Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clearing Out

My mother set impossible standards for cleanliness and tidiness in the home of our youth. Most tension and anger in our family revolved around housecleaning issues. As a result, I have impossible standards for my own home. I assure you that these standards are never met.

When the main floor is clean and tidy, the basement is a disaster. The reverse is true. It bothers me to the point of constant irritation. And spending all of my time in this messy/dirty house can make me a horrible person to live with.

All of this history makes it a little easier to understand why I am just so satisfied that my bedroom is clean and tidy. It has been vacuumed and dusted, the sheets are clean, and clean clothes are starting to make their way back into the closets and drawers.

The kitchen floor has no food stuck to it. The baby can crawl in the bathroom and suck on the toilet without causing me to disintegrate in panic (I disinfected the hell out of it today - and no I don't let him suck on the toilet, but he's getting really quick....).

Yesterday, I started this cleaning binge with a closet purge of momentous proportions. I ruthlessly disposed of anything that I don't wear and anything that I do wear but look horrible in. 5 large garbage bags of clothing were neatly piled into the trunk of my car and donated to the lovely people at the Salvation Army. (incidentally, as soon as I got back from the Salvation Army, I had to rush back to beg and plead with them to let me recover my husband's good coat, which was accidentally donated)

The most satisfying part of the whole thing is that this is something that I have been daydreaming about for a long time. Although it is always good to get rid of the clutter in our lives, this was the sort of clutter that carried extra weight with it. So many of these clothing items were ugly, and I knew it when I bought them. But these are the things that I bought between pregnancies. When I was looking for something cheap to get me through to next month, when I would surely be pregnant again. No use spending a lot of money on something you aren't going to wear for very long.

These clothing items spent too much time in my closet. And every time I put them on, I would remember wearing them when I didn't care about how I looked. When I gave up on appearances. When the only thing that mattered was my desperate charting of basil body temperature and cervical fluid.

These things carried with them the spectre of death. Yesterday, I purged my closet. In so doing, I moved even further away from a life of Death towards a life of Life.

5 comments:

Julia said...

Oh, this sounds great. I am dreaming of getting some time for some cleaning tasks. Somehow, even though I enjoy doing laundry, lately I am always behind. You have inspired me to try to catch up in one fell swoop. Tonight, I hope.
But yes, I know the clothes you speak of. I recently had to give up and buy bigger pants. They are not ugly per se, but I shouldn't own clothing in this size. And I do not care how I look, just trying to figure out when the damn cycle is going to be happening.
I am so glad you managed the Big Purge. It was clearly good for the soul.

Lisa b said...

Amazing.
A good cathartic cleanse.
It felt good just to read about it, you must feel a weigh lifted.

Bronwyn said...

I'm glad your clearout was beneficial emotionally as well as practically. Enjoy the peace it brings :)

I have gotten so far behind with my household chores that I despair in ever catching up...

Rosepetal said...

I so get this post, especially the last part " I moved even further away from a life of Death towards a life of Life."

I'm still in the "don't care and look horrible phase" but it's not as bad as it used to be. But I feel that I'm on the road, a little behind you.

Of course if Beanie or DH or my mother die, I'll be catapulted back along the road to the starting point. But I hope that won't happen. (See couldn't click on Publish Your Comment without adding that caveat there).

Ruby said...

A true inspiration.