Tag Archives: tidy

It’s Just Around The Corner And It Just Might Make You Smile!

It is unusual, but I rather like this picture of me.  It seems to depict a moment of calm.  One of the most striking things I notice when I look at it, though, is how tidy and clean that portion of the room is looking.  This is a picture from one of our two main social gatherings we hold at our home each year during the holidays.  No matter what the house normally looks like, and I assure you this is not it, for at least those two days the upstairs is both clean and tidy.

This topic of tidying has come up before in my blog in the context of a blog about panic-clean-up boxes.  What I want to look at today is not the act, but the anticipation.

It was just today that it really sunk in for me that next week is Remembrance Day. For me on November 11 at approximately 12 PM Christmas begins.  I know that it won’t even be Advent yet, but that is the afternoon when the Christmas music gets added back onto my I-pod for the season and the first hints of Christmas decoration will begin to peek out from the closets and storage areas of the house.  This being the case, it is time to start picking away at the tidying job.

It is important in our lives to look forward to something.  It may be as simple as looking forward to that after-supper cup of coffee, special like a get-together with someone special, or something big like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Eid.  I’ve been down lately but I had plans with a good friend for after school today and my step got gradually lighter today as I realized it was getting closer and closer.  This is a special kind of magic that comes with Christmas.  In Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch puzzled to find that, ” It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.”

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we remembered to sprinkle a little of that magic into every new day as we get out of bed?  Every new day is a special gift.  Of course not everything may go our own way, but it is a day you have never yet experienced and we don’t know what pleasant surprise we might miss if we are looking down at our feet and waiting for the veritable shoe to drop!  Instead we could turn every corner looking forward to the new view, meet every person knowing we could make them smile, and go home at the end of the day refreshed rather than wrung out!

The Panic Clean-Up Box

For those super housekeepers out there I realize that this topic will seem totally foreign and possibly even made up.  For the rest of us, for whom a clean and tidy house is a far-off aspiration, it will be well-known.  No, I’m not going to talk about hoarders, the topic is the Panic Clean-Up Box.

Here is the scenario.  You have guests coming over.  You have been gradually working on getting the house ship-shape for a week or so but now it is crunch time.  They will be arriving in a matter of hours and you are not finished.  What do you do?  You take a largish box around with you and basically shovel everything off the flat surfaces in your house (at least the areas guests will see) into the box.  That finished you shove the box in a closet or storage room, vacuum the floor, dust the now clear surfaces and collapse exhausted onto the couch to catch your breath before they arrive.

Months may go by before you miss something and go looking for it, and even longer before you think to check the PC-UB and there you discover a treasure trove of things you had not even missed.  The possibility that we have far more stuff in our homes than we need really comes to the fore at this time.

There was a time when our panic clean-ups would require more than one box and happened with almost every visit.  We have improved immensely and sometimes only use one grocery bag now.  This is due partly to deciding that people can cope with the real us and we don’t need to pretend to be neat-nicks to have a friend in for coffee.  I think the other major influence is that we don’t have young children anymore.  Today I am going to go through a couple recent PC-UBs, I wonder what I’ll find?

So, I emptied one box and one bag and other than a full grocery bag of papers to recycle,  a handful of papers to shred, and five or six items to throw away, I found;

1 Jeffery Deaver novel
1 pot holder
1 book on green philanthropy
1 taped copy of a magazine we were supposed to return some time ago,
1 package of watch batteries,
1 unused flip-light
1 power adapter (unclear what it is for)
1 deck of cards
1 notebook with sticky notes from a conference (unused)
1 plate stand
1 coaster
1 needle threader
1 padlock with key
2 photos
1 pair of panels for a baby quilt (front and back)
1 small piece of fabric with horses on it
4 resource books for running KAIROS workshops on environment and Healing&Reconciliation
1 report from our World Vision child in Rwanda

The next challenge is what to do with this stuff.  Much of it ended up in the PC-UB due to it not really having a proper spot in the house.  The books I will give to the church yard-sale, the coaster will go away with the rest, the fabric and needle threader down in the sewing area.  In the end, though, I know that some of it will probably turn up in another box at a later date.  At least the bulk of it will be going out of the house through garbage or recycling and then the cycle can begin again.