House challenge: and the winner is...

Okay, okay, friends. I know I’m LONG (loooong) overdue on an update from my little challenge to get my house together. Here’s the end result: I kinda did it. I know, I know, “KINDA?” Yeah…I KINDA did it.

I “kinda” did it, in that I really did get organized in ways I’ve never been before. I got a weekly calendar up and running on the fridge for the kids (and I, because I forget appointments almost instantly after making them…I call it “life is hard” brain), I got clothes put away appropriately, I made “places” for things that are usually scattered about my house (hats, sunscreens, shoes, children…), I got a schedule going for the chaos that are the early mornings, and hustled afternoons. School arrival here for elementary kids is 7:15..yes, AM!!! And we now can be found at the soccer field 5 days a week, taekwondo two days a week and the swim lesson pool two days a week. I got pantries and refrigerators cleaned out, set up for me to easily to dig out what I need quickly (for the inevitable “No I don’t want breakfast, I don’t want it! I’m NOT HUNGRY” and 5 seconds later “I’M STARVING!” tantrum). I got my bathroom full of “girl goop” all tidied up in organizers and bins. I even got all of Cam’s hair ties, bows, headbands and jewelry put away in neat little cups.

As for my house LOOKING nice and organized…well, that’s a horse of a different color. I still have to vacuum 3 times a day because of crumbs, I still have to constantly “remind” my kids (cough:screamlikeabanshee:cough) to put toys away, clothes in hampers, or shoes in their spots, BUT we are getting there. While I wish we were farther along than we are in this whole “project,” I realize that this whole “challenge” is a big change for my kids, too. In fact, everything is a big change for them. All of us are used to having that extra set of hands to make sure they don’t destroy the house while it gets cleaned. They (and I) are used to someone handling whatever is left after bed time (it was usually Kenny handling bed time, while I finished tidying up for the day…whereas now, I generally always crash when they do…). They aren’t used to having to “help” at all, since they’ve lived with three adults the whole year (just about 8 months total), who took care of everything.

Which leads me to the sad part…sometimes, even so long after Kenny was really “there” to help, I wake up in the morning “surprised” that the bag of popcorn I left open is still sitting on the counter. That the bowls I left in the sink aren’t magically in the dishwasher. Its still so bizarre sometimes how those little things you grew accustomed to your whole adult life, just “aren’t…” anymore. I keep waiting for these little things to fade away. And when these “surprises” happen, they kind of set a somber tone for my morning…where I don’t feel so motivated to make sure everything is spic and span, so much as “not gross and livable.”

So here we are, in the semi-organized, not gross and livable house. I’ll take it (for now…). As we watch our new home (a few streets away) take shape, I know that I’ll have the chance to try again soon. We can move things over in a more organized way. We can make places for things where I know they’ll be that way (hopefully forever). We’ll not only have to keep things neat, we’ll want to, since we will take pride in knowing it’s really “our home,” and not a rental that we’ll only be in another 2-3 months. I also realized over the course of this challenge that what needs to be done is a LOT more than just finding a few spots and writing down appointments. It’s also sorting through a life we no longer live. It’s toys that we never threw away or donated because we were too mentally busy “elsewhere.” It’s donating clothes we have outgrown or that have outlived their purpose. It’s forcing myself to let go of old torn sheets and blankets that I have been keeping, just because they were ours together (okay…not all of them, but really, some have got to go…). It’s way more emotionally involved than just “organizing.” So, basically, it’s going to be a while until I think we’re really “there.”

SO…yes, I kinda did it. Yes…I’m ordering the shoes. And YES…I deserve them.

Megan Courtney