Do You Stuff Things in Drawers and Closets? by Liz Nord

Our house flooded Saturday night. Yep, Sunday morning we woke up to our daughters yelling… “It’s wet down here. Why is it so wet?” I was irritated thinking our dog, Chili Pepper, had peed downstairs until my oldest daughter screamed, “It’s really wet everywhere!” Still, I thought—the fish tank must have burst. They are just being overly dramatic…I wish.

My husband and I walked down the stairs and learned the unfortunate truth. Every single room downstairs was flooded—kids rooms, my office, playroom, and the rest. SOAKING WET! Everything had to be moved including the kid’s beds, toys, books, my office stuff, piano, all the other furniture, and the carpet. Wow. Good morning! Time to get up and clean.

You know what really gets me though, (besides spending the whole entire day gutting our house, thinking about how much this is going to cost, and how completely inconvenient this whole ordeal is), I have to face a few realities.

First, although my house looks immaculate, warm, and cozy at first glance—it’s not. Don’t look too close and don’t you dare open a drawer or closet because they are a MESS! Is that normal? Is your closet a little unorganized? Do you have more than one junk drawer—like every drawer? Okay, I’m exaggerating a little here. Not every drawer and closet is a wreck.

I like the house to be clean and tidy. I mean well, but I’m always rushing around from school, to ballet, to piano, to soccer, the grocery store, to making dinner, to overseeing H.W., to laundry, to play dates, and maybe…just maybe out to dinner with my husband or friends.

After removing everything from our downstairs (with the help of my hubby’s dad. Thank you, Papa.), I am forced to sort, purge, and re-organize. This is a good thing. Not exciting, but good. The only problem is that I know very well that it will happen all over again–the mess. I tried to explain to my husband that I don’t even want our house to be perfect. It would feel unlived in. Good excuse, heh? He looked at me as if I was crazy. Yeah, it’s a total excuse.

Second, I have to admit that we are consumers–more than I realized, and I am a little disappointed in myself. It’s not like I’m buying nice expensive stuff. In fact, I cannot believe all of the un-needed toys and trinkets we have. To be fair, I must say that we did just celebrate the girls’ birthdays and Christmas. But still, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with. If I made New Year’s resolution, which I don’t, that would be one. No more buying needless, useless crap! We will be bringing bags of gently used items (the good stuff) to Vintage, a thrift store where my mother-in-law volunteers through Soroptimist.

Third, I am going to have to come up with some serious penalties for the kid’s messy rooms, drawers, floors, and closets. Yes, I know I have to set a good example regarding the closets and drawers, but seriously–after seeing what may have possibly been living under their beds—times are a changing!  

Fourth, I’m going to have to come to terms with the fact that our house will be completely out-of-order for a few weeks and that the kids will be sleeping in our room on the floor in a “nest”. I will definitely not be getting any privacy any time soon!

Finally, I feel so lucky to have our home, and we are all taking it in stride so far. You know what–the kids will probably remember this experience as the time the house flooded and they got to have slumber parties in our room for weeks and weeks. Yay!

On that note—I’d better go get some more bins out and start sorting. At least the downstairs will be shiny, new, and completely clean…for a few weeks.

P.S. Don’t forget to check your drainpipes for rocks and roots or this could happen to you too.

P.P.S. I’m actually really liking having the girls sleep in our bedroom with us! I’m feeling more connected.

