Sorry for my absence, I've been busy growing and birthing a human. We welcomed little Dax Hezekiah the end of March and we are most certainly in love with him!
Toward the end of my pregnancy I had some medical issues which had me frequenting the doctors' office upt to 4 times a week and after Dax's arrival he had a ten day stay in the NICU. All is well with both of us now, but as you can imagine, it did change my priorites and take its toll on the upkeep of our home.
If you remember a couple posts back I began a journey to live more simply. You can find the full story here, but the short version is I began decluttering our home as an attempt to regain some sanity, create a more welcoming space, live artisticly, and be more attentive to the needs of our community. With nine people in our family and over 50 animals on our "farm" it has not been the easiest of tasks, but we were definitely making great strides with 42 trash bags,11 boxes, and a few large miscellanous items being donated and over 50 things being sold on ebay within a four month time frame. I was not completely finished venturing through the house on my decluttering mission when my efforts were forced to the back burner, but I am now easing back into the process and mindset of simplifying. To begin I trepidatiously entered the kids bathroom and set the timer for 30 minutes.
I started in the medicine cabinet that is shared by 5 of the middle children. It contained a lot of used, somewhat damp, bars of soap that have rusted the metal shelving; I threw them all out. Ever heard of a soap dish, Children?! Several unused hotel soaps and shampoos graced many of the shelves which left me a bit baffled since we have not stayed in a hotel in over three years. (Where did they come from?) I allowed one per kid and placed the rest in the donation box for a local homeless ministry. The bottom shelf of Sadie's section housed a shrine to a Number 8 birthday candle that she is saving for later this year. I left it alone.
Moving onto their counters I removed a dead plant that was adorned with sporadic artificial flowers stems stuck in the dirt (memorial flowers for animals that have passed on), wads of watered down toilet paper like the kind you find on the ceiling of High School bathrooms, and under the barely used bath towels laying on the counter I discovered that one of my adorable Picasso kiddos had created an abstract masterpiece with several colors of finger nailpolish. Dead plant was trashed, flower memorial was placed in a small decorative pot on counter, wads trashed, towels hung up, and I added finger nail polish remover to the shopping list.
Note to self: get over your fears and make a visit in the kids' bathroom daily for sanity and health reasons!
Next up, drawers! Here I discovered more artificial flowers, which went into the donation pile, followed by dead flowers they collected outside, grass, moss, and a realitively small rock collection that now resides in our flower bed out front. There were more travel size toiletries from the mysterious hotel stay which went into the donation pile, toothless combs, tiny pieces of cut hair from the time Sadie gave herself bangs, and ripped up paper which became all friends with the toilet paper wads in the trashcan.
The cupboards under the sink were empty aside from some cleaner and four of my stainless steel bowls that someone snuck out of my kitchen cupboard for Lord knows what. Since I had not missed them and didn't realize they were gone, into the donation pile they went.
The towel cupboard beside the shower had no towels at all in it, but had become the home of 8 empty shampoo bottles! Not sure why these kids think getting out of the shower, walking a few steps, opening a cupboard to stash empty bottles is easier than the step it takes to put it in the trash, but whatever.
I then quickly wiped down mirrors, counter top, and cupboard doors where I discovered Sadie had crafted with her chopped off hair by shellacking bits onto the knobs with clear nailpolish. Serious creativity!
I removed a magnifying mirror from the wall that was left by the previous owners. It was mounted too high for the kids to see themselves, so I took it down and placed it in the donation bag.
Time was done!
I finished my 30 minutes with one bag of trash, a few items for donation, and a clutter free nail polish covered vanity. Progress with a mix of disgust.