I have debated long and hard about writing this blog post. There are some things that perhaps should not be blogged about. Things that might be best left “behind closed doors”. Things you might not want to know about me. You see, this is something I’m not proud of. It’s something I’m positively ashamed of. It’s a situation that’s been brewing for a long time, that has finally reached a head. I could tell it was bad when it started bothering the geekdaddy enough for him to comment on it, and saying we had to do something to change things.
Yes, our house is a complete tip, and we have to do something to sort it out!
I think it’s probably fair to say that the geekdaddy and I are not the most tidy of people. I have always been the kind of person that allows things to build up and then has a huge blitz and sorts it all out. But since we’ve had kids, the amount of clutter has just increased exponentially, and I’ve really lost control now. If I’m honest I lost control a while ago – the main reason I didn’t want to host the geekdaughter’s last birthday party, almost a year ago, in our house was down to the state of it. I didn’t want parents of her friends from nursery, who had never met me before, to come into the mess that is my house and judge me.
I’ve said before that the life of the working mother is a life of compromise. I can’t spend enough time doing any of the things I want to do, so I constantly juggle what I’m doing in order to keep everything “ticking over”. I am fortunate in that one of the perks of me working is that I can afford a cleaner, so my house is kept pretty clean, but they are cleaners, not tidiers, which means that anything we haven’t tidied away before they come each week is just piled up in the most convenient place. In the kitchen that’s the sideboard, and in the lounge it’s one of our sofas. We have two sofas in our lounge, but only one can be sat on at the moment because the other one, as you can see from the picture at the top of this blog post, is buried in kids’ stuff.
The state of the house has been really getting me down recently, so it was like a breath of fresh air when the geekdaddy commented that it was also getting to him, as it meant we could work together to make a plan to improve things. We’ve got basically two problems. Firstly we have too much stuff, and secondly we don’t have enough storage space. So the solution is pretty simple. Get rid of some stuff and get some more storage.
We have a grand master plan. It involves major decluttering and redesign of 4 rooms of the house, but I’m hoping we can do it all both cheaply and quickly. I want to talk about what we’re doing here, and share photos so that I keep a record of what we’ve achieved and so you can see how we’re doing.
What follows are the “before” pictures.
First of all, the room of most concern is our lounge. We all spend lots of time in this room each day, and at the moment large chunks of it are unusable due to the amount of clutter we have.
The solution we’ve chosen is to sort all the toys, donate a lot to charity shops, and moving most of the rest into the kids’ bedrooms. We’ll still keep some stuff in the lounge, probably things like the Lego and the train set, but we need to get a lot out.
Which brings us on to the playroom. When we bought this house originally we deliberately bought bigger than we thought we needed, so that we’d had enough space, as we’d grown out of the previous house in about five seconds flat. So we’ve always had one room that we didn’t know what to do with. It’s actually our second largest bedroom, which started off as an office, but we then converted the dining room into an office, and half reverted the bedroom back to being a bedroom before it became a general junk-dumping room.
This room also has a desk in one corner – this is because at one point we were going to make this into an “escape” room for the geekdaddy to work in so the kids wouldn’t bother him. He’s never used it once (I think he quite likes the kids bothering him really!). Our plans for this room are to clear out all the clutter and turn it into a playroom and guest room (yes, there is a bed under all that clutter!). This will be where the toys we want to keep from the lounge end up, and I hope over time it will become a “den” for the kids to hang out in. The desk we plan to move downstairs as and when we tackle our office.
Ah yes, the office. I think this is the room that really shows our geeky nature. I don’t think I know anyone else who has converted their dining room into an office, complete with industrial-strength air-conditioning for those hot summer days! We spend a LOT of time in this room, but again we haven’t got enough storage, so a lot of stuff ends up on the desks and all over the floor…
It’s a big room which currently has four desks in it, one in each corner. As we don’t have as many computers as we used to have, we’re going to take out one of the desks and replace it with floor to ceiling shelving. This should then give us enough storage to get the clutter out. We’re also going to replace one of the more rickety desks with the one from the playroom as well.
In addition to the above we’ll do a small amount of shuffling around in the kids’ bedrooms to put some extra shelves in each of those too. We’re really making sure that we have plenty of storage everywhere!
So there you are. I am still very unsure about sharing the state of my house with you all, but at least we have a plan of how we’re going to tackle it. We’ve already removed an awful lot of junk from the bedroom that’s going to become a playroom, so I feel like we’re already making changes and we WILL sort this all out. It’s a bit like a giant sliding puzzle in that we have to tackle things in a logical order – decluttering to make space to enable more decluttering and then storage of the stuff we’re keeping. I expect it will take us a while to get everything sorted, but I’m very much looking forward to getting it all under control at last. I will post updates here from time to time, as I will enjoy seeing the whole situation improve, bit by bit.