Our weekend was spent cleaning, organizing, and decluttering our home.
I told my husband that we should focus on one room at a time until the house is exactly how we want it.
We agreed that February we’d clean our front room including the front hall closet, so that was our weekend project.
Except it snowballed into the library, back room, and two kids rooms.
Naturally, I blame my husband for this catastrophe. You’d think that it would be a success completing four extra rooms, but no.
None of the rooms are exactly how we want them.
The original idea was to clean up the front room, and since I currently use the front room for crafting, I needed to move all my crafts down to my library.
In my library’s current state, I would not be able to comfortably fit my crafts (including iMac and Cricut machine), even though there’s enough space.
Technically, my first project was to reorganize the library in order to make room for my crafting supplies.
So I flipped through an IKEA catalogue, got some ideas, called my mother and asked her to come with me, and off we went.
Anxiety Through Chaos
Side note, I don’t like shopping anywhere aside from Indigo and Michaels. All other stores give me anxiety.
Too many choices. Too many people. More on this in a future post.
My husband also gets his own form of anxiety when shopping at certain places, so it’s best if we don’t shop together.
With the amount of furniture I wanted to buy, I needed a partner, and since my mother understands that I have anxiety, she dropped everything and came with. Thank you, Mama!
The trip to IKEA took longer than expected, but eventually we got through it, getting everything on the list and not straying from it once.
How I got through that parking lot of chaos without having a mental breakdown is probably a story for a different time.
Finally, it was time to put all this furniture together. You don’t have to suffer from mental illness to know how hard it is to put together IKEA furniture.
Between the trip to IKEA, and coming back to find my house in disarray as the kids were trying to ‘clean’, I was very clearly suffering from extreme anxiety.
I hadn’t even started building yet, and I was already feeling that overwhelming sense of panic.
Fortunately for me, my husband does the handy stuff and just calls when he needs an extra set of hands.
While he was putting together the desk and chair, I helped the kids clean their bedrooms to make room for desks of their own (my husband’s idea, hence the blaming of him at the start of the post).
These desks are currently in the back room, and the kids just decided they wanted them in their bedrooms now, so that means we also have to organize the back room too.
See how the project escalated? It was supposed to be the front room only, but I had acknowledged that to do this, I’d also need the library reorganized also.
Okay, so one room became two – but then to distract the kids with tasks of cleaning, it became five.
To make matters worse, the storage unit that I bought would not go together. No matter how hard we tried, that thing just wasn’t holding.
I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack, while I can also feel my husband’s anxiety amplifying tenfold.
For our sanity, I thought the safest thing to do was quit.
It was either cut our losses on the storage unit or our marriage. Either way, one thing was about to blow.
It’s okay to quit.
The room was coming along nicely, but we had to stop. I told my husband we should not build the storage unit.
“Let’s put it back in the box, I’ll return it and get something else.”
So we did that, and then he asks, “Well, now what?”
For the first time, probably ever in my life, I said, “Now, nothing. We take a break. Everything else can wait.”
My library isn’t done. My front room isn’t done. We haven’t even looked in the front hall closet.
The back room is messy and there’s a gap from where my son’s desk was. His bedroom looks a bit better, but still needs a massive decluttering.
Same with my daughter’s bedroom, which includes furniture that belongs in a nursery and not a 7-year-old girl’s room.
So much disarray and here I said, “Let’s stop.”
Our whole family needed a break. Once we get a new storage unit, at least two of the rooms will come together as my craft supplies won’t be all over the floors in either room.
IKEA was closed for the day, and I thought we needed to do that too. Just close up shop. The mess can wait.
I felt the mood shift. My husband and I were able to take a deep breath and let all that anxiety go. We could sit down and relax. We could breathe.
Our house is not the way we wanted. Not even one room is finished.
But it will get there. We don’t need to do it all today. We can break it off into manageable chunks and eventually our house will become a home again.
My goal was to clean the front room in the month of February. Things had to get messier before they could get cleaner.
As I’m writing this, it’s still February and I still have about a week left to get that room spotless. I can do it.
But it’s okay if I can’t.
As long as I’m making progress, I feel successful.
I may not have finished the rooms, or even the furniture, but I did stop a meltdown in its tracks. Two meltdowns if you count my husband’s also.
We can get through this, one day at a time.
*Update – it’s now March 15th, and we did declutter the front room. It’s not spotless, but it’s clutter-free!