Did I say 'easy'? Sorry, I lied.
1. Wait for a sign to start cleaning, like when you're tripping over everything as soon as you enter their room.
2. No. Wait until the only way you can make it through their room is to take a step, shove stuff aside, take another step, shove more stuff aside.
3. A good time to start is 11:00 P.M. when you're drop dead dizzy exhausted. This will give your decluttering process a more desperate edge.
4. Run out of all energy at 11:57 P.M. Take the stairs on your butt and go to the kitchen for a Flintstones vitamin and slam it with your McCafe that's been reheated in the microwave nine times.
5. Clean for three minutes then go back downstairs on your butt and eat a sleeve of crackers for the acid reflux that just started.
6. Stop now, you won't be able to go further without energy music. If you're at Level 5 depletion range, begin with Britney right away.
7. Get ready for Step #8. (I mean really get ready for Step #8)
8. Deep breath. Exhale. Deep breath. Exhale. Extend arms up overhead and call upon the gods and goddesses of detachment and ruthlessness. It's about to get real up in here.
9. It's real up in here. Pick up an item like you're following Bravehart into battle. Make your mind go blank and see nothing but a half blue face in front of your eyes. Think nothing but seize the item and claim war against it. Keep moving and striking. Physical physical physical. Not mental mental mental. DO NOT ATTACH.
10. Too late. You thought, didn't you? Memories, you were supposed to stop them. Now you're seeing a slideshow in your head of what you're holding, when you bought it, where it came from, who it belongs to, what it means to you ...
11. It's all for sh*t now. There's no way around it, only through it. So, go ahead, fall apart.
12. While you're down on the floor, ponder. Ponder the passing of time. Ponder your years of caring for little ones coming to a close. Ponder the memories contained in this collection of Sesame Street figurines. Take your time, the sh*t's not going anywhere. So, go ahead, feel the ache.
13. It's a good time to start prayer now. Put everything down, hands pressed together. Pray for strength to get this crap out of your house because if you don't hit it before the holiday gifts come you stand a solid gold chance of being the next Hoarders episode.
14. Your phone rings. Your friend senses something in the air and asks what you're doing. You sob and tell her you're not ready for them to grow up but she can't hear you because you have a Tickle Me Elmo doll stuffed in your mouth. She rushes over to check on you then talks you into a beer to celebrate that you're not having the stroke she thought you were.
15. Return upstairs, repeat "I will get through this. I will get through this." Start anew, tell your family that's not their alarms they hear, go back to bed. Instruct them to ignore your wailing, and then forge on, with tear-soaked resolve.
16. Reassure yourself these items are only material. Realize that you can't keep everything you have ever bought for your angel. Respect the need for a clutter free environment. Reattempt to organize. Seven hours later, rearrange the newfound order.
17. Hear angels singing. You have finished. Take all items, now bagged, and deliver them to the local thrift center. Rebound with a few new surprise items at a store you'll be passing anyway. What's the harm with a little early holiday gift giving?
Seems a shame to leave a lovely shelf space empty like that.
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