March 8, 2011

clean closets

I have a sort of split personality when it comes to cleaning. On the one hand, I really like my house to be clean. Or tidy I should say. I don't have germ thing and living in old houses all of my life has meant that having things CLEAN isn't really going to happen. I mean, when your aged wooden floors have gaps between each board, well, dirt is going to happen. But tidy I like. I find it distracting when the house is messy and so I tend to do little sweeps through the house to straighten up before I sit down to work.
Now this isn't to say that my house is always pristine, it's almost never pristine. But usually it's presentable, except on Friday mornings when I'm rushing to meet a deadline. Then, well, it's a crap shoot. It could be clean from the day before, it could be a pit. I dream of super organized spaces with everything stored in matching boxes and neatly stacked into crisp, well lit spaces. I love to look at the rooms on Chez Larsson, but alas, I don't think I'll ever get there. Partly because of the other side of my cleaning personality.

That would be the hoarder.

OK, I'm not a real hoarder, just looking at pictures of hoarders homes gives me the willies. But I do have a habit of stuffing things in closets and the basement when I don't want to be bothered with the "what do I do with that's". So these regular closet cleanouts are necessary for my two halves to work together well.

This closet is my nemesis. It's really the only space in the house other than the basement (which is on the list at the end of the month. Dread dread dread...) that doesn't have a specific daily purpose. No one is getting their clothes out each morning or putting away sheets and blankets. It's just storage. And it's not really clearly any one kind of storage. Originally, when the office was the playroom, it was the guest room equipment storage. Pillows, air bed blankets and shelf space and hooks for luggage made it easy to turn the playroom into a guest room. And we still keep that stuff in there, but now we have overflow books and special toys that are really outgrown but which no one seems particularly interested in moving on from, and playdoh cutters, wreaths, extra crafts supplies. It's a jumble. Since general storage is kind of in shot supply here, it's become the catch all. Which means it can get really, really messy.

When I tackle a closet I try to take EVERYTHING out and start again. That way I'm not married to what one shelf holds anymore. Both this closet and the linen closet got totally rearranged while our clothing closets pretty much went back in the same way that it was before, only cleaner and with less stuff.

I would really love to keep these spaces clean. Sometimes I think making more regular, small clean outs would work, but I'm afraid that if I pack anything else into our cleaning routine it just wont get done at all, and those spaces will become horrible again.

How do you handle these "hot spots" in your home? Do you tackle them on a regular basis and keep them clean or are they once a year, dreaded tasks?