Monday, March 22, 2010

A Fresh Coat for Coats

Do you have lingering projects? Say, you start painting your kitchen New Years of 2009. You remind yourself to not forget to paint the teeny space under the built-in desk. In the wee hours of the morning, due to things you can't remember (fatigue, perhaps) you decide not to pull the refrigerator out to paint the wall behind it. By this time, you've totally forgotten that you've forgotten not to forget to paint under the desk. Come another day, and a clearer mind, you realize your mistake. You think, it's just the space under the desk and behind the fridge, it will take only a moment - some other day (after all, you can barely see it). Fifteen months pass. Yes, months! You would plead the baby, but there are those pesky three months pre-pregnancy or baby that you can't really spin. Never happens to you, you say?, neither (holding my nose in case it spontaneously doubles in size).

As much as I'd like to tell you that after fifteen months I just couldn't stand myself anymore and had to drag out the paintbrushes in utter shame, let's call a duck a duck (I hear the first step is admitting the problem), I only pulled out the paintbrushes because I had a new project in mind. I decided to paint the closet.

Several friends have mentioned Dave Ramsey's "snowball" method of paying off debt. It goes something like this: you pay off the credit cards with the least amount due on them first, therefore getting the first one paid off faster, which gives you the adrenaline rush needed to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and pay off the next bigger debt, followed by the next, until you're debt-free. I've been using this same theory in regards to cleaning for years. I am not a cleaner/organizer by nature (in college, the only thing that could bring me to clean my room was finals avoidance - study for finals? Have you seen this mess?). I need a little snowball action to give me the chutzpah needed to think I could possibly undertake the seemingly daunting task of cleaning the entire house. I start with the smallest room, typically the laundry room (although, I'm not above counting the tiny closet that houses the toilet as its own room). This method works for me. Seeing one clean (albeit, tiny) room typically gives me the jolt of accomplishment I need to tackle another room. So, when I made the goal to get a little more organized this year, I decided to do it snowball-style, starting with one small closet: the coat closet. Which brings me back to the paint:

One of my first steps in organizing the coat closet was to paint it the same color as the kitchen that it enters into (this step got overlooked at the same time as the wall behind the refrigerator and space under the desk). This might seem like a ridiculous step for a "room" in which most of the walls will be covered by objects, but I'm aiming to make the closet a cohesive, functional, and peaceful-looking part of the kitchen, which to me, means a worthy paint job. Paint job done, I'm ready to move on to organization. I have a few ideas that I hope to employ this week if I can get a little time at the sewing machine. So stay tuned...and wish me luck.

Oh, and if you're wondering just what you're looking at in the picture above, the fish "drop cloth" is really an old shower curtain that we repurposed when we changed our bathroom decor. The aluminum foil lining the paint tray is a quick clean-up trick my Dad taught me. (And if you need to step away from your paint for awhile but don't want to bother with clean-up, tuck the wet brushes and paint tray in the fridge and it won't dry out on you. My friend, Jill, gave me that piece of advice and it worked like I charm when I had to step away from my work to eat dinner).

Need some organizational inspiration to get your spring cleaning/organizing underway? Let me suggest a perusal of this blog, Penelope Loves Lists. Blogger Meredith (she refers to her organizationally like-minded kindred spirits as Penelopes), an organizational maven, gives tips and suggests products to help organize just about everything - and this week, she's hosting a give away. I might have to go enter now, aspire to Penelope-status.

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