The other night I felt an urge to get rid of everything. Everything. I wanted the books, picture frames, files, magazines, souvenirs, change jars and dog toys gone. I felt claustrophobic, strangled by our belongings. I craved clear surfaces and space.
I’d lost my cell phone for the millionth time earlier that day. Motherhood, or perhaps the lack of sleep that comes with waking with an infant throughout the night, has made my mind even more scrambled than ever. I become furious when I misplace something, which is often.
I also spent a frustrated five minutes looking for the glass of water I’d just refilled. I asked my husband if he’d moved it. “You mean the water glass next to the bed?” he asked. Yes, that one. Yes, I put it there. Yes, I’m a mess.
I don’t have the energy or time to spare searching for keys, coupons, stamps, bills and cell phones. Frantically looking in piles and under laundry makes me crazy. I need to do something differently.
Peeper’s newfound mobility has pressed the issue of our disorganized and overfilled home.
She’s not zipping around the apartment yet. Her crawling is still pretty tentative, and she manages only a few “steps” at a time. But she’ll soon be bopping from room to room, trying to put everything in her mouth. Do I want her gnawing on the free weights under the TV stand or the unfilled picture frames sitting in the corner? Not really.
So I’m beginning my purge. Our apartment won’t look Apartment Therapy-ready anytime soon. Well, ever. But I hope that downsizing some of our belongings will make baby-proofing a little easier.
An added motivation is our need to keep dust to a minimum. We got our dog’s allergy test back last week, and it turns out that he’s allergic to dust mites (along with being off-the-charts reactive to flea bites). Finn has had four serious bouts of illness in the last seven or eight months, and I don’t want him to suffer through another. If getting rid of stuff—and the places where dust can collect—helps him, how could I begrudge giving something to Goodwill?
So here’s my commitment. Internet, every day for the next month I will take at least one step toward creating a home safer for my family.
I’m hoping that giving myself 30 days will make the project feel less overwhelming. I’ll do my best to check in weekly and report the progress I’ve made. (Yay accountability!)
Do you have any suggestions? What babyproofing projects did you focus on? How do you keep big home projects manageable? Do you have any decluttering tips?