A little while back, my friend Melissa posted a journal entry about the “staycation” they took, accomplishing things around the house rather than going on a trip. I was totally jealous of her list as our house was a disaster area thanks to the usual child issues and that I had been slacking on any upkeep due to a Crohn’s flare-up. Awhile back, my mom had invited Cecilia to “vacation” at her house for a weekend. It was originally going to happen last weekend, but events transpired otherwise and so it turned out to be this weekend. Joe and I weren’t going anywhere, but we decided that it was Live Up to the Example Weekend. I think we did ok!
- Toy exodus/organization – This was the huge project for the weekend and it definitely took some time. The problem was mostly twofold: Cecilia has weird little collections of things and we really didn’t have a good place to clean things up into. I bought a number of clear bins at K-Mart a little while back and we basically made a huge pile of stuff on the floor in the living room after corralling it all, turned on Heathers and got to work. We tossed a bunch of stuff (do we really need the Star Wars party favors from Alex’s birthday?) and tried to sort things out into the bins in some sort of order. I’m pretty happy with the results, although I did need to quickly run out and grab a few more bins. We got rid of a bunch of nonsense stuff, moved some “baby” toys into a box that I’ve put in the closet so that they are available if she suddenly NEEDS one of them. The good thing now is that there are places to actually put things to clean up, so I think, regardless of child participation, it will be easier to keep it from taking over again. I think it will also help her actually play with more of her stuff because she’ll be able to find it more easily.
- Middle room attack – This was mostly Joe’s project. The middle bedroom was kind of a mess of Joe’s music stuff. We decided to give up on it being a guest room with a bed and have him just use it as a music room. The basement was originally going to serve that purpose, but we really need to do some work down there to clean it up more and get the moisture down a bit. In the distant future, I’d like to re-do the “finished” rooms to be a more comfortable rec room and laundry room area. It used to be like that, as much as one can with 1960s wood paneling and such, but not so much right now. So he moved the bed out to store downstairs for now and just did a bunch of sorting and cleaning and setting up so he can actually use the room. It looks good.
- Clean bedrooms – Cecilia’s room was already pretty good after bringing her bed in last weekend, so I just did the usual vacuuming, etc. I washed all of our bed linens and changed the sheets, vacuumed, did a little decluttering of stuff.
- Clean bathrooms – I did our bathroom, Joe did Cecilia’s (which is the “public” bathroom, but it’s right next to her room). You know what happens with bathroom cleaning.
- Vegetable soup stock – In the afternoon, I finally put my bag of veggie bits on the stove to make some veggie stock. I had been saving cut ends of veggies in the freezer for this purpose. It will come in handy this week when I have to prep for my capsule endoscopy and need to stick to a liquid diet.
- Along with the toy project, the front room and living room got vacuumed and cleaned as part of the whole project. We also cleaned out the living room closet and purged a number of things. We have a trip to donate some stuff planned today and brought a bunch of bags down to the dumpster yesterday. We also purged some stuff from the kitchen and around the house a little too. This is an ongoing project.
Amidst this, we took breaks for lunch and snacks and bathing. We also had to finally attend to burying Brand O. Not that we had been putting it off, but I wanted to wait until the ground was soft and it was a little warmer so we could plant something along with burying him. So the poor little guy had been in a tightly sealed box, wrapped in a blanket in our basement freezer until yesterday. I also kind of wanted to do it without Cecilia there. Not that doesn’t know what happened – we’ve talked about it a lot, but he was always more of OUR cat and Cheddar is more her cat, so it seemed right. We bought some blueberry plants and had a sniffly little ceremony. I’m glad it’s taken care of and it should be a nice spot. I miss my sweet puddy.
We hemmed and hawed about dinner. We can’t afford to eat out a lot lately, but I wanted to reward ourselves for our work and take advantage of a “adult” night out. We finally decided on The Lotus Garden on Bleecker St. in Utica and it was great. I had never been, but I had heard it was good. We got spring rolls and noodle dishes and were happy and the atmosphere was cozy. I’d go back! Stayed up late watching random things on tv and I made labels for the toy bins and we had a late dessert (those little heat-in-oven from freezer bumbleberry blossom things that satisfy my pie cravings).
I woke up early this morning, but I’ve been lounging on the couch, watching local morning shows and having tea and writing this, which is good. Our kitchen has been the dumping area, so we’ll finish getting that stuff out before Joe heads out to pick up Cecilia and go to church. We will also be FINALLY TAKING DOWN THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Oy. And then I’ll mop the floor and clean kitchen surfaces (did the inside of the microwave yesterday) and whatever other puttering. We’re going to go to my mom’s for supper later.
One thing that didn’t happen this weekend was getting the dirt in the raised beds turned over, but the rainy, cold weather precluded that a bit. It’s not like I’m going to be planting right away anyway, so I didn’t mind that getting put off. I also made a box for the kitchen with file folders to catch all of our individual papers to cut down on that sort of clutter spewing all over the house. And having the box on that shelf will help keep that shelf from becoming a toy landing area. Joe also hung some pictures up around the house too that had been sitting in wait. I feel like there are also lots of little things that happened (some loads of dishes and laundry) too.
Overall, I’m happy with what we got done! The toy thing was huge and made a big difference. And I feel like the stuff we did helped to get us to a level where we can continue with the purging project more, rather than getting mired back in the everyday stuff as much. It definitely felt like a good spring cleaning reset.