Over the past couple of months I've been taking a look at things that are bothering me about my life that would be easy to change. Among them was the terrible state of two rooms in our house that belong to me: my office and my dressing room.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I tackled my office and made significant progress getting it tidied up. I still have two big stacks of papers to deal with and I should probably clean out all the file drawers, too, but I've freed up a lot of floor space and made a spot for Kaylee to sit and look out the window, so I consider that a big win.
Yesterday I targeted my dressing room. In fact, I took before and after photos. Here was the view from the front door:
That suitcase on the floor? Yep, it had been there since my trip to Sweden in September. The cardboard boxes are Christmas gifts. The junk all over the bookcase and jewelry cabinet had been accumulating since 2010, according to the dates on documents in the lower strata (the top of the dresser to the left had a similar accumulation). And, as you can see, I'd also gotten pretty lax about putting away shoes and clean clothes.
Here's a peek at the state of my game shelves before I started:
Beyond the haphazard arrangement of the games, keep in mind that everything was covered with a thick layer of dust. Here's what the top shelf and dresser top looked like:
So, I jumped in and started putting laundry and shoes away. I also started a bag for clothes and shoes to give away at the next clothing exchange party I attend.
I took piles of stuff off every surface and examined each piece to determine whether it needed to be thrown away, shredded, taken up to my office (I know!) or tidied away in the room. I now have a little jewelry box full of thumb drives.
All of the Christmas gifts I've purchased went into a big bag so I could look at them in one place and make sure I actually have enough for everyone. I meant to wrap them all, but it was too late and I was too tired by the time I finished cleaning.
I took down all of the framed photos from my high shelves and dusted them thoroughly. That's something that hasn't been done since the last time I painted the room. I can't remember exactly when that was, but it was 2006 or before.
I'm not gonna lie—it was a horrible project. I kept wandering away and having to force myself to go back and keep going. I went through a zillion Swiffer duster cloths and it took almost every clothes hanger I own to hang up all my t-shirts and jeans at once.
Finally I finished tidying and mopped the floor. I still need to clean out all the drawers and the small closet, but the visible part looks better than it has in a very long time.
Here's how my game shelf came out. Notice how much darker the room is in the "after" photo. This took a long time.
There weren't that many surprises hidden in the room, but I did run across my favorite stuffed animal from childhood. Meet Koala Bear:
When I was about three, my parents brought him back for me after they went on a trip and left me with my grandparents. After stuffing started leaking out, my mother patched his left ear with a random piece of fabric that had been in our barn. Once his eyes and nose disappeared, there wasn't much more to be done. He lives in a little wicker purse that fits him perfectly. I dusted it carefully and put it back on the shelf.
The other thing I found that made me do a happy dance and fist pump was an extra pair of fresh contact lenses. That means I can put off a trip to the eye doctor until after Christmas, which my budget will appreciate.
Say what you will about feng shui, but it really does make a difference to clean out a couple of terrible, cluttered rooms. It's one fewer thing I have to worry about and it just makes using the rooms so much more pleasant and hassle-free.
Next on the agenda: cleaning the rest of the house and decorating for the holidays. I'm ready!