Thursday, August 30, 2007

OH, my aching back!

And arms...and neck...and shoulders...

I have this habit, you see, of taking what, to any other sane person, would be a simple, ordinary task and escalating it into an all day, labor intensive project of astronomical proportions.

My closet, for instance.

Could I just open the doors and rationally organize each item? Oh, no.

For me, the process is something a little more like this:

Slide open closet doors. See the astonishing amount of electronic equipment occupying the floor, (not to mention all the other things lying haphazardly about), and feel slightly overwhelmed. Take a break to remotivate yourself with kind comments left on your blog in response to your craziness. Brave another peek into the abysmal mess you call a closet. Determine that action really must be taken. Today. (Especially seeing as how you've now publicly announced your intentions.) Think to yourself, "Well, you know, Hubby and I have been talking about setting up that old computer in the schoolroom for the kids; I bet it wouldn't be that difficult to figure it out on my own...."

You can see how easily I get myself into trouble.

But really, as exhausting as it all was, I am actually quite pleased with how much I was able to accomplish yesterday. I made the kids chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I talked to my mom for over an hour on the phone. I ran the dishwasher, twice. I managed to get a load of towels done. And that closet.

I know I had put it off for so long because I just didn't know where to put everything. Once I started, though, I was surprised at how easily it all just seemed to fall into place, particularly the big things. I was able to make room in the school room closet for the large plastic box of math manipulatives. I relocated both of Darren's guitars to the corner of our bedroom, behind the recliner, and plugged in the amplifier between the recliner and sofa. (Why didn't I do this ages ago? It makes so much more sense to have them out and easily accessible!) I lugged the big old TV out to the garage to set with all the other furniture that we're not quite sure what to do with, and made room on the bookshelves for the box of books we brought home from Albuquerque a few weeks ago. But there was still that computer.

First I tried setting it all up on the school room table, but I just hated that it took up so much (okay, all) of our workspace. So then I started brainstorming what else I might be able to use, and remembered the old beat up desk we had stored out in our shed. It's one that's been in Darren's family for who knows how long, and which was covered in a coat (or two, or three) of dark green paint when we first met. (That desk was the first project Darren and I ever worked on together, stripping layers and layers of paint from it on my parents driveway, beneath the shade of our big old mulberry tree.) Once I thought about it, I was determined to have it in our school room, so I hauled it in from the shed, cleaned it up, and tried multiple reconfigurations of the room until I finally settled on an arrangement that I think will work for now. And, much to the delight of three incredulous kids, I was able to successfully get the computer set up! We have two School Zone disks (Alphabet & Numbers 1-100 and Colors, Shapes, & More) that Dylan and Caitlyn took turns playing yesterday, and Dylan was so excited to be able to type stories on his very own computer! This is one of his favorite things to do. He is so creative, and writes on such diverse subjects. Yesterday's story was about Pooh bear. I thought it was so sweet that I just had to share a picture! (But I never realized how difficult it is to photograph a computer screen!)

While they were busy playing, I finished the rest of the closet, throwing away an embarrassing amount of trash (including an entire container of expired medications, which had been stored way up high on the top of the bookshelf), and straightening the rest of the remaining contents. The best part for me was the realization that, now that I can actually walk into my closet to hang up clothes, I actually want to do more laundry! Imagine that!

Darren had seen my blog post earlier in the day and feared the worst when he walked into the house late yesterday afternoon. He knows how my projects invariably end with a bigger mess than when I began! He couldn't believe that everything was actually put back into it's place and that the rest of the house was picked up, too! Once we gave him the grand tour of our new and improved rooms, I was able to start dinner while he played with the kids. Happily, nobody had naps yesterday, so they were all asleep before 8:00! Not suprisingly, it wasn't much longer before I, too, was crawling into bed! Oh, the sleep. It felt so, so good!


Blair said...

Way to go, Melissa! It looks wonderful!

Matilda said...

It does look great! You have inspired me yet again. Would you mind talking about how things are organized in your closet and what all you store there. Our closet seems to be about the same size as yours and I think it could be more efficiently organized. Thanks!

Celeste said...

What a beautiful job Melissa! You are so much like ME!!! A little organizing turns into an all day overhaul!!! Too funny! I love what you did. ANd the story is so precious. I love all the "he said"s. Have a beautiful Thrusday!

Jennie C. said...

Well done!

He who wears the most black wins. said...

Behold the beauty!!

Well done, well done. I, too, turned my little "toy clean-up and organize effort" into an all day affair! It feels so better now though. Ahhh.....


Jane Ramsey said...

OK, the closet reorganization is really great...but what totally impresses me is the fact that Dylan can type such stories! WOW!