Thursday, August 31

Hoeing Out

I wrote and attempted to post this earlier, but since Blogger wasn't working correctly, it gave me more time to take more action on the subject.

Ever since El Kiddos entered school age, I have experienced a weird phenomenon around the August/September timeframe. I get this irresistible New-Years-Resolution-type urge that I just can't ignore. I get all fitnessey again, determining to get back on my regular schoolyear schedule of working out since I don't have two little scooterheads to bring along (you know, the ones that Razor right in front of me and cause me to stumble over my own feet, as if I need any extra help). I get all nesty, the same way you get when you are 38 weeks pregnant, feeling like I'm gonna scream because I can't stand the clutter and mess that is created by four people who are staying home lots of extra hours during the summertime. And I get all ambitious, the same way you feel when you are planning the work, but before the lull you get when you actually start working the plan.

The fitness impulse is pretty convenient, because it doesn't really affect anybody else's schedule but my own. Hero Guy goes off to work, kids head into school and I can make it to my 9:30 kickboxing class with room to spare. The nesting impulse, on the other hand, affects everybody else. Because it's their stuff that I am losing tolerance for. I have learned over the years to indulge this particular "garbage therapy" on the sly. I've actually begun already, and I sneaked a pickup truck load of castoffs into the bed of Hero Guy's pickup truck and concealed it under the handy tonneau cover he has on the back. He did really well, only salvaging one measly something-or-other and hoarding it back into the garage. It is yet to be seen how he will take the most recent discarding of his prized stereo system (the same one that we bought in our first month of marriage 17 years ago, and the same one that hasn't been plugged in or played since we moved into our current abode 11 years ago). The conversation usually goes like:
Me: "Babe, come look at how great I cleaned up the computer room."
Him: "Wow, where'd all the stuff go."
Me: "It's packed neatly away." (not mentioning that the present storage place is in the back of the truck).
MUCH LATER......
Me: "Hey, next time you've got a few minutes, I need you to drop off some stuff at the recycling center (in other words "dump")
Him: "What are we throwing away?"
Me: "Just some old junk I found laying around. None of it works anymore."
AFTER PEERING INTO THE PICKUP:
Him: "This is totally good stuff."
Me: "This is stuff you didn't even know you still had. I don't think it even still works."
Him: "You really need to inventory this stuff and take it to the Salvation Army so we can get a tax write-off."
Me: "You inventory it, and I'll be happy to unload it at the Salvation Army."
Him: "Let me check the hours of that-there dump. I'll run the stuff over as soon as I get a chance."

And so it goes, my house gets a little neater, I get a little happier and we actually have some walking room until next summer.

The tough part is getting to the kids' rooms without them noticing. I have learned to wait until the first week of school, when their rooms are good and messy and I've been bugging them to clean them for a week or so. One day they come home from school Mom has done them a huge favor to show them how much I've missed them. I've cleaned those rooms for them. They love when I do that, but it is so irksome to try to find that certain toy that was buried just there, under that pile.....

5 of Your THINKS:

calhounfamily said...

Pam apparently gets the same urges to reduce the inventory now and then. Our oldest gal is an incredible pack-rat; on days when she is out and about for awhile Pam loads several garbage bags full of truck thats been gathered in an amazingly short amount of time. Her life is an ongoing scrapbook. From empty chapstick containers, arranged neatly on the window sill, to clothing price tags and store labels taped to the walls, she keeps it all. I've found that the best fix for the "old stereo" type problem is to move. If you get a small truck some things just won't fit and you are forced to leave them behind. We have left some "treasures" in an old barn, far enough away to be out of our hair, but close enough that we don't lose the security of "having it". Oh well, this has become more than a comment, sorry for taking up gigabytes or whatever. Good luck with the physical fitness plan, don't kick anyone to hard. You were pretty good at karate now that I think about it.

Cool Mama said...

Hi! Just dropped in - was checking out the Christian Women on Line - and came across your blog! Had to laugh when I read it! I thought I was the only person who did the 'room clean' on the first day of school! Mmmm...we must be long lost sisters or something!!

Debbie said...

This blog totally cracked me up! I get the same way this time of year and never really thought about it much till you mentioned it. I’m already on my cleaning tangent cleaning everything out it seems. I like everything just so too and fortunately Bobby lets me pretty much keep house the way I like it. He is doing wonders cleaning through his things in "HIS" garage. I'm proud of him as he’s been able to say goodbye to lots of stuff.

mary ellen huff said...

Organizing, throwing out, cleaning up - words that make my heart flutter when I'm saying that I'm doing them, or they are done! Go Jen!!!

Anonymous said...

my solution to cleaning my kids rooms is to have them hold a garage sale in their room. i go through and offer to buy a HUGE bag of their stuff for $5 and then i take it to the mission:) they are happy cuz they have made $5 and i am happy cuz the suff is gone!
donna s