The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Dining Room Make-Under

Time for my weekly update on the 52 Weeks of Organizing project!

Can you believe it? This is already the end of week #8! Time sure flies when you’re gradually getting your sh*t together.

This week Laura challenged us to keep flat surfaces clear…a never ending battle for a gal like me. But last week I was so inspired by Ally’s Grandma who had posted before and after pictures of her dining room table, that I thought I’d tackle the same room in my own domestic prison. Oops! Did I say that out loud? I mean, house. Silly me.

My dining room is the first room you would see if I actually invited you into my house, which I’d never do, since it is such a friggin’ mess. But even if I didn’t open my front door all the way, you’d still get a peek at this room from my front porch if you were a Jehovah’s Witness or a pesky neighbor looking to borrow a cup of sugar. And that is pretty much all you’d need to see to know that there is something very very wrong with me.

Three weeks ago my mom came for a quick visit, and while she was scrubbing my toilets (out of love, horror, and pity), I was guilted into cleaning off the dining room table. It only took me an hour or so and by the time I was done, it was spotless. No big whoop. But that is not the problem.

One week later, while my kids were making their Valentines, the table magically morphed back into its natural state… a craft table/dumping ground/mail center/pet lounge:

Nature Boy and Gracie making Valentines in the dining room.

Here are a few more “before” shots (with a variety of angles and lighting), just so you can get the full picture of the cra-zay:

The view from my front door... so warm and inviting! Why yes those are slightly worn Pull-Ups on the stairs. So what?

Christmas village... still up Feb. 24th; extra car seat/purse holder; overflow pantry items.

So yesterday I spent another hour and put everything away where it really belongs (kinda). I even enlisted my husband’s help in packing up the last of the Christmas decorations. Note to self: must do that more often — delegating rocks! And today, drum-roll please… the room looks like this:

And this:

And this:

Ahhhhhhhhhh. So much better. Now let’s see how long I can make it last this time. Only, now how will I keep the Jehovah’s Witnesses away?! I can’t just crack open the door and pretend to be so overwhelmed anymore. Maybe they won’t want to come in if I open the door looking like this:

Really? You want to sell ME something? That's funny... I was about to tell you the exact same thing!"

Or this:

"Oh hello! DO come IN! I was just about to watch some Jeopardy... would you care to join me?"

Don’t think I won’t do it. I’m a bored crazy housewife lookin’ fer love in all the wrong places.

Anyhoooo…Laura challenged us to ponder the following questions this week:

1.  Do cluttered surfaces make you a little crazy? My answer: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Am I crazy because of the clutter, or do I have clutter because of the crazy? Deep thoughts. I will say that having clear surfaces (for once) makes me feel much better about my house and my life. It makes my husband and kids happier too. Bonus points.

2.  Are you managing to stay on top of your 52 weeks list? My answer: surprisingly, YES! This is our eighth week and I have completed 8 projects. Yay me! So far, I have organized my pantry, my linen closet, my coffee table drawers, my kitchen island, my kids’ DS cartridges, my kids’ Legos, my kitchen window sill, and all the flat surfaces in my dining room. AND, so far I have managed to keep all of these areas looking fabulous and uncluttered, except the kitchen island and the kids’ Legos. Statistically speaking? Not bad progress.

3.  Are you being motivated by your successes yet? My answer: a resounding YES!!! Each of these little successes is compounding into a true sense of accomplishment. I’ve never stuck with any kind of a program like this before, so I am very impressed with and motivated by the changes I’m seeing in my house, my routines, and myself. Eight down, 44 to go.

Only one problem…

as I’m decluttering and putting things away, I’m noticing that I tend to just move things around instead of making decisions about what to really do with them for the long term. Laura, The Organizing Junkie, says that clutter is just procrastinated decisions. So true. I’m a master procrastinator… why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? So I’m kind of dreading what it will be like to finally tackle THIS:

The Mother of all dumping grounds: basement storage room.

