I don’t do resolutions or giving up things at the start of a new year, but one January stereotype that does tend to lure me in is the sudden urge to organise my life – or in this case, my house.
I’m not the biggest fan of this time of year. It’s dark, the excitement of Christmas and Sam’s annual leave is over, and warmer weather still seems a long way off. Despite having Arlo to entertain, it’s hard to resist the urge to be a hermit for the duration of January and February. We’re having a fair amount of downtime, pyjama days, etc, so to stop myself from feeling like a complete waste of space day in day out, I’ve undertaken a massive household decluttering mission.
There is actually very little that needs to be done to prepare for the arrival of our second child. We might buy a double buggy or at the very least a buggy board, I have my eye on a new sling, and a changing bag seeing as the one I used for Arlo has torn under the weight of everything I stuffed inside it! Other than that, we have all the clothes and equipment that we might need, and the baby’s bed (for the first year at least) is going to be a mattress on the floor in our room. The one major thing we do need to do to prepare for baby two’s arrival is to literally make more room in our house.
Up until recently there wasn’t even room to store all of my own clothes in our wardrobes, let alone find space for the tons of baby clothes that will shortly be back in action. But gone is the floordrobe that perpetually irritated Sam. Gone are clothes I’ve not worn in ages. (There was no just need to own six pairs of pyjama bottoms, or keep old jumpers with holes in). Mostly due to changes in style, I’ve finally decided to part ways with the bag of clothes that I haven’t fit into since 2006. Meanwhile the clothes that I haven’t fit into since 2010 (that I’m still convinced will be making a comeback at some point in the future) have been folded neatly into storage bags and packed away.
I’m perfectly happy with clutter existing alongside my day-to-day life. In many ways, clutter is my natural state. Except in January when I get this strange desire to sort it all out. And even I can see that a small house with every available surface currently utilised as a clutter breeding ground is not highly compatible with a newborn and all the stuff they come with. Add Arlo’s mess and toys on top of that and it doesn’t bare thinking about.
I know it helps keep things tidy if everything has a place. But the problem is that we’ve never bought any furniture for this house (I can’t even get Sam to agree to buy a shoe rack). We made do with items donated to us that perhaps aren’t the best fit for a tiny house, and as a result there just isn’t the scope for everything to have a place – or a good place, I should say.
Anyway, I’ve organised Arlo’s bedroom as best I can so that everything does have some sort of place. Our bedroom is looking much better as a result of my numerous trips to the charity shop and recycling point. We have a toybox in the living room (although aside from that there is really no hope for this room, it’s always the messiest and I doubt we will ever utilise the space properly). The dining room is our most functional room, but it’s also our entrance hall, so I’ve finally sorted out a proper ‘home’ for coats, gloves and hats… I would love that shoe rack though. Next stop is to declutter the bathroom and maybe persuade Sam to let me buy some sort of basket or box so that we have somewhere to at least put fold towels away (Sam really has something against me going to IKEA to assess storage options, I think he might be happy if we just put everything we own in cardboard boxes).
Soon the house will be tidy enough that I can relax in the kowledge that it’s in a fine state to be messed up again in all the chaos that having a newborn (and a toddler) will bring.
(No pictures with this post because I think my idea of tidy is enough to give most people nightmares).