Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tiny steps for Tuesday: tackling the next mess

It's Tuesday again. A week ago, I told you that I was overwhelmed by a bunch of Big, Overwhelming Things. I told you I was going to stop procrastinating and start dealing with the stuff a tiny bit at a time.

Well, I did something. I weeded my front flowerbed. I didn't take a "before" picture, but now it looks like this:

Satisfying! You can see that there are actual plants in there. Amazing.

Of course, there are still the back flowerbeds and the garden and the two side flowerbeds to worry about...but I did something toward getting things under control. Making just a little bit of progress made everything else seem more manageable.

Last week when I talked about the Big, Overwhelming Things and how paralyzed I felt, some of you knew just what I meant. Some of you know how it feels to be tired of treading water and ready to start swimming forward. Some of you shared your own Big, Overwhelming Things and how you were going to work on them this week.

(I'm dying to know how it went!)

I felt encouraged by the little support group gathering in the comment box and on facebook. Ellie even suggested we call our little movement "Wading to Exhale." You know, not drowning, not diving in headfirst, definitely not treading water...just moving forward a little at a time so we can breathe easier.

(Don't you love that?)

Using last week's momentum, I'm going to keep wading. Here's my Tiny Step for this week:

Small spaces can get really, really cluttered at our house. Take this one, for example. It's the top of my dresser, and it's seriously stressing me out.

George and I each have our own dresser for clothes, but his is in the closet. It fits perfectly under a shelf in there, so it's out of the way (but still convenient when it's time to get dressed). 

The downside of this arrangement is that he has no dresser top on which to put the stuff that one puts on top of one's dresser.
My dresser is tall enough that none of our children can reach things that are on top of it. It is one of the few surfaces in the house that fits this description. And so, it is piled high with all kinds of stuff: Sam's drawings, old batteries, a moon nightlight that needs a bulb, some not-quite-empty cups of water and Diet Coke, a Christmas ornament we bought on vacation this summer, three children's shoes, game pieces from McDonald's Monopoly, a broken pencil, rubber bands, three bottles of nail polish, tiny girl hair accessories, George's chaplet rosary and pocket watch, my running iPod and my Garmin watch, a pink toy spatula, an elastic waistband that Sam pulled out of his shorts three weeks ago, and a (now broken) strand of Mardi Gras beads the children were fighting over this morning.

You get the idea. It's a multi-layered mess. 

Today, I took everything off the dresser, sorted it into piles, put the piles away, dusted the dresser, the pictures and the jewelry box that sits on top of it, and put just a few things back. It took twenty-six minutes.

My bedroom still needs vacuuming, and the top dresser drawer is still broken, and there is a huge mess of confiscated toys in our closet (which makes it nearly impossible to walk in there)...but this is one tiny step toward getting our little sanctuary back.

Did you take any Tiny Steps this week toward dealing with the Big, Enormous Things you've been putting off? Got any projects for this week? Please share! We want to know how it went.