Charge of the Light Brigade
Trick-or-Treat. . . Smell-my-Feet

Beginnings . . . OR . . . Finding the Linchpin

As I wrote on Friday, I've got a lot of "projects" going on.  These aren't life-and-death kinds of projects.  Just things I want to (or need to) do so I can function more efficiently in the world.  And feel better about my surroundings.  And, shoot. . . just so I can find things when I need them!

And so.

I dug in.

First, I made a list - "brainstorm" style - of all the various "projects" in my mind.


(I often think this way.  Just sort of free-form, topical lists where I can "think" on paper, and draw and highlight as the mood strikes.)

Right away, I could see that some of my "projects" (organizing my sewing/crafting room, for example) are really independent of all the other "projects", and can be completed on their own.  Some of the "projects", though, are totally dependent on other "projects," and require my completing pre-requistites  . . . first. 

For example, I want to finish setting up my newly-painted guest room/small office (formerly known as Erin's room). 

But, to do that, I need to move a bookcase (housed in Brian's room) into the new room. 

And to do that, I need to empty the bookcase. 

And to do that, I need to find a place for the emptied items.

And that . . .  dovetails into another "project":  Going through the "leavings" from Erin and Brian; sorting and re-packing the "savers", and readying those items for storage.

Which actually bumps up against another entire "project":  Re-organizing that portion of my house that we lovingly call "TinyTown." **

Clearly, it's a total Give-a-Mouse-a-Cookie situation. . .


I needed to identify the linchpin in my project plan.  I needed to figure out where to begin. . . so that everything else could start sliding into place.

And when I started studying my list . . . I could see where I needed to start.  And I amost cried . . . just sat down on the stairs and cried . . . when I realized that my  linchpin . . . was BRIAN'S ROOM!!!


Any of you readers who have/have had college-age boys know the depths of my despair.  And those of you who don't have college-age boys . . . well . . . their rooms-at-home are a frightening place.  They are, in fact, everything you might imagine/fear them to be.

Sure, their rooms-at-home only contain the Things-They-Left-Behind.  You know. . . the high school detritus; the childish items and random toys; the collections they can't bear to part with; that sort of thing.  (And, really, how tough is that?)

But there is also . . . other stuff.  Crusty . . . things.  Stains of unknown origin.  A summer's worth of empty Gatorade bottles tossed casually under the bed.  Hidden (ahem) magazine stashes.  Old teeth.  (Yes.)  Things you would rather not have to deal with.  But, because you are a Mother, you just do.

And so.  I did.



Not pretty.  But clean.  And tidy.  And dusted.

It's a start!  (And the bookcase got moved as well!)


** I'll tell you about TinyTown some other day.  (I'm sure you can hardly wait. . . )




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Good job! It must have taken a concerted effort on your part to make it look so tidy!
I admire your ability to tackle the linchpin of the job. I'm trying to hide from mine, but at least I know where it is. Now to face it as you did!


Your linchpin is my linchpin! I was going to need to attack Dan's room for your visit and sleeping quarters. Oyyy that means it's still a mess!


I knew as I was reading through this that it all hinged on Brian's room. And yay for you - you tackled it!!


Well, no boys 'round here, but I'll raise you three girls... Glitter-laced Legos, Barbies & American Girls & Disney Princesses & Sky Dancers, clothing, accessories, and more accessories, hair stuff. Stains are probably more identifiable, but harder to remove... nail polish!! Haha.

Brian's room looks great and you've got a wonderful start!!


Having had 2 boys in one room and 1 boy in the other, I totally know what you are talking about. Scary stuff. /shudder

Diana Troldahl

Sans teenage boy we have a bit of that shuffling going on here. A big chunk got done when we (well, Oscar) was able to get the new tv table set up in the living room, sleek, narrow and with tons of storage. BIG win.
On to the next.


You made me laugh with this post. My daughter moved out 3 years ago, and I am STILL re-organizing. It's all about having enough room for EVERYTHING. Besides what my daughter has left behind, both my husband and I have interests involving a whole lot of "stuff". You've inspired me to give it another shot this week. Maybe at least I will be able to clear out a few cubic feet in at least one closet. And call it "progress". Right now what you have done with Brian's room seems unattainable. Especially if I go to one more yarn store.


I love how your mind works!


I feel your pain! Your son's room looks very calm and tidy- congratulations!! My two sons' rooms were cleaned out post-haste last year for the arrival of my grown sister and her bits & bobs... but 'cleaning out' has resulted in a basement full of boxes. It makes me think it's time to finish their baby nemesis! Not today, though;)

P.S: I did purge my own closet yesterday, though. It must be that time of year?

Cheryl S.

Hooray! You must feel much better after getting that done.


oh boy have I missed your blog...and your sense of humor :-) congratulations on getting through that HUGE first step. (you'll need to share a post-Christmas photo...can he maintain that level for a few weeks?!)


Oh no! This is the chore I should start tackling. I really want Sam's room to be a guest room, but the work ahead to get there - the sorting - it overwhelms me. I think I need to take a leaf from your book & start with a plan. With very small steps, so I can cross out every accomplishment.


Brian's room looks good! My friend has a college age girl that could give Brian a run for his money. Let's just say, old yogurt containers. My friend bought herself some cashmere yarn after cleaning out that room. She said she needed to see and touch something pretty and soft, but not yucky.

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