I want to express how deeply grateful I am to be able to have a Personal Organizer come into my home and help me "move" back into my house. It's been an awful almost year of house upheaval and I had already lost a large portion of hope of ever being able to funcion normally again (possibly extreme but nonetheless true.) I just couldn't seem to get a grasp on the clutter, the constant housekeeping and my general duties as a momma.
So Melanie of Neat Streak came into my home last Thursday, after I dropped the kids off at the Inlaws (Grandma & Grandpa in the Red House.) We first tackled my dining room, then my kitchen and then my laundry room. She left my house 8 hours later with an Odyssey, sans the backseats, full of recycling, trash and thrift store donations. It was so motivating, a true jumpstart and feelings of hopefulness have filled me since she came. I will have her back to help me with my basement in a few months.
So what did she do?
We began in the dining room. She pulled out two garbage bags and a stack of boxes. The black trash bag was for trash, the white bag was for recycling and the boxes were for thrift store donations.We started by the doorway and worked our way around the room, this is referred to as the Mount Vernon Method. As we encountered the clutter, the mass destruction of doom, we addressed each and every item. The items that we kept went into it's individual pile on the dining room table. For instance, anything electrical (extension cords, power strips...) went into a pile. Anything that was considered memorabilia (photos, letters, awards...) went into a pile. The bags and boxes began to fill up quickly. When that room was completed we moved to the kitchen.
The kitchen had so much clutter in it and so many dishes were dirty that I had to hand wash dirty dishes while we ran a load in the dishwasher. As I washed dishes Melanie went through each of my cupboards pulling everything out and asking me lots of questions. Do I use it? How often? On and on... When the kitchen was completed my coffee cup collection went from 27 mugs to about 10. Does anyone really need 27 coffee mugs? (But there's so many cute ones out there? And what if all 27 of my cousins come to dinner and want coffee afterwards huh?? Yeah right?! 10 mugs is plenty.) Also, I have space leftover in my kitchen, it's not filled to the brim with stuff-very, very refreshing.
After the kitchen was organized we moved to the laundry room/office/storage area. We were running out of time by the time we got to this room so Melanie quickly dove in and just started doing her thing. She managed to get my storage pantries completely organized in a matter of minutes. She took this overwhelming clutter of stuff and literally flipped it into something manageable and accessible.
Hiring Melanie cost me $40 an hour and she was at my house for 8 hours. Expensive? Perhaps. But I seriously felt like it was worth it to the extent that I'm going to hire her again. She has so many great ideas that I hadn't thought about and theories that made sense. I'm actually a pretty organized person and I'm not at all a pack rat. But because of my situation with moving out of the house, essentially, and then having to move back in. And then the emotional aspects of losing the contract on the house, the pipes freezing and bursting (my bathroom is still in crumbles) and then losing the house we were in contract to buy, not to mention surviving every day life with 3 little kids-I am over my head, I needed help. Also, Melanie pretty much busted her tail doing seriously ALL the work. The only thing I really did was wash dishes and communicate to her what I wanted to dispose of. Her wisdom, experience and energy were invaluable to me on so many levels.
What the Freak?
As we were sorting through the clutter in the dining room, Melanie pulled a large roller paper away from the wall and noticed there was mouse poop on the floor behind it. I also found some poop ontop of a stack of stuff on a small table in the dining room. Melanie didn't seem to think it was mouse poop but I knew we had a mouse, I have been trying to catch him for a few weeks. If this grosses you out you probably don't want to read the rest of what I'm going to share. You see mice are somewhat normal for me. We have railroad tracks right behind our house and usually when it's cold we receive a mouse who haunts our downstairs until I catch him or murder him. I don't like it but there is not much I can do about it. I just try to get the food off the floor at night and put out traps and keep the area gated off from the babes. So anyways poop...the next night I'm telling my huz about the poop we found and how irritated I was that I couldn't see the poop because the house was so cluttered. The Huz informs me (wait for it) that he saw a rat in our kitchen floor the night before. Yes a rat. I immediately felt ill and angry. My babies, my house, a nasty ass rat that carries disease and whatever else-crawling around my house??? Fuck.
So this last 2 weeks I've been on a mission of gating off the kitchen and setting up rat traps and mouse traps and vacuuming and on, and on and on. I feel ill every day knowing we have a rat our house. I called an exterminator the other day and they came out today. Turns out the the composter that's located next to the house has been feeding the bastards. They've created tunnels all around the back perimeter of our house, including under the composter through the compost. I had that composter pulled up and shoveled into a wheel barrow within 7 minutes of him sharing this knowledge with me. Fuck. A rat nest under my house. And I've been feeding the bastards with my black gold? The bastards have been eating my black gold and chewing up my house? I feel violated. But for the price of $250 and then $72 (+tax) once a year the exterminators will come out put a bunch of mouse and rate bait boxes all in my house (out of reach of babes) and outside of my house. And then once a year they'll refill them too. Ugg.
I have this urge to catch my house on fire.
DO NOT put your composter near your house.
DO NOT let your house get so full of crap that you can't see mouse and/or rat turds.
DO hire a Personal Organize if you need to.
And DO NOT judge me for having a filthy ass rat in my house.