of us an idea of where to begin. I like lists, I function better with lists, and it turns out the husband does, too. So, we consulted our list, pulled up our sleeves, and dove in. It was six or more endless hours of nonstop cleaning action. We’re still not done, I’ve got to finish the bedroom tomorrow and he has to finish the computer room clutter… but all in all… we did good. In some ways, it looks like it did when we moved in.
I’ll get to that another time, though. Let’s go back to what the place looked like before. The first thing the husband did was tackle the refrigerator. This might seem like an odd man job, but he’s made for it. He’s done it randomly, twice, in the depths of the night when unable to sleep. So, he got nominated to do it again. He didn’t just clear the bad food, he emptied it completely, yanked out the racks, and cleaned that sucker good. Only… now instead of being so full there’s no room, you can hear the echoes of your breathing off the big, empty walls. It looks like we didn’t buy any groceries at all! Yikes! I forgot to take a before picture… whoops.
Note the band aid. I did that late in 2009, before getting my new pair.
Meanwhile, I was tackling the bathroom. While I was clearing out the very large closet, I found a stockpile of glasses and assorted cases. Why had I felt the need to keep these I am unsure… but they were every pair of glasses I had owned since I stopped wearing contacts full-time when I was fourteen or so. I kept one of the cases, because it’s a nice, hard case and just threw the rest away, along with the glasses. I told my husband I had no idea I had bought so many ‘designer’ glasses. When I was that young, I had no idea about most of that stuff. It now makes sense why my dad always groaned when it came time to buy me a new pair of frames.
After we finished our separate areas, we went for the bedroom as a team. I didn’t take any before pictures of the closet… but you couldn’t see the walls or the floor. It was overrun with every manner of clothing you could think of! The space bags were tossed aside, partially full and completely unsealed. It was a disaster. The bedroom itself wasn’t exactly a pillar of cleanliness, either.
Clothes, everywhere! I have so many clothes I do not have places for them. It’s because I went through this phase when I moved down here where I bought everything I wanted without thought or consequence. This mess is even after donating three bags worth of clothes last summer, some of them still with tags on them! This time, though, I was serious. I gutted everything. I now have around five bags worth of stuff to send to charity. My mother-in-law is going to crap herself when she sees it! I’m horrified by it, to be honest with you. I never saw myself as a clothes hoarder, but I guess I am.
Along with not having room for way too many clothes comes the fact that you have so many clothes, you don’t know what to wear. I would throw things on the floor or the bed in an attempt to assemble an outfit. These clothes would just build up in piles on the floor. Anytime I come home from work, I’m so exhausted I just strip down, throw my dress clothes on the dresser, and pull out the comfy pants/t-shirt combo. It got to the point where you could barely see the mirror on the dresser!
There’s also the suitcase from Christmas still on the floor, still with clothes on it! What you can’t see are the shoddy looking piles around it. The clothes are clean, they’ve just been thrown on the bed because I needed the basket and then shuffled off the bed at nighttime. If I don’t prioritize putting away clothes, it never happens.
There’s a shot of the bedroom in-progress. The closet has already been gutted (thus the blue Tupperware now once again filled with sealed space bags) and all the clothes on the bed are waiting to be folded and put away. The rest are all going to charity. I had tried to put them in bags, but ran out of room. They turned into this huge pile on my husband’s side of the bed and on the floor. I’ll be washing them tomorrow. Let’s hope the poor old washer is up for it…
You can see some of my organizing things in this shot. I have a lot of hoodies, so I got a big, open basket to put them in. I also bought these cute little storage bins from Target (need to get more, actually) for my loose items like bras, sleepwear, and hosiery (working where I do, you have a LOT of tights/hose/etc.)
The bedroom actually looks better than the above picture now, with the closet completely sorted and cleaner than it’s ever been! There’s also a lot more room now that I finally got rid of 50% of what was in there. Most of it was old career stuff I’ll never fit into again.
And this, this is our living room. We were piling all the trash and boxes, trying to get them ready to go out the door. All our storage containers/etc we bought the night before were also hiding out in here. Needless to say, Loki was very confused. I’m pretty sure he thought we were moving!
I’m still in awe at all the stuff we’ve cleared out. The computer room still needs some serious TLC, but the husband did a good job consolidating some more of his boxes.
This was the list I put on my husband’s ancient whiteboard. He drew the Trogdor and all of that, because he is a smart ass and he thinks that he is hilarious. He is, but it’s best not to tell him that… his ego is much too big already.
Whew. It’s been a long, long day and I’m exhausted. Time to go enjoy the husband’s company and rest up. I’ve still got some serious cleaning to do tomorrow.