Wow, I can’t believe it’s the first day of school already! The summer flew by. I’d like to say it was all fun and games, but I had a major health crisis (which explains my absence, sorry, folks) and was hospitalized briefly. This summer wasn’t our best ever, but as the saying goes when you hit rock bottom the only way to go is up. So, it’s onward and upward.
I think the best thing that happened in the Madhouse this summer was “The Great Purge of 2011”. Remember back when I said the chaos had escaped my brain? Well, thanks to my wonderful brother, Ty and dear friend, Michelle, the chaos has left the building. That’s right, we stuck a finger down the throat of the Madhouse and made it throw up.
And throw up it did. We spent 4 days diligently going through drawers, closets, boxes, cabinets, toy boxes and trunks. We hummed and hawed, voted and vetoed. We sorted and organized, ok I mostly supervised due to my health, but at last the purge was done. The final tally – 10 extra-large garbage bags full of trash; 7 extra-large garbage bags of paper recycling; 17 extra-large bags to the thrift store; 8 boxes of miscellaneous items to various sources; 7 boxes of books (the people who know me are gasping for air – “Hello, my name is Holly and I’m a bibliophile.); 1 large computer desk; 1 Lego table; 2 metal cabinets and a whole bunch of emotional baggage.
We got rid of baby toys, broken toys, McDonald’s toys and forgotten toys. Clothes that had been outworn, never worn or didn’t fit. Games that were never played and items no one could explain the purpose of. A thorough search under my son’s bed produced a grade 3 French cahier (Alexi started grade 7 today), various stuffed animals, pj’s that were at least 2 sizes too small and several AWOL socks. Digging through my daughter’s closet was like searching through a tomb. You expected Indiana Jones to pop up at any moment brandishing his whip and gloating over having found the golden idol.
Rian took part in some of the purge and did very well letting things go. It proved to me that my little girl is growing up. Alexi, on the other hand, was not quite so agreeable. We did his room when he wasn’t here. We even purged my room. My brother was quite proud of me because I was being merciless when it came to decision making. “Does this item have any value? Does it somehow enhance my life? Will I use it in the next couple of months?” If I answered no, out it went. It felt really good to get rid of stuff. Like a burden was lifted off my shoulders.
I have been avoiding doing this grand purge for several years now. I didn’t have time, I didn’t have energy, I’ll get around to it next week, next month, next year. You know the excuses, but I am so glad I buckled down and did it. The house feels so much lighter. It’s like we changed the entire essence of the Madhouse and it was so needed. The kids rooms are clean, I can see the floors in both rooms (it’s grey carpet) and when it gets a little messy it’s a quick 15 minute clean-up and they’re done.
The next purge that has to be done is mine – emotional, mental and spiritual. Yeah, really not looking forward to that one. Of course, there’s still the storage closet to do. That should really done first. Yeah, and I’ll get to that maybe next week or next month or next year.
Please note: it was recommended to me by a number of professionals that people, especially children, with mental health issues function much better in a physical space that is tidy, organized and isn’t cluttered. The less chaos there is the physical realm, the less chaos there is in the mental realm.