Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Of trash and treasures

Last week, I decided to tackle a much-needed project in our house.

Specifically, a project that involved the place where the little people in our house live.

A place where I spent four and a half hours of my time, and uttered more than a few four-letter words.

I tried to let it be. I have ignored these spaces for as long as possible. Plugged my ears, closed my eyes, and sang, "la la la la la la" when walking past those rooms. I wanted to let them have a measure of control over their own lives, and learn the responsibility of cleaning up after themselves. But when I feared the board of health would quite possibly condemn us (and cart me off to bad mother prison), I knew action had to be taken.

I had to do this while they are at school because I don't like it when they sob, whine, and plead as I toss all their beloved treasures junk into the trash.

And you better believe there was a lot of junk.

Like three garbage bags full.

Is it a commentary on society today that children own enough things that you can fill three garbage bags full of stuff and they'll never miss it? Or is it a commentary on the state of my parenting that I overcompensate by filling their little souls with cheap plastic crap from Target instead of love?

Don't answer that.

Now, the thing is, I took some 'before' pictures to show you the great change, but they were SO BAD that I am unable to post them. Pride will not allow me to let you in on the sorry state of those spaces before I got my hands on them. So without further adieu, and for your viewing pleasure, I give you the 'afters':




Here's hoping they stay looking like this for, I don't know, at least an hour or two.

Now excuse me, I've got to run to Target and buy some more of my children's love cheap plastic crap.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

44 comments:

Annie said...

You and your mild (and productive) OCD rock! I love the stacking, labelled plastic drawers in the boys' closet. And McKay's trophies.

When we moved the last time, we rented a big dumpster and got rid of LOADS of junk. As it pulled away, overfilled, G turned to me and said "promise we won't go to Target anymore." It's not a promise I can keep. But I've tried to be better.

Hazen5 said...

Just beautiful, it gave me chills! Will you come over and help me tackle my garage?

I want to see pictures of the trash bags!

Christina B. said...

The closets are beautiful, truly inspirational. I admire them because I know I will never have a closet that looks that organized. But it is a peaceful feeling to know that they do exist.

utmomof 5 said...

Very impressive!! I too would not be able to show before pictures of my childrens rooms either. Good thing you took a picture because 11 minutes after the kids get home they will be messy again :)

Lori said...

Can I pay you to come do the same magic to my house? It looks great!

jenjen said...

Wow - what a great job! It looks fantastic!!

XOXO
Jen

Sally said...

Totally amazing. What will your poor sons do if they marry someone disorganized (like I am)? I have many wonderful qualities, but a desire to clean and organize is not one of them. I am impressed by the cuteness of these rooms!

Joy & Casey said...

Come do my kids rooms!!! They look great! Read my blog about Shaylee being the mom around here-so crazy she's helping the younger kids with their rooms. Her new thing, "Your goal for today mom is to make sure they keep under their beds clean." Lovely.
Have a great day!

Darby said...

They look great Christie! (my lost lost OCD sister) :)

2009 in this house is the year of the purge! I'll show you my "befores" if you show me yours! :)

Great job!

Terra said...

I did this very thing back in January. I am proud to say one room still rocks, one is on edge of the pond ready to sink and the third - well lets just say it has nothing on the titanic. Your rooms look great though!!!

shilo duke said...

Well, having a touch of the OCD myself, I can truly appreciate the beauty of well organized rooms. They look fantastic. I did the same thing to Autrey's stuff when he was away. Now that he is home, I have to keep telling myself that I would rather clean up after him than be without him again...most days. :)

Diane said...

I just had flashes of what my own closet looks like right now and I broke out in a cold sweat! Great after shots!!

Jen said...

They look amazing. I find it is best to work when they're not around to slow down the throwing out process too.

Do you want to come over and work your magic in my children's bedrooms. All the sweets you want.

Laurie said...

So impressive. My big boys' room is totally overflowing with plastic junk. And yet I feel bad throwing it out because two more boys can always play with the same plastic junk.

But really, how many trucks and cars can one household hold?

You've inspired me to get busy on this.

Meg said...

I just finished a project like that too and I filled the back of my van with stuff for goodwill and had about 4 large black trash bags to throw out.

I feel so much better. I bet you do too.

♥Shally said...

