Hey, it’s hard work and I’m allowed to brag.  Of course it makes it sound like my house was unfit for human habitation.  I’ve got a head full of dust and snot but it honestly wasn’t bad enough to belong on reality television.  I’ve finally gotten over my fear of filling landfills with the excess in our home (still a huge fan of Freecycle and Goodwill though).  I thought about it and realized that it’s causing me a great deal of stress to be surrounded by boxes and piles of things that have no meaning.  I hang on to all this for the sake of not burdening someone/something else with it, and that doesn’t add value and peace to my life – it steals it from me.  I’m tired of the energy it sucks from me to walk in my home and not be able to enjoy it.  Well, yesterday I got my groove back.

Having my mom around the house during the week has its benefits.  After a *long* two weeks painting our living room we were finally ready to tackle the dining room and family room.  My mom and I plowed through with garbage bags and boxes getting rid of as much as we could while my daughter was at Girl Scouts – and unavailable to protest when I threw out a pile of scribble pictures from first grade and a beach pail of broken shells.  How the hell does this stuff wind up in my dining room?  The seldom-used rooms in our home become dumping grounds for when we need to clean the rest of the rooms.  It wasn’t just surface cleaning either, I opened up every drawer and emptied out old candles, outdated holiday decorations, and junk I don’t ever remember owning.

This afternoon’s job is to go through the four bookcases in the family room and remove all the board games and outgrown children’s books and store them in plastic bins so the baby doesn’t eat them (anymore).  Poor kid has been walking for about two weeks now and I really need to give him a totally baby-proofed room to roam in.

By setting a deadline to get all this work done – the Pumpkin Prince’s first birthday party – I have no choice but to get the house in shape.  And because I’m sort of tired of EVERYONE hanging out in our kitchen during parties, I needed to get several other rooms in shape for people to spread out in.  We also moved the gargantuan 61″ television from the family room to the ‘new’ living room in the front of the house.  The room has always been there, but eight years ago I had the crazy idea to paint it semi-gloss cranberry red … yeah.  It has also been a dumping ground for *stuff* we don’t know what to do with.  Now it’s repainted a gorgeous café au lait and Hersey’s chocolate color, set up with my husband’s speaker system, and now houses all our gaming consoles, so our everyday life (as well as parties) will be dispersed throughout all the square footage we pay a mortgage on.

Besides, my neighbor down the street with the impeccably decorated house may be coming to the birthday party.