Downhill Slide

(Blogger’s Confession: I began this post yesterday, so don’t be confused when I tell you that today is September 1st. Just understand that in my universe things regularly run behind schedule.)

Today is the first day of September.

Some of you are already admiring fall foliage and breaking out the rakes. You’re dreaming of pumpkins and spiced cider. Some of ya’ll (with blood much thicker than mine) are already prepping for your first snowfall. Bless your hardy little hearts and fingers and toes. Here in my neck of the woods Hot as Hell has finally ended, and summer’s set in.

No matter the differences in the look and feel of our landscapes, it’s the first of September everywhere.

And that means we’re all on the downhill slide.

This wild and wacky ride catches me by surprise every year. One day it’s the first of September. The next week Halloween rolls around. Three days later we’re feasting on turkey and dressing, and as soon as the turkey platter is washed I hear reindeer hooves on the roof. It’s frightening how fast the days between September 1st and December 25th pass.

That’s because there are only 115 days left until Christmas.

Crap. Crap squared. Crap cubed. Crap to the nth degree.

If you’re one of those highly organized individuals who shop all year and stock up on ribbons and bows and paper during the after Christmas sales and know exactly where your Christmas wreath is, you have no idea how panicked I am right now or how much I wish I were just like you.

If you’re one of those miracle-making people who can’t even think about Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving and can do all of the holiday hubbub in under three weeks and never ever find yourself wrapping presents at 2 a.m. on Christmas morning, you have no idea how panicked I am right now or how much I wish I were just like you.

But if you’re like me, you’ve bought some Christmas presents already but they’re stashed somewhere in the deepest recess of your closet and you’re not sure what you’ve bought or for who. If you’re like me, you regularly find yourself wrapping gifts fifteen minutes before you have to load them in the car. If you’re like me, you haven’t taken a single photo of your tree with all of the gifts under it (because you’re wrapping on an as-needed basis) in the last decade. If you’re like me, you can relate. And you know why I’m freaking out.

So I headed over to this morning. I’d heard a rumor that they had a plan to get my slack butt ready for the holiday. As I clicked over to the site I patted myself on the proverbial back for getting on the ball early.

As soon as I got there my back-patting turned to head-smacking because I discovered I’m not early at all. I’m actually four days behind. The Houseworks Holiday Plan kicked off on August 28th.

Crap. Crap squared. Crap cubed. Crap to the nth degree.

It’s okay, I told myself. I’ll catch up. So I printed the first pages for my Christmas planner and tried to pen in my to-do’s for this week.

But I couldn’t.

I couldn’t find a single spot on the top of my desk big enough or clean enough to work on my planner.


Prepare for a shocking confession and an even more shocking photo to follow.

I am a clutterbug. I am organizationally challenged. I am a stacker, a piler, a shifter of stuff. And the top of my desk looked like this…

Are you totally freaked and grossed out?

I am.

Isn’t it odd how you can live with something day and and day out and somehow not “see” it until you take a photo of it?

After burning your retinas with that photo I feel obligated to offer some relief.

How’s that for a transformation?

I’m very very good at decluttering (unfortunately I suck at maintenance), especially when I use a big ol’ box. Or, when I can’t find a box, one of these does nicely…

After just a few minutes the big ol’ box looks like this…

Yes…all of that stuff…all of it…was on the top of my desk. Is it any wonder I couldn’t find 10 square inches of workspace?

Once my big ol’ box is full the struggle begins. My desktop is clear. That was my goal. Eighty percent of my brain says “good job” and thinks it’s done.

Okay… ninety percent of my brain.

All right! All right! Ninety five percent, but that’s my final offer.

The remaining five percent of my brain tries to force me to sort the big ol’ box into groups of like items. Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes the ninety five percent stashes the box in a closet where it morphs into tomorrow’s clutter.

I went through the big ol’ box and made collections of office supplies, craft supplies, paperwork to be filed, paper products to be put away, church-related items to be put in my notebook or passed to someone else.

I tossed trash as I sorted. Once the trash was gone and I was down to my little collections, I found homes for each of them.

Now for those of you wondering just how the hell I went from trying to get a jump start on Christmas planning/preparation to a total desk declutter, well…that’s the really weird and kinda creepy part (even creepier than my pre-decluttered desk.)

The very first item on’s Housework Holiday Plan for this first week was…declutter and clean the home office or paper-handling area.

Call it kismet. Call it karma. Just don’t call the cops ‘cuz I don’t care if those folks have been peeking in my windows.

If they can handle the retinal burns, I can handle the clean desk.


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Categories: Chaos Conquering, The Home Office

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