Ugh. I so need to hit the closets in my kid's rooms.

Jaxon's would scare a person!! :)

Annemarie said...

Ahhhh...is it wrong that the labels & the closet organizers make me giddy and were my favorite part of this post? I'll say it agian, separated at birth, we were.

Kris said...

Oh I am so inspired now!!!! The rooms look SO GREAT- like stepping into a model home. Isn't it amazing what decluttering can do? I need to get to work!

Alissa said...

i just got goosebumps from your closet organization.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i have to admit that for the most part, my kids' rooms are liveable. but sometimes, just for my own pleasure, i go in and do just this. it's therapeutic for me.

Christie in Dallas, TX said...

WOW -- I need you to come over to our house! The rooms look great! FYI -- I was just introduced to a site called www.freecycle.com where you give away stuff you don't want anymore (even 3 garbage bags of it!) to keep it out of a landfill. Someone's junk is another's beloved treasure... :-)

calibosmom said...

I don't need to see a before picture-I've got three of my own I walk past every day. I do this to my kids rooms about every three months and I always have a giant black trash bag full of %*@^. It's Grandmas fault...she lives at the Dollar store.

Ilene said...

I love how over-labeled the boy closet is; my husband could use such a labeling system.

Tia Juana said...

Honestly girl, is there anything you can't do?

How about I get all those Mia Maid girls and bring them and you to my house and you teach them how to work your magic in every corner of my house!

Lindsey said...

My Abby is the QUEEN of clutter. I try to make her help me so she can see how great it feels to be clean. So far, it hasn't worked. We went to school conferences where we sat at her desk. He teacher said they had cleaned their desks, and after looking in Abby's.. that was questionable. It still looked like a disaster.

Bridget said...

Oh, I love seeing pictures of your house! I get so motivated to clean and organize my own. I gazed at your photos longingly. LOVE those closets.

diane said...

My closets are over flowing with junk.

My son had the same blue patchwork bedding when he was a boy and lived at home before he left me to go to college and then on a mission. I now miss messy boy bedrooms. You will too someday. His has been spotless for 9 long months. Some times I feel like going in there and throwing some clothes on the floor so I can pretend he still lives here...

Michael said...

America needs those before pictures! Post them!

Lauren in GA said...

Those after's are true, true things of beauty. I nearly wept.

As a mother eligible for, "bad mother prison" I truly thank you for this post.

Loved the, "Don't answer that". You are so, so goooood.

Bonnie said...

I know what you mean.. I can throw away so much and how do we accumulate so much junk? Those rooms look so wonderful. You have inspired me to start cleaning today, or maybe tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

You have motivated me to clean out my oldest child's room. Wish me luck! I don't know if I will make it out alive!

Rochelleht said...

It's those closets that get me. My kids rooms are always clean, but occasionally, I have to go do some yellin' and throwin' as we open the doors of the closet. The closets kill me.

Amanda D said...

Take me with you to Target! And then come help me organize my kid's clothes. I need help.

Dalene said...

Is it weird this post and the pictures get me seriously excited?

gab said...

Whenever I clean out a closet, I feel such joy! I want the world to see...isn't it great that now, with the magic of blogs, we can?

Yours look beautiful!

Jenny from Chicago said...

Please tell me they don't have a "bad mom prison". Because I definately belong there.

Great job on the kiddos rooms. Now get over here and clean mine!

Robyn said...

I really look forward to the day my kids are gone for 4 1/2 hours so that I can do that! I REALLY need some organization!

Paige said...

Looks spectacular. Your fun prize from me will arrive in two shipments. They are a 'comin!

Becky said...

That was definitely pleasing to the eye! Thank you for sharing. I like it that way, too. But, you could have helped SO many people with the sharing of the befores. You know, give some hope to the hopeless and what-not. I love the bins, I love the baskets. thank you for the order- it was gratifying.

Andy said...

Holy OCD, Batman!

I remember Mom throwing out my treasures... I still have nightmares about it.

Nice work.

Emily said...

Oh Stie,
It's not that pleasant things don't make me think of you but just know that you are floating around in my head every morning when I open my kids closets. Here's hoping I can get them looking like this before too long.

Susanne said...

Beautiful job, and your closets are very Good Housekeeping!

What made me laugh was the trophies in the first photo. They look like a can-can line!

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