Thursday, December 19, 2013

Making Room at the Inn

Can anyone please explain why the addition of one Christmas tree -- a Frazier Fir that takes up about  three square feet -- leaves me feeling as though someone just parked a grand piano in the middle of my living room?

Of course, as my faithful readers know, the Christmas season comes on the tail end of a  months' long de-cluttering, re-organizing effort. Last summer I felt inspired to sacrifice the room that has served as our study in order to give our sixteen-year-old his own digs. This wasn't too, too much of a sacrifice in that mostly I loathed the study, which seemed to inevitably devolve into a dumping ground of all extrania. Though it had the makings of a functional room, even an attractive room, never could I rise above the onslaught of stuff.

The thing about the onslaught is this: It's perpetual. We think it's seasonal -- a child has a birthday; you expect stuff. Christmas, lots of stuff. But school papers and Boy Scout trips, sporting events and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd -- these are constants in our lives, and they bring with them math tests and shin guards, permission slips and wooden figures of the twelve apostles, and somehow most of it ended up in the study.

Absorbing an entire roomful of stuff is not for the faint of heart. It has been a tough job. I'm down to a just few boxes . . .  and one behemoth of a treadmill. Treadmills, you see, belong in a basement or a garage, neither of which came with this house of ours. I grew up in Michigan where, with few exceptions, even the most modest of homes has both a garage and a basement. We have a humble shed.

The treadmill moved first into the master bedroom. When the study and the bedroom merged, the treadmill went to living room. When the Christmas tree moved in, the treadmill had to vacate the premises. It is currently occupying a good chunk of real estate in John and Kolbe's room. The long term plan is to empty a closet and have it take up residence there. This will not happen before Christmas.

Playing musical chairs with a treadmill is not my idea of a good time, and it all strangely reminds me of The Cat and the Hat. When your mess is So Big and So Deep and So Tall that your mother will not like it at all, you have to do something with it. The Cat and the kids just had Thing 1 and Thing 2 to contend with. I think John qualifies as Thing 3, and Ainsley, with her propensity to try on four outfits before breakfast, why, I think Ainsley would be Things, 4, 5, and 6. This morning she appeared at the table in a black velvet dress complete with sequins, but quickly informed me she fully planned to change before tackling her waffles because those togs "weren't eating clothes."

She needs Anna the lady's maid and fast.

Meanwhile I could use, Daisy, Carson, the whole downstairs staff, as a matter of fact.

I tackled the bathroom the other day. It's so sparkling clean, I'm thinking about getting a roll of police tape and cordoning the whole thing off until after my in-laws arrive on Friday.

Back to de-cluttering and jostling, re-arranging and sorting. Pretty soon we'll resort to simply hiding. Smoke and mirrors, as my friend Bill used to say, smoke and mirrors!

Making room at the Inn -- one way or another.


Kris said...

When I clean the bathroom before guests come, the boys are under penalty of death orders to keep it clean until the guests at least SEE that it was clean at some point. Sigh. And I totally agree about the tree. I feel like a total Scrooge, but it's my least favorite thing about Christmas.

Kelly Dolin said...

Yes, Kris! All I want is for someone to get a single sighting of my clean bathroom, just one sniff of bleach and record for all posterity that for a brief, shining moment the Dolin restroom was in fine form.

Kris said...