Will the Real Crystal please stand up?


If you’ve been following my tweets or facebook statuses over the past few weeks, then you know I have been crazy cleaning girl here lately.  In addition to my late night bathroom scrubbing and Friday night painting parties, today I did something I’ve never done before.

I got a friend to watch my kids so I could do house work.

I’ve had a friend watch the kids so I could go to the OB, or to a school interview, even for some volunteering at the preschool, but for house work?

I am pretty sure those of you that know me well are turning your heads wondering what has come over Crystal.  Since when did she go all OCD on us?  What happened to the circus?

I assure the circus is still very much here… simply take a look inside my van… we’ve got fast food bags and at least 5 pairs of shoes plus a few strays, not to mention a toy or ten. 

But I’ve made some goals for the summer.  Some deep cleaning, house keeping goals.  And I couldn’t come close to reaching them without some kid free time at the house. 

Today I tackled the dark area behind our toy room.  We have this big room downstairs.  3/4 of it is the toy room.  Then we have a small wall and on the other side is kind of a make shift office/work out area.  Only for the past 2 years it has really just been a place to stick stuff that I didn’t know what to do with.

Today was the day for tackling the stuff I have been putting off for a year or two… or five…

I sorted through the stuff behind the wall.  Making piles for donated, piles for trash, piles that had homes other places in the house…. and a few piles for Scott to sort through.  I have no idea what to do with wires, and spare computer parts… those are entirely his domain.  But at least now his domain is tidy and we can deal with that another day year.

With this job done, I went upstairs to organize the kids book shelf.  Some books needed to be weeded out b/c they’ve been damaged.  Others are too young for them.  The rest just needed to be organized.  I love the way it looks now. 

From there I set off to tackle the toy box. 

You would not believe the stuff that made its way to the bottom of the toy box.

Things like, oh, a new toilet flapper, 3 bags of tea, measuring spoons, magnets, bath toys, socks, diapers (clean), and  of course toys.  But the toys were all disheveled.  Lincoln logs, legos, little people, doll clothes, army men, light sabers….you get the picture. 

I threw tons away, put things in their proper place, and lightened the upstairs toys quite a bit.  We have a toy room downstairs and that is where 95% of our toys reside.  But, we have some upstairs toys as well.  However, throughout the year, many of the toys mysteriously make their way out of the toy room, up the stairs and into the toy box, never to be seen or played with again. 

With an hour to go till it was time to head back for my kids, I was able to put everything away which I had sorted out, and even tackle the closet in the kids room! 

(I forgot how much one could do when left alone). 

The kids closet is not really the kids closet at all.  Technically, it is in the kids bedroom, but they are forbidden to open it and I don’t think anything in there belongs to them.  It is another one of those places we stick stuff that has no home.  Much like the island of lost toys, it holds a hodge podge of items.. my wedding dress, prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, leaf for our dining room table, 3 floor lamps, boxes for all of our cameras, cds, board games…

I got rid of quite a few dresses….for years now I have held onto the thought that maybe some day I’d fit into those dresses again and wear them on a cruise.  Today I realized that even if I did fit into those dresses, I doubt I’d want to wear them now.  It’s not like I shop in the junior department these days.  (OK, I will confess I did keep a few…with the hope that maybe, someday they’d fit again and really, I think they are classic pieces).  Perhaps next year I’ll have another reality check and get rid of those last few… but still I made huge progress in clearing out the dark abyss of the closet.

I am flying high on the deep cleaning and organizing going on here at the circus.  My to do list still has much to do, but I think it will all be manageable during naptimes and stolen moments when the kids are playing nicely together.  My plan is to get the list tackled before Labor Day.  We also have two weekends away planned in that time.  After our annual labor day extravaganza, it will be school time here at the circus.  I can hardly wait!!!


  1. I have been doing the same thing this summer. It has been my goal forever in other previous homes. This is the first summer that I've made so much progress that the work has taken on a life of its own and is driving me toward the finish line. I've been to scary places--the basement, dressers, closets, junk boxes, and the paper--oh, the paper an English teacher/former editor can keep! You would think I could never find a good grammar worksheet again the way those piles used to look. But I am high, literally high on what is becoming around here. So, it's fun to hear someone else has been similarly "bitten." One book I have not finished, but that I found very inspirational, is "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh, former host of Clean Sweep. So keep at it, girlie. Someone in Glen Burnie is also occasionally vacuuming at 10 PM.

  2. I'm so glad you've accomplished so much. What a great feeling! I know when school starts you will be so glad all that is done!

    Can you please get on a plane (like right now) and fly to Tennessee and help me get my house in order. I have out of town company coming tomorrow around noon and I am completely unprepared. I have tried. Really I have, but it is not working. Please come!! LOL :)

  3. Way to go! I keep telling myself I am going to do that...

  4. I am so proud of you!!!!!!! My heart melted when you used the OCD word in your post! I love love love the feeling of a deeply cleaned home and I love love love time alone to organize and clean. Seriously, that is what I would choose to do with time left alone.

    You are going to be so ready for this new school year! Yay!!!!

    Two weekends away? Are you coming to Pittsburgh?? Or are you going to El Paso? Did that baby come yet?? If I were Stella I'd be doing jumping jacks right about now.....

    anything to get him out!


    Keep up the good work Crystal.

    P.s. The blog is due for a new picture of the inside of your van, don't ya think? With the potty in it?

  5. That sounds awesome! It must feel good to have gotten so much accomplished!

    I am going to have someone come and watch my little ones for the same reason...although I just have to do some basic cleaning. We haven't cleaned since Lichens arrival, so Jordan and I are verging on a panic attack, LOL!

  6. Wow! That is incredible!!! You are getting so much done and you sound so happy and excited about it! I am excited for you...it is a great feeling to be free of clutter. I need to catch that cleaning bug of yours and get some things tackled around here.

  7. "You would not believe the stuff that made its way to the bottom of the toy box."

    Oh yes, I would.
    Oh yes, my friend. :)

  8. Great, now I feel bad about cleaning 2/3 of the study yesterday. Before reading your accomplishments, I was pretty proud.

  9. HGTV would be so impressed with you! Great job! Since I work more during the summer and have outside work in my free minutes - I am going to tackle the inside this fall. Hope to set my goal by the holidays (as usual)

  10. i am SO impressed. bc i'm supposed to have the Nesting Gene right now but all i can say is, "eh, later." (speaking of later, still now baby.)

  11. Go, you!! That's a lot to do. Way to go!

  12. That's awesome, C! Good for you for tackling to much and gettin' 'r done!!

    I find all manner of strange things at the bottom of our toy box, too. I know exactly what you mean!

  13. Are you pregnant, Crystal?

  14. I have to comment on the pregnancy question comment. How funny :) That does happen when pregnant but I think you are doing a great job setting up your classroom :)


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