If you live in a part of the world that observes the daylight savings time adjustment, there's a good chance that you set your clocks back one hour this past Sunday. How many times have you heard that we "get an extra hour" during the "fall back" portion of the daylight savings time change? Sure, the actual change in time happens at 2:00am, but it feels like you actually gain an hour in your day. But the big question every year is always "how are you going to spend your extra hour?"
There are so many different and (arguably) useful ways you can make efficient use of the extra hour you've cheated out of the day. Some like to sleep through it, others prefer to watch an extra hour of television, while others take the opportunity to start a new project or craft. Heck, I've even heard someone say "I think I'll start to learn a new language." I'm not sure how far you can get in picking up a new alphabet in an hour, let along verb conjugation or vocabulary memorization, but hey, more power to them.
This year Wendy was dead set on making an efficient and effective use of our extra hour, in spite of my best efforts to sleep right through it. Quite honestly, nothing would have made me happier than to get an extra hour of zzz's this past weekend, but I have to hand it to Wendy, her ideas were far more practical and especially necessary given the items on our ever growing to-do list. So back to the big question of "how did we spend our extra hour?"
Wendy almost jumped out of bed on Sunday morning (or at least that's how I saw it when I was trying to keep my head buried under the covers), and she hit the ground running cleaning. Wendy started the day by packing up the Halloween decorations, and organizing her closet, her clothes, and pulling aside several bags of items to donate to charity. She was so inspiring (I think that's what you call it when she keeps saying "Come on, get out of bed, get a move on, stop just laying there, you've slept enough!") that I couldn't resist getting out of bed to start working on the same task.
At the onset, it was organized chaos to say the least. My closet had gotten out of hand. Clothes were draped over the bars, other clothes piled on the floor, and my shoes hidden from view.
Wendy's clothes in her closet were far better off than mine, but she was in the deep throws of the change over from summer to winter clothes, so there were plastic tubs of clothes all over the room and folded clothes piled up on the bed.
That was the real reason I was "encouraged" from my slumber, as the clothes and Lulu were overtaking my sleeping area.
I started by removing everything that was ancillary from my closet and spreading it all over the room and making piles. That seemed like the most logical approach to this organization process.
My piles, combined with Wendy's piles, made super piles which made us feel like our clothes were taking over our entire room. As the oxygen felt like it was being squeezed from the room by the multiplying clothes, Lulu couldn't even feign interest in the whole task, and instead enjoyed the partially made bed.
The key to this little project was our ability to sort through all of our clothes and determine which items needed to be packed away for the winter, which needed to be taken out of storage (the areas above our closets), and which we simply didn't like or haven't worn in years and could be donated. I had my fair share of trying on shirts and then saying, "How does this look? Should I get rid of it?"
I sorted through all of my clothes and came up with quite a few that could be donated. Telltale signs that I hadn't worn something in a very long time? How about a 2008 Nationals schedule and receipt from late 2007. The receive was for lunch where I ordered a chicken sandwich. The last time I had worn this particular coat, I was still eating meat. Off to the donation pile it went.
After digging through all of our clothes, Wendy and I compiled a pretty solid collection of clothes to donate. To be exact, we gathered up six shopping bags full of our old stuff that we'll dropping at a local charity.
Wendy packed all of her summer clothes neatly into their storage bins and we stowed them safely in the upper storage above the closet.
Inevitably, when you clean things up and organize you run across items that make you pause and remember where you were when you picked something up. Wendy came across our Mardi-Gras masks from our 2011 trip to New Orleans, and decided to try them on for the camera. Now she wants to make sure we throw a party sometime where we can wear these masks.
I thinned out all of my clothes in the closet, hung everything where they needed to go, and got everything sorted out and put back in place in my closet. Here's my closet's "after" photo.
In case you're observant and wondering, yes, those are all pairs of jeans hanging along the bottom bar in my closet. I'm a bit of a jeans hoarder, and this is how I can store them all. It's totally overkill and a little nuts, but there's little I do in life that isn't "totally overkill and a little nuts."
Wendy kept working on her clothes and getting everything in her closets and drawers tidy and nicely organized. Check out just how lovely and wonderful her winter sweaters looked all nestled in their beds.
Unfortunately, I'm a horrible photographer and neglected to take pictures of Wendy's cleaned closets. I was so fixated on my own closet, I became an insensitive and selfish husband and focused only on my efforts. I'll make it up Wendy and all of you on the Internet and get some photos up a little later. Until then, you can curse my name, I will understand.
All told, our extra hour in the day allowed us to knock out a necessary but often neglected task in our home. We were able to collect items for donation, clean out our closets and drawers, and determine clothes we need to purchase to round out our winter wardrobes. Perhaps I need to focus a little more on nicer clothes for work than purchasing more jeans? Just an idea I'm throwing out there.
Now we can appreciate our closets and drawers in all of their clean and pristine glory...without clothes spilling all over the place.
What sort of things did you do with your extra hour? Did you knock out any small tasks? Or perhaps you kicked off some big projects? If you had intended to do something but never got around to it, what sort of thing did you fail to get moving on?