Things have been hectic, to say the least. We put an offer on a house last night, and it was accepted. Yay! But now comes the less-than-fun part of cleaning up Craig's house and my house and putting them on the market.
Craig's house will be relatively painless. Sure, he's got a catch-all room that needs to be cleaned out, but even his junk room is neat. Perhaps I'll put him in charge of junk in the new house.
My house on the other hand, not so much. I have a clutter problem. If I can keep up with it, then it's not so bad. But once it starts to creep out of control, BOOM! Piles of clean clothes here, junk mail there, receipts over here, and all the mess in between. I get overwhelmed and think "there's no way I can clean all this up!" and so I go outside and play with Maddy.
However, the time has come to face facts - the chair under all that laundry is supposed to be used for seating. I suppose I should put all that HGTV knowledge to use.
So, after we tackle Craig's house, we tackle mine. We will do one room at a time and employ the three box rule - keep, pitch, donate.
That's all well and good in certain rooms but once I get upstairs, things change a bit. How do I throw away Jessica and Kelli's things?
Jessica's room isn't going to be hard to clean out, clutter-wise. She was never a packrat, something she obviously did not inherit from me. As a matter of fact, she did a huge purge of her room last summer, getting rid of old school papers, outgrown clothes and shoes, and her shoebox and shopping bag collection. Seriously, do you need all these Express and VS bags?
Kelli's room is a different story. She's got pictures, knickknacks, notes, books, Jonas Brothers posters - oy vey. Very much a typical 14 year old girls' room. Her dresser is covered in lotion bottles, mascara tubes , junk jewelry, and miscellaneous things that mean nothing to me but probably represent something that was momentous in her life.
Clutter aside, it's deciding what to do with it. What do I keep, what do I store away for Maddy, what do I throw away?
Can I handle going through their clothes? The purple satin shirt Jessica wore to Dane Cook, the halter top she wore to Dave Matthews, the dress she wore on her first day of college or even her favorite PJ pants from 6th grade. Kelli's cheerleader outfit, the Forever 21 shirt with the cherries that she LOVED, her red striped polo, her skinny jeans that were her favorites.
Someone suggested having a quilt made of their clothes. I think that's an excellent idea and something I'm going to definitely look into. Know any crafty quilting types? Send them my way.
I'm also going to set aside things for their friends to go through and take, if they want. As much as I'd like to keep their rooms intact and not change anything, I know it's not going to be that way. I miss them but we've got to move forward. I don't want to just box it up and have to go through it again in the future.
In our new house, I plan to make a special corner just for them and display their pictures and their collectibles, like Jessica's shot glass collection, Kelli's snow globes, and all the angels figures I received after they died.
They'll never be forgotten, regardless of whether I have their things or not. But it's nice to have something tangible to hold on to.