Wednesday, January 9, 2013

HOPE in the form of a short sale

Last night did not go quite like I had planned.  I had a goal to clean out the chemical closet (check), move in the new shelf (check), organize it (check - I still have two empty drawers!), and remove all the extra cleaning supplies (almost check - they're ready for transport), and wash/dry/fold/put away all the laundry - major fail.  I fed Calah when I got home, we ate dinner, hubs left, I cleaned out the closet. Then Kristen came over for a while to drop off some pants for me and to catch up.  The boys were going crazy and I was physically, and emotionally for some reason, exhausted.  When she left, I got them in bed.  And just like almost every day, they came out to go pee; then Jo needed a tissue; then Jo needed help with his blankets. In the meantime, Calah was screaming in her crib and Benji wanted to have conversations with me.  By the time hubs got home around 9, I was fried. Needless to say, I never even TOUCHED the laundry.  But it's all in hampers for a change, so I can deal with it.  Hubs thought his ExamOne physical was yesterday afternoon, so he cleaned up around the house.  It looked awesome - I was very impressed.  So, I cleared the dining room table back off after all my hard work.  Then, I wiped it with disinfectant wipes and set out place mats and Benji's foam Christmas Tree project that we bought the other night at Michael's (80% off - $1.72!) right in the center of the table.  With the clutter mostly gone from that room, I noticed how nasty the walls look around the table (thanks for your slimy hands, Jo).  I guess slob vision is a real thing.  It never even came into my periphery until last night.  And all the playdoh stuck into the area rug under the dining room table.  That's a big reason I am so anxious to move.  I want the kids to have a specified space to do art projects and to play without stepping over or around furniture, shelves, and buckets due to cramped space.  Also, that means that a high-traffic area such as the dining room wouldn't become the victim of crayons, tape, scissors, and the dreaded playdoh. 

That's where the HOPE comes in. I was feeling particularly frustrated last night thinking about our situation and the impending short sale.  But this morning, I read a little about short sales and got motivated and made a plan with Hubs to get the paperwork sent off to the mortgage company and to contact the realtor.  I also (re)made a list of things we need to put into storage while the house is on the market.  It is extensive, for sure.  But definitely necessary.  Once the items are out of the way, we can repaint every room (except maybe not the blue in the living room and hallway - maybe just some touchups), replace and install the trim, install the bathroom fan, caulk the tub, and fix the spiggot and repair the two drywall holes.  I think we can do all that for maybe $200 and ask a friend or two to help with the process.  It really shouldn't be too bad.

More hope came into my spirit this morning when I looked at Trulia to see where rental costs are right now. There are several attractive options in the $1000-$1200 range which should be doable by the time we get the house sold.  Hopefully, Hubs will be fully fundraised by that point and starting to draw a paycheck.  Our only debts will be student loans (and my 401k loan - if I leave CCI, I won't be paying this back) which will be done by the end of next year.  Not bad!  Thank you Lord for the hope that you have given me today.  Help me to continue to look to You and more often.

I forgot to take 'BEFORE' pics of the chemical closet, but I took a picture of all the stuff that was in or on it to give you an idea of just how much clutter there was.

This outdated browser won't allow me to post pictures but when I get home, I'll update this post and show you my mudroom in all its glory.  Seriously, it felt like a whole new space.  I also cleaned off the top of the dryer and the shelf/hooks above it. The tools are in a confined space and all the cleaning supplies that I need are in the caddy on top of the shelf for easy access. I probably won't be able to carry the caddy around because it's pretty heavy, but I can grab one or two bottles at a time very easily and it's open so you can see what's in there (i.e. motivation for me to keep it organized).

Yesterday, I came across a blog that did a series on weekly organization back in 2011. They did it again in 2012. Guess it's my turn now.  There's a printable where you can write down one org. project for every week of the year.  In the last two weeks while I was on vacation, I organized the following areas in my home:

1. Linen closet - I rearranged shelves by putting all the bedsheets together on one shelf, put the hand towels and washrags in a basket rolled up (w/a label tag), and the medicines on a shelf in baskets (also with label tags).  The bottom shelf is still not great but it works. I have Hubs' clippers, the foot bath, extra vases, first aid kit, extra smoke alarm, and extra blankets down there.  MUCH better!