Wish me luck with that, would ya?!


© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

15 comments on “Dining Room Make-Under

  1. allysgrandma
    February 25, 2011

    Omgoodness, once again if I were younger or you were older, I would think we were twins. I have that room too! I have been ignoring it, focusing on the few places in the house that I have actually maintained….but sewing awaits tonight, while DH is away at boy’s night out at the local college basketball game….hope it goes into overtime!

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 2, 2011

      Oh yes – quilting definitely trumps organizing the basement storage room! I hope it went into overtime!

  2. Sue
    February 25, 2011

    Tell ya what…. you come & help me & I’ll come and help you…. I was gonna write – You do me & I’ll do you…. but that just sounded really wrong….. so, please refer to the first part of my comment…. Great job…. I love Organizing Junkie…. I’ve done some things that have stayed picked up quite well…. the bathroom sink & the tops of the washer & dryer…. ummmm…. that’s it….. I’ve tried other things but they just get messed up…. Oh, oh, wait…. I did organize the silverware drawer & that’s stayed organized too…. ok… so progress is progress…. keep up the good work…


    • The Bearded Iris
      March 2, 2011

      Oh Sue, I love it when you talk dirty! Yes, you do me and I’ll do you. It is so much easier to organize someone else’s stuff… no emotional attachments. Just ask my mother who organizes her little heart out every time she comes for a visit.

  3. danae
    February 26, 2011

    thanks for dropping by the casa & leaving some encouragement! i too dump all items without a home in my basement storage room. you can see the pic in my post if you want to commiserate & know you’re not alone! congrats on keeping up with the weekly projects! my office project slowed me down on week-for-week projects, but i hope to focus on some smaller ones that go quicker next… keep up the good work!!!

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 2, 2011

      Thanks Danae! I’ll check it out!

  4. Lisa
    February 26, 2011

    I too am a “just toss it in the basement” person. It has gotten so bad I am not also tossing stuff in the dinning room since it leads to the basement. My mom went down there to get a tool off the lovely organized tool wall (the only thing down there that has stuff in their home) and was thinking about putting me on Horders. I figured I will keep putting stuff down there and if I don’t get it in a year then I don’t need it. That way when I go down there, since it is #52 on my list, I can just donate everything and not have to go through anything. So in a way I am saving myself time and energy.

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 2, 2011

      Oooh, you’re doing your list in order? That is so organized of you! My list is a jumbled mess… kinda like me.

  5. Martha (MM)
    February 26, 2011

    You are so crazy, and so honest, that’s why I like you so much! 🙂

    Your home looks a lot like mine. Even while doing the organizing challenge and getting ready to move I have boxes labeled WTF – boxes that I just don’t have the strength or energy to try to go through yet and don’t know if I’ll get to them before we move. They have their own special area in this hell house I currently call home!

    My week 8 post coming soon!

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 2, 2011

      The “WTF” box labels… I love that!
      Looking forward to your next project, Martha.

  6. oneshabbychick
    February 28, 2011

    OK, girl… I’ve been following along, and you are totally motivating me. I am not good at this either but am constantly trying. I think I piddle away at it too much and never get much of anywhere. I’m going to do my own 52 weeks! Thanks for the kick-in-the-rear 🙂

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 1, 2011

      Do it, girl! If a slacker like me can stick with it this long and see results, anyone can. And now YOU have just motivated me! Thanks! I’m off to tackle the laundry room this week. Wanna join me?

  7. Jenn
    March 1, 2011

    Good Luck with the basement! You can do it! I think I can, I think I can, I ….want some coffee…. … Ok so it’s easy to get distracted!

    • The Bearded Iris
      March 1, 2011

      LOL! That’s for sure, Jenn. Coffee, wine, shiny things… it’s a miracle I get anything done.

  8. Pingback: Laundry Room Highs and Lows | The Bearded Iris

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