That was the word of the year for 2012.
We certainly learned to "occupy" our home. And you know what? It looks occupied. I'm glad that we're learning how to be at home better - it used to mostly be the place we slept. Last year we learned to really use it, for playing, gardening, sleeping, being family. At the end of the year it was a disaster. I felt crazy because of the lack of organization - toys were in every room - and I do mean EVERY room of the house. Clothes were scattered hap-hazardly around. Dishes were dirty most of the time. Floors were unswept (with 3 boys and 2 cats, that is really not good). It looked bad and I felt worse. A dirty house gets me irritable. Oh boy have I been crazy irritable.
My word for the house this year is "RECLAIM". We will continue to occupy our house and use it well. Here's the thing though - we can use it AND keep it clean. I am going to reclaim the organization, the floors, the laundry piles, my house and my sanity.
I don't expect to have a perfectly clean house all of the time... after all, I have 3 young children, 2 old cats, and a husband. We like to spend time outside - and the boys love to bring outside in. Even though it will not be fully clean all of the time, there will be a sense of order. We're getting there. I feel much more at peace about our house today than I did even a week ago. We're not there yet - but much closer.
My plan? I started with the boy's rooms - because it's the room that gets ignored the most. We took down the toddler bed and ordered a mattress for the bottom bunk. Yes - we took down the toddler bed BEFORE the mattress arrived. Crackers was starting to sleep on the bunkie board that is made to hold his big mattress - I just put the crib mattress on the bunkie board while we wait. We bought dressers for the boys and put their clothes in them. Okay, well - it's time to fold more laundry and put it away too now. Then we sorted toys, completed a project that had been sitting in their room for a months, just waiting. Put wall decals up. Sat back, and enjoyed watching them play.
Next we attacked the livingroom/dining room (it's looking a tad messy again this morning, I'll need to do a bit of cleaning later). We removed ALL toys that did not belong to the train table. My brilliant sister recommended the use of a train table as a coffee table. This makes a great space for my boys to play downstairs. We cleared the dining room table and swept underneath it. Crackers is an especially messy eater and mama hadHow do n't been doing well with keeping up after him.
Our bed frame broke on Christmas morning and we were using one of the boys stools to hold it up. Last night we were able to get a new frame from some friends. New frame in place, today is the day I clean/rearrange our bedroom for a fresh new feeling. So far I think I like it - but my bed is piled with things that need to get put away - including more toys that haven't found their way upstairs yet. I'm thankful for Monkey's help - any time he sees a toy in my room, he grabs it and lets me know that toys are supposed to be upstairs now, then promptly takes it up.
I still have some work in the kitchen - a few bags of groceries need to be emptied into the pantry (which is in the basement), more dishes have appeared - somehow we keep getting dirty dishes, I think we might stop eating for a few days so we don't make any new ones.
Then is my nemesis - laundry. I've got a good sized pile of dirty clothes to get through the wash and a mountain of clean clothes to fold and put into dressers - or somewhere - I don't think my dresser is big enough for my clothes, we're still working on a solution there.
By the end of next week it should all be in order. This weekend is Cracker's birthday party - I don't think it will all be done yet before the event, but I won't feel as embarrassed about the condition of my house, and I won't feel crazy as soon as I walk in the door.
I am looking forward to reclaiming my house.
What are your messy places?
What will you reclaim this year?
Do you have any great tips on keeping your house organized?