Spring Cleaning OR How the Hell am I Going to Fit Another Human in This Flat?!

It’s that time of year when everyone starts opening their windows and dragging bags and boxes of junk out of their homes in an attempt to clean, organize and usher in a new, airier season.  I love the idea of spring cleaning, but in practice?  I’m pretty useless.  An informal poll of people who know me will show that I am regularly voted Least Organized Person To Ever Live.  I’m also reigning champion of the Least Likely To Get Off Her Bum And Do Stuff (please don’t make me do stuff!) award, so that doesn’t help.  The spring cleaning bug usually manifests itself in my life by me finally taking out the last 3 months worth of recycling, dragging out the vacuum and maybe Febreezing the hell out of the curtains.

This year, though, I’m backed into a bit of a corner.  As you may or may not be aware, I’m currently very knocked up, and in about eleven weeks, that is going to mean a fourth permanent resident in our already very cramped 2 bedroom flat.  Babies, while tiny, accumulate a lot of very large accessories.  We don’t currently have the time/money to move, so making the most of our  little bit of space is the only option.  How to actually do that, though,  is utterly and completely beyond me.

I’ve purchased plastic bins for my 4 year old’s toys, and even managed to go through said toys, getting rid of all the broken ones and separating them by type.  The neatness there lasted about 2 weeks.  Now we’ve just got overflowing toy bins everywhere.  Clothing is another huge problem for me.  Our dryer broke a few months back and I’m stuck using clothes horses, which means that I can only do a couple loads of laundry every two days.  Unfortunately, that leaves me with an enormous (and never ending) pile of laundry waiting to be done… and no place to put it.  It lives on our bedroom floor, and I call it Jeremy.

So, as a last resort, I am reaching out to you.  All you lovely, organized people out there on the Internet (Why does spell check insist that we capitalize “Internet”?  I mean, does something that specializes almost entirely in porn and talking cat pictures really deserve that kind of status?).  Somebody out there must have some sort of idea how I can fit another human being in this little shoe box.  Help.  PLEASE.



  1. lol at Jeremy Maybe he can get together with our huge clothing pile that lives on our dresser, since there’s no more room in it. I wish i had some ideas for you. I would suggest giving your oldest a loft bed because there’s storage space under it, but I think he’s too young.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      He’s also super afraid of heights, so I don’t think he’s ever going to be a “top bunk” kind of kid. He’s just intent on not cooperating. On the plus side, they make these much smaller cots (we call cribs “cots” here, and bassinets are called “cribs”, just to be extra confusing) specifically for tiny, corner of the room type nurseries, so I know what little miss is going to be sleeping in, come July.

  2. This post makes me think of how worried I am that my organized life is going to go to chaos when I have my theoretical future child. But I’m so OCD-organized, I feel like I’ll somehow make it still be orderly. You can use those shelves that go under a bed for extra clothing space. And maybe if you tried to cut Jeremy in half (sorry Jeremy), that would make things feel a little more organized?

    Also, July babies are the best (says the July baby).

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      I recently went through Jeremy and quartered him. If it ever legitimately warms up I can probably whittle him down some more, which would definitely be a plus. Under bed storage is a no go for us right now. We’ve got our luggage under there, (it’s already where my husband keeps all his clothes) and once the cot is in, we won’t be able to under there on my side. I think I could make it work in Jack’s room, though!

      My other two babies are February babies. February babies are awesome as well!

  3. I recently moved, and my excuse has been “why bother until we we’re finished making improvements… ” Well, I don’t know when that day will come. If someone can figure out how to light a fire under Shannon’s fanny, please visit me next!

    Apartment Therapy maybe a good source to help you find organization/ layout inspiration as it’s geared for smaller spaces. Can’t vouch how it works for kid stuff, but I’ve poached a ton of ideas myself. Edited to add that I just spent the better part of 15 minutes checking out nursery/kid rooms, and to my horror someone has named their baby Mavis! (No offense to anyone named Mavis. Or my mother, who is named Avis– Mavis minus the M.)

    One thing I’ve seen work for a friend and her kids was that she only allowed easy access to larger toys (like stuffed animals and dump trucks) and kept the toys with lots of pieces out of reach. The kids had to come to her to ask for access for the puzzles and blocks, etc. and the rule was they couldn’t have more than one set of toys out at a time. It was kind of a pain at first, but once everyone was acclimated it worked out fine.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      These are all good ideas. Imma check out Apartment Therapy, for sure. I have to tell you, though, “fanny” does not mean in this country what it does in the U.S. I giggled for two minutes straight. Please, PLEASE nobody light a fire under my fanny! I still plan on using that. XD

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