What is the state of your closets and drawers? How do you keep them in order? How do you get your kids to clean up their rooms (I mean clean, not jam in drawers and closets, and under bed)? Please tell me you have at least one junk drawer or jammed closet.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tracie Stern
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 07:17:23

    First off I’m so sorry to hear about your rude awakening! I do have to agree though that organizing your house is a very rewarding and relaxing feeling….As the mother of 2 boys, and A LOT of hand me downs it’s hard sometimes to stay ahead of the growth curve. I do have a couple of closets that are a little crowded, one is in my office, the other is our guest bedroom…when we remodeled our master closet some of the overflow was moved downstairs and hasn’t been brought up yet…it’s a work in progress….
    As for how I stay organized…I have lots of bins. I try to move clothes out of my 6 yr olds drawers as I find them becoming too small, they go into a bin for my 3 yr old and then the 3 yr olds clothes are donated as he grows out of them or I save a few of my favorites which I plan on making into a quilt one day…(hopefully that happens…lol)
    The one great thing for me personally about being married to the military is that you move frequently and when you are packing up your life for the 3rd time you get really good at purging.
    I also try to get my husband involved as much as possible in clearing out the clutter as it’s a lonely job and having someone else to laugh at makes the time fly by.
    I’m a little OCD about cleaning, it’s tough to get motivated but once I do it’s like a whirlwind of clothing and toys whipping around the house. I toss the bags in the garage and then I transfer the organizing power over to my husband…the garage is his domain…lol


  2. Megan
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 07:26:41

    Oh Liz! I am so sorry to hear about your flood. Can I do anything to help?

    Ok, my home appears to be neat and tidy. I have two rooms that suffer most often. And, when I say suffer – I mean these rooms would make grown men cry. There are times when we look as if wave been robbed. Seriously. Not often but we have our times. Right before and after a big vacation or a big holiday or after I have a big event I am involved in are our toughest times. The two rooms that suffer are our Master bedroom and our home office. The rest of our home stays pretty great. I can have someone pop in at anytime. However, they could loose a family member in our Master bedroom and die from a thousand paper cuts in the office and we would never know it. Sad but true. Like you, I have good intentions. I have bins and cute baskets in the office and one corner is just that-stacks of bins and boxes that are not so neat and not so tidy and maybe the missing link or a cure for ailments is tucked away safely or in this case lazily. In our master bedroom I have a pile of clean clothes. Nope never dirty those are always washed and put in the pile of clean clothes and ends up in the same spot. We lovingly call it Mount Kovanen. Lovingly may be too strong of a word. Our boys rooms are neat, tidy, clothes are in drawers, hanging items are nice and tidy and even play rooms are tidy. They are sharp shooters they take their clothes and toss/shoot them into the hamper and never on the floor. I want their rooms nice and free of clutter so they can sleep better and wake up fresh. Interesting that I do not do that for myself. No, I play host to Mount Kovanen. In the long run. These two areas drive me nuts. Yet, my boys will not remember it as much as that I was always with them.


  3. Molly Pitts
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 10:00:42

    Sorry to hear that Liz! I, along with the others have some areas in our house that I just throw stuff into. One is my desk-it is always a heaping mess. The other is the far side of the kitchen counter….the neverending mountain. Even when I get it all cleaned I walk in the door with the kids artwork/homework/sweatshirts/lunches/etc…it grows again. I know the feeling, and I need to stop typing so I can go clean!!


  4. Liz
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 13:06:52

    I was just going to write how I’m feeling so much better because I just cleaned out all the closets and filled four huge garbage bags full of crap and three more huge garbage bags full of giveaway stuff, when I spilled a huge box of bracelet beads everywhere! Really!?! Did that just happen? I was on such a roll. Oh well. It’s kind of funny, really.

    Ladies, thank you for all your kind words and good organization tips, but it’s back to work for this woman. I think I’ll vacuum the beads up and go for a run. I’ll feel much better after that! ;)


  5. Liz
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 19:31:11

    @Tracie, I was a complete OCD clean freak before my second daughter. Shoes in perfect rows, closets perfect, pantry super organized, clothing closets organized according to color (that’s still true), vacuuming every day, and only one “junk drawer.” My second pregnancy rocked my world and changed me forever — in a good way (in the long run). I’ll write more about that in another piece. =)


  6. Trackback: Bursting With Love by Liz Nord « Secrets of Moms Who Dare To Tell All

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