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The Big Clean aftermath

I mentioned in my last post, lo these many weeks ago, that after taking down the tree, it is my habit to clean the living room within an inch of its life. The Big Clean as I like to call it, doesn’t happen very often, maybe only once or twice a year, so I make it a point to be as thorough as possible, and this year even more so. Something happened when we threw out our old Christmas tree. An energy was freed up, and I started looking around the living room asking, “What else wants to go?” My eye fell on the bottom two shelves of the bookcase.
Now in my defense let it be known that the bookcase does get dusted every week, OK maybe every two, fine! every so often, but the bottom two shelves had become so crammed with binders, photo albums, books, and just plain junk over the years there was only about a quarter inch of shelf space showing – which made it one of the easiest and quickest parts to dust. :-) But the idea of taking everything out, organizing it, chucking some, and cleaning the rest gave me pause. It would be an enormous job. But I decided if I didn’t do it now, it would never get done. The Mister got me some green garbage bags, urged me not to be sentimental about it, and to ‘Go to ‘er!” I went to ‘er and was so impressed with the results, I organized the rest of the bookcase, and the mantelpiece, the plants (of which we have 11 just in the living room!) and the top of the piano. All this in addition to vacuuming and steam cleaning the floors. The end result looked like a brand new living room!
The next day, we were eating lunch in the kitchen, and I complained to The Mister that the reflection off the living room floor was giving me a headache.
“It’s never bothered you like that before,” says he.
“Well no. But the big maple tree in the front is gone now, so there’s a lot more light coming in. And this is the first year we’ve had sheers on the windows instead of the heavy drapes. So that makes a difference too. And…”
“Well, I just washed the floor in there.”
“Oh right!” he said, turning around to look at it. “I was wondering why it had turned about three shades lighter.”
I gazed at him steadily and silently.
He turned his spoon over a few times then muttered, “Ice gettin’ thin?”
“Starting to crack too,” I replied.
“Oooookaaaay,” he says. Then, “Why don’t you come around to the end of the table and see if that’s any better?”
I did as bidden, but no luck. The light was still too bright even sideways.
“Then move over to the corner here.”
“And have it poke me in the stomach every time I lean forward?!”
“There you go,” he said, returning to his soup.
Not hearing from me for a long moment, he looked up only to be incinerated by my look.
“Well, it wouldn’t be hurting your eyes, would it?”
“We need blinds.”
He put down his spoon and rolled his eyes.
“But that will cost hundreds of dollars!”
“Roman blinds.”
He thought about that for a moment.
“You mean the ‘roll-me-up-roll-me-down’ kind?”
“That’s the other name for them, yeah.”
A smile began to tug at the corner of his mouth.
“But that’ll cost tens of dollars!”
I’ll say this for the man, once he takes an idea into his head he sees no reason not to act on it immediately. That afternoon we unpacked four new Roman blinds and discovered to our disappointment that though all the boxes said they were 68 inches long, no two were the same length!
“We can bring ’em back and try again Missus, but there’s no guarantee we’ll make out any better.”
“No. Let’s just put the two longest on the ends and the two shortest in the middle, and leave it at that. They’re going to be rolled up most of the time anyway, so no one will see.”
In a couple days, he’d installed four gorgeous Roman blinds, and as an added bonus, we took the sheers and put them in the kitchen window (which looks out over our neighbour’s yard) and now affords me the privacy I’ve been craving in there for about, oh, 25 years or so.
The light is moving freely between the two rooms as it never has before, and there’s a wonderful sense of order and peace now that the clutter is gone. I feel like we’ve reclaimed some territory we’d given up through neglect.
Feels good!

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  1. Joannie
    Posted January 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Penny-Anne! Sooooo funny! Such a treat for me to read. Joannie

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      Such kind words, Joannie! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Valerie
    Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I hear you about “big cleans.” This past summer, while my best friend was on a sabbatical trip with her husband for three months, I took the two hours we would have spent together every Friday and tackled every cupboard in the house. I did not do the bookshelves, I confess, but my kitchen equipment addiction forced me to purge and organize crammed drawers and cupboards in there. (In my defense, I do a lot of cooking and so I justify all these pans and gadgets that way.) Glad you were able to fix the drape problem! Blessings on the next steps.

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted January 31, 2016 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Umm, I know there’s some clutter hiding in some drawers around here, but for now it’s safe, mainly because it’s out of sight. But the feeling of relief was so strong after cleaning and decluttering the living room, it’s my intention to declutter the entire house this year! I’ll keep you posted. :-)

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