Calling Reinforcements

divorceSo, your house has been neglected for a long time. There are good reasons: you went through a terrible divorce, and while that was happening you were caring fulltime for a very sick relative in your house. The caregiving went on for years, and that on top of the divorce sucked out your soul.

Life basically imploded and you were doing good just to keep breathing.

The house and its upkeep just didn’t matter.

But you’ve pulled out of that and have set your life on a course to go forward. Good things are happening. You’re engaging with people again. Going back to hobbies. Spending time outside. Feeling the air going through your brain, getting rid of the cobwebs and depression and all that yukky stuff.

But there’s the house. It still has all that accumulated stuff that just got set down and ignored, and other stuff got set down on top of it, and left, so that now you can’t even see the floor because of the stuff that’s all over it.

It’s time to jump in and deal with it. Yeah, it’s overwhelming to look at the whole thing.

Which is why you have to start out with some concrete projects that have a beginning and an end. Do those, and you’ll start creating some momentum.

laundryStart with your bedroom, because that’s the most personal space in your house. Clear off your bed first. Hang up all that clean laundry. Put the socks and underwear in your drawers. All the clothes on the floor? Put them all in the hamper, take them to the laundry room, and start washing. Follow the cycles through. Get all that stuff washed and dried. Bring it back to your now empty bed, sort it, hang it up, and put it in drawers.

Get an empty box from the garage, take it to the bedroom, and put all that paperwork in the box. You know what I’m talking about—the piles of statements and documents that you haven’t looked at in literally five years. Get that in the box, label it “paperwork from master bedroom” and take it out to the garage. Decide what corner of the garage you will allocate for paperwork (since you know you’ll have a lot) and put the box there.

Deal with the closet. Do you have things that you haven’t worn in years and that are also now too big or too small? Get rid of them. Now. Put shoes in the racks where they belong. Put socks in the drawers. Hang up the hangers.

Now get out your dusting cloth and your diluted cleaning spray, and wipe off the years of dust on every surface in the bedroom. Then get the vacuum cleaner and go over the floor thoroughly.

And now step back and just look. It’s uncluttered, it’s organized, the trash is out, the pile of papers has disappeared, the drawers are closed, the floor is free, and it’s all clean.

You have just completely done one room. In less than a day. You are reclaiming your space and showing yourself that you are in control and that you’re taking back your life.

Now move on to the kitchen!