2. Closet area with washer - I cleared off the top shelf that was accumulating a whole big wad of junk. Trashed some things, put some things in the garage, and I made it a shelf for tablecloths, cloth napkins, placemats, and beach towels.  The lower shelf is still all the laundry products and I cleared off  the floor and hung the small broom/dustpan combo with laundry bags next door, and simplified the cleaning apparati in that area.

3. The kids' room - I got rid of two huge bags of toys (some to OUAC, some to Goodwill) to make room for their Christmas presents.  I cleaned off the shelves in the closet and reorganized it.  The top shelf has some safety stuff and other items that aren't used all the time but are still necessary to keep.  The bottom shelf has the board games and photo binders.  On the lower shelves to the left (where they can reach) are some more toys and the coloring supplies.  I will be moving those at some point.  The brown shelf unit in the closet now has Benji's shoe bucket with his snow boots sitting next to it as well as all the puzzles.  In their room, the bookshelf is now cleared off for the nightlight and Mater alarm clock.  They LOVE that clock and want to set the alarm every night.  I'm glad it brings them so much joy!  I created a bucket that's like a toy box for the bigger but small toys in and they have a milk crate for all the cars.  That thing is F-U-L-L, let me tell you.  Under Calah's crib are a few storage bins with dinosaurs, race tracks, and their books.  Not the best place for the books but it'll work for now. 

4.  Dressers - I rearranged clothes in all three of the dressers.  Benji and Jo are sharing a dresser now and that's working out pretty well.  Once Jo is potty trained and can get himself dressed in the next few months, it'll be nice for them to be able to get up to the alarm and get dressed before they even come out of their room.  Calah has her own dresser now but the top drawer is for the cloth diapers and wipes.  The bottom drawer is for her PJs but is also being used for all the nebulizer medications.  They come in boxes so it's an easy fit.

5. Armoire - I took out the loads of sheets, pillows, and blankets out of the top of the armoire.  See #1 for where they went.  I put the extra paper towels, toilet paper, and kleenex inside.  I also put all the bandaids and ointments in a bucket inside the armoire because the bathroom drawers were just overflowing.

6. Bathroom drawers - I cleaned out the drawers and under-cabinet space in the bathroom.  The bottom drawer is still completely empty - imagine that! An empty space that didn't immediately get filled with stuff??  Unheard of, really.  The under-cabinet space has two buckets: 1. Cotton swabs and cotton balls 2. Extra shampoo/cond./soap - mostly the small ones from hotels.  The storage directly under the mirror has been streamlined as well.  All the extras got put into the baskets in the linen closet, so now there's only one thing of contacts and two (really three but I'm trying to get that third one out!) tubes of toothpaste and two small things of floss.

7. Our closet - This was probably one of the bigger reorganization spots.  I took everything out of the plastic drawer unit and reorganized it with some buckets and repurposed it.  There is actually an empty bucket in the bottom drawer right now so there is room for something new if needed. I put all my flip flops in two buckets.  I have around 10 pairs of flip flops and I can rarely find two that are the same.  I got rid of a couple pairs of shoes and now all my shoes fit in or on the shoe shelf.  Hubs got rid of four pairs of shoes (wow, go Hubs!) and now all his shoes fit on his two shelves.  I reorganized the clothing shelves in the whole closet and moved the jacket-type items away from the door area so that I can see my shoe shelf and drawer unit.  No hiding clutter there anymore! It's all exposed now.  I tossed some old bathing suit pieces and lingerie. I hung up a Command hook on the wall over my shoe shelf for the diaper bag to hang on.  Jo and Calah have their own shoe shelves and buckets and they have the most commonly used shoes sitting on the shelf next to the bucket for easy access.

8. What project should I hit next??  The desk area could use some major help.  Paperwork mountain needs to get demolished.  There's always something to organize, clean, or repurpose.  That's why I like the 52-week checklist: it keeps me motivated to always be making our home more efficient and cleaner.

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