Saturday, January 29, 2011

My first (messy) entry

Hello fellow bloggers. I'm Ashleigh. I'm not a neat person. Neat as in clean, tidy, etc. But I'm trying. We recently bought a house. A big house. Likely the house where we'll raise our family. The whole house has 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3000 sqft, but it's not all ours. There is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, self contained suite in the basement where my mother in law will live.
See we bought the house with her. We have a 2 year old daughter and another little one on the way, and there really wasn't enough room for us, and our two cats, in our two bedroom townhouse. So we approached her with the idea of buying a house together and she got really excited about it. In fact, she's the one that found the new house! It really works well for both of us. We get more room, and she gets to have live in house and dog sitters since she's starting out a new business venture where she'll be traveling a lot for work.

So back to the house. We get the upstairs and part of the downstairs. We have 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, a playroom, eat in kitchen, and formal living and dining rooms. I'm SUPER excited about the separate playroom. Really it's a family room area off the kitchen but I'm excited to have somewhere for the toys to be, separate from where the living room is. Downstairs, we have another bedroom, which will be used as an office and gaming room. My husband, K, is a big xbox 360 player (Nazi Zombies, anyone?) so we're going to set up a gaming and home office room. We'll still have the tv in the playroom, and we have a living room with NO tv and NO computer. I'm really excited to be able to entertain in a formal space! The last part of the new house we're super excited about is the backyard with a hot tub! That's right, this mama is going to have a hot tub! And the backyard is a huge plus, considering the only grass we have at the townhouse is right outside our unit with no fences and right on the busy street. That doesn't work well with toddlers who like to run around.

So here's the reason for this blog. I've never been a neat person. In my bedroom growing up, my closet was stuffed full with crap, any desk or dresser drawers was packed full and I'm pretty sure I didn't even know what was under the bed. I kept EVERYTHING. I moved out and brought my crap with me, then moved in with K, then we bought the townhouse and all that crap just accumulated and came with us. We moved in here in the summer of 2005 and have boxes downstairs that were never unpacked. We always knew we were packrats and knew we had to go through it all and throw it out, but just never got around to it. We have a 500 sqft unfinished basement and had plans of building a playroom or home theatre room down there, but never got to it. Instead, we have 500 sqft of crap. Well, had. We bought the new house, finished some renovations that had to be done, and put the townhouse up for sale. We took one month, and K ended up doing 15 dump runs--yes DUMP runs. We had THAT much garbage. Well, not garbage in the sense of rotting food but just crap that we hung on to for no reason other than we couldn't throw it out. I donated 5 large garbage bags of old clothes to the Salvation Army and we filled a 5X5 storage locker with the things that we DID need to keep. Our townhouse now, doesn't have any crap. There's really no reason to have a mess because we don't have anything to keep it messy. For goodness sake, I had training materials from my first job (grocery store deli clerk) that I started over TEN years ago. And training materials from all my subsequent jobs. School books. Not textbooks, I've kept those, but notebooks. My handwritten notes from like History of Canada before Confederation. I took that class in 2003. Before I even MET K.

Getting rid of all that junk was eye opening. My new years resolution this year was to simplify. If I don't need it, THROW IT OUT! We've been living in our townhouse like this for almost two weeks now and I LOVE it. I actually put my dishes in the sink when I'm done with them. I don't leave stuff on the bathroom counter anymore. The biggest task of all is going to be keeping up with this once we get into the new house. A bigger house, with more cupboards to fill, more storage areas downstairs, and with another baby. Can I keep living like this when I'm sleep deprived and a mother to two kids. Can I do it? I'm going to try my hardest and I'm going to write about it. I'm going to read and review books on it. I already took out Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook from the library and boy is that a hefty read. I'll blog about what works and what doesn't. I'll share secrets from readers. I might review products (and maybe I'll be able to get a few freebies to give away).

It's not easy being clean, but all mommies try. I'm on a quest to change my ways, and maybe I'll be able to help out a few other mommies do the same.