The daft thing is that I've got a million jobs that need doing around the house - I feel like the weight of all the clutter and mess everywhere is going to topple down on me at any moment. And yet, being a perfectionist (and a perfectionist who doesn't like to expend any energy to achieve perfection, at that), I can't actually start any jobs, because then the reality of how much there is left to do will crush me. At just the critical moment, I read this post on the lovely Whozat's blog, which suggested that you should pick the one most annoying/in-need-of-addressing thing in your house, and Just Do It.
Easy. The springs on our sofa went about 3 years ago. With a creak and a ping, poor Jamie was sitting in a hole. The rest of it was saggy and stained and uncomfortable, and we slowly built up the cushions with more cushions to try and ease the pain in our aching backs, until we were essentially sitting on a pile of cushions. (I'd like to emphasise that Jamie fell head-over-heels-top-to-bottom down the stairs during this time, and I'm sure the lack of seated support contributed to how long it took his back to heal.
For Christmas 2010, my parents gave us a contribution towards a new sofa, but over the last 12 months we haven't been able to scrape together the remaining funds to buy a new one, however cheap it was. On Thursday this week, we went to visit Jacob's girlfriend in Cardiff, and stopped off at Ikea on our way to Jamie's hospital appointment. For the first time, Jacob cottoned on to the concept of 'trying out sofas', and he merrily ran this way and that, clambering into chairs and onto sofas, sitting still for half a second, before shrieking "Now that one!" and running off to the next. This meant that we could actually try some sofas properly, and have a chat about finance and colours etc. And, we chose one. But being the indecisive people we are, we had to go home first to talk about it ... until we passed the clearance corner on our way out and spied the very sofa we'd just decided on, reduced by £150. Better still, they would deliver it and remove the old one, for the same price our council would charge to collect the old one, and they donate the used sofas to charity. Sold.
We then had a day to clear enough space to get the old sofa out, and the new sofa in. Did I mention that we hadn't put away any Christmas presents, and the decorations were still up? In one day we:
- took all the Christmas decorations down and packed them away.
- made a 'November Box' of things to get out of the loft pre-Christmas time - things like Advent calendars and Christmas crafts.
- dragged all of Jacob's toys out of their boxes, got rid of all the ones he doesn't play with, reorganised the ones he does and added in the new Christmas presents.
- labelled all his toy boxes (we have Trofast, and found that using the tray sized ones for things like Playmobil, animals etc with stickers on the side to denote what's in there means Jacob can tidy by himself - woop!).
- culled half his jigsaws to live in his bedroom, then they can rotate down here and we won't end up with 21 open boxes of jigsaws at the end of each day.
- cut open the back of the old sofa and found loads of hairbands and phones and disgusting tissues
- emptied the hallway of everything, to aid the moving men, and actually cleaned the carpets and skirting boards.
And just 36 hours after we paid for the sofa, we had a sparkling clean living room and hallway, and a beautiful, comfortable, supportive new sofa. Which Jacob has given his seal of approval to...
Thanks, Whozat, for the inspiration (I know you wrote an additional post decrying your organisational skills, but take the kudos, because you kicked our arses into gear and we're very thankful).