Clearing out

We’re lucky enough to have a small study in our house where we keep our computer, our stationery, phone books, that sort of stuff.  My husband and I both have a bookcase with a cupboard at the bottom to keep our text books and files in one place.  My husband’s is always tidy.  He can always find whatever it is he’s looking for and his cupboard doors actually close. Unfortunately, having a natural inclination towards the untidy, mine don’t.  In fact, I try not to open the doors too often because I’m not sure just what exactly might drop out onto my feet.

But today was the day all that was going to change!  I’d had lots of good intentions of using the Flylady system of tackling it 15 minutes at a time, but after putting it off for a couple of weeks I decided to take the bull by the horns and just empty the cupboard.  It wouldn’t take that long to sort it all out and put it back, surely!

I dragged everything out of the cupboard, avoiding injury, and dumped it all in the hall along with another pile of stuff that needed a new home.  The cupboard looked great!

Then I turned round to look at the hall and surveyed just what I was dealing with.  Oh dear.

Do you ever have the feeling that you’re sorry you started something?  It really might have been better to have tackled it 15 minutes at a time.  I was tempted to put it all back into the cupboard and squash the doors shut, but I wasn’t convinced I could get it all back in.  It seemed to have grown since I took it all out!  With a big sigh, I got started.  You would not believe the junk I had kept hold of, and I couldn’t begin to tell you why I had.  Road atlases from 2009, more padded envelopes than you could shake a stick at (I’d clearly envisioned myself sending a LOT of parcels!), empty ink cartridges that I’d obviously intended to recycle but never quite got round to … it’s no wonder the cupboard doors wouldn’t shut!

By the time I went to pick small daughter up from school, it was looking a little better …

… but I was still going strong at 9.30pm (I had started at 1.00pm but had, admittedly, had a few breaks for dinner and small daughter’s bedtime).  I was starting to despair of ever getting finished.  My husband had settled himself down in front of a detective programme and I was still clearing up in the hall!  Remind me never to pull everything out of a cupboard again!  Flylady does tell you never to take out more than you can put back in one hour, but I knew I’d never get to the bottom of the junk if I did that.

And then – hallelujah! – at 10.30pm, I finally finished!  A box to go into the attic, a bag for the bin and a washing basket full of paper for recycling.

This is what’s gone back into my cupboard – hardly anything at all!  I do feel very pleased with myself, I have to say – I found a building society account book of big daughter’s that we thought we’d lost about three years ago, a bank paying-in book that I’d misplaced, umpteen school photos of my girls that I’d completely forgotten about … and I’ve put them all away where they belong.

Am I sorry I got everything out in one go?  Well, a little, to be honest.  These things always turn into bigger jobs than you think.  But am I pleased with the results?  Oh, you bet I am!  I just have to try not to get to the point where I’m doing it all again in a year’s time!

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6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bless you, I can see why you regretted pulling it all in one go! Well done for persevering to get it all sorted! It's lovely when you find things you thought you'd lost. I once misplaced a CD for five years – it was of sound effects I'd made for someone's play at Uni. I was SOOO happy when it turned up in a random box after we'd moved house!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Moving house would have been a bit drastic – it'll be much easier if I just try to keep my cupboard a bit tidier! 🙂 xx

  2. Mummy m says:

    I hate sorting things out with a passion, but like you go head first when it reaches boiling point… I think I would have given up at dinner time though, so well done for persevering… looks nice and tidy now 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I was very tempted to abandon it all in disgust a couple of times – but the mess would still be there now! Even the dog was falling over it! Still, it was worth it in the end 🙂 xx

  3. Campfire says:

    My occasional tidying up ends up making everywhere else untidy. I am untidy, mainly because I don't have a study, just a small bedroom and our house is so small there's not 'a place for everything etc….." I have been trying hard to find an email address on your site as I wanted to email you some information that I didn't want to put on blog, so if you get the opportunity, could you email me please on asredbirdyatgmaildotcom? All will be revealed! Anne Marie

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