Friday, July 06, 2007

Not-So-Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

I started looking around my home yesterday and was discouraged by the sight of several very cluttered, disorganized, tired areas. So I decided to clean them up and play photojournalist at the same time. Here are my before and after pictures:

This is the windowsill in my kitchen.

They say that collections look better when the items are grouped together. I agree. I never intended to collect pitchers, but somehow I did.

This is the bar that separates our kitchen and dining room. It is the biggest clutter collector in our house. Everything ends up there, as you can see.

Much better.

Let's play Where's The Printer?, shall we?

Ah, there it is!

The top of the microwave - aka, spare key excavation site.

I even set the clock! No more 0:00.

The bathroom sink. Not exactly the most pleasant thing to see right before going to bed, or right after waking up.

Doesn't my toothbrush look happier?

Our nightstand. I've kept those candleholders out for...uh...years. Cause I like them. I've had candles in them...uh...twice?

I love being able to see surfaces.

I feel much better now.

Another chore I did yesterday was cleaning the dishwasher. It was...gross. The dishwasher hadn't been draining well, so I tackled the drain. Ew. But it was a very satisfying job to complete, and I now feel quite secure about the cleanliness of my dishes. That's always nice.

Today's project was supposed to be yard work. I headed outside to weed the "garden". By garden I mean 3'x6' raised pasture. It was supposed to be a garden, but when you let it go until July 6 without doing anything - anything, including tilling and planting - then it becomes a jungle of grass, clover, dandelions, and thorns. Nice. So I set out to empty it of all wild plants (that would be all green life currently in it), thinking that I would then put in some nice, super easy flower seeds or something. I grabbed the hoe and went to work. 25 minutes, a garbage bag's worth of weeds, an allergy flare-up, and one painful popped blister later, I was inside seeking iced tea and triple antibiotic ointment. What a wimp I've become! After Elise's nap this afternoon, we'll be heading to the local nursery in search of good gardening gloves and some easy-to-plant plants, preferably already in bloom, for some incentive to finish the job.

I'm not a gardener. Not at all. My mom is a propagation manager at a very large nursery. Maybe the green thumb gene is the kind that skips a generation. Maybe I should turn the yard over to Elise. Hmm. Anyway, I would like to be a gardener. I'm just realizing and accepting that it's something I have to practice. I have to cultivate and weed and plant and weed and water and weed and fertilize and weed. I can't just look at our jungle and sigh and wonder why it isn't beautiful. I am rather impatient when it comes to learning. If something doesn't come naturally to me, I get discouraged, and I tend to avoid things that I know don't come naturally to me - sports, art, etc. I'm not proud of this fact, but I am glad that I recognize it. Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards solving it, right? Thus...gardening. Baby steps.


Retha said...

Clutter drives me up the walls too, just do not understand why it happens so fast.
Hope the garden is what you expected it to be, that the blisters are OK

lindiepindie said...

My friend Lizzie has a beautiful home and when I looked around her house, I realized the difference between her home and mine (besides that her's is 10 years newer) is that she puts away her stuff! NO CLUTTER. I realized I could use a lesson from her. Your makeover look great - and makes a huge difference in your sanity, doesn't it?

Beth said...

It looks great! It must be viral, because I just overhauled our coat closet and entryway (though the entryway still had clutter to offer up long after I got tired).