Sometimes we need to celebrate small victories

As a working mom, with two boys who keep me busy, it’s very difficult to keep the house clean.  I constantly find myself apologizing to our guests for the mess.  I never seem to have enough time to get to everything done.  I get one room clean and by the time I have time to clean the next room the first is messy again.  It’s a battle to keep the house in the least messy state possible. 🙂  Which is why I celebrate small victories! This week my small victory was the re-organization of the entryway (while managing to keep the kids fed and on time for their baseball practices).  We have a small entryway and with four of us, our school/work bags and the fact we live in Minnesota (in spring and fall we can have winter and spring jackets out at the same time and sometimes boots and regular shoes too) it can get very messy.  A couple of years ago I bought some shelving units intending to have the boys put their shoes in the bottom and their backpack in the middle to free up space.  However, it seems my boys are drop-the-bag kind of kids and no matter how often I reminded them or made them go back upstairs and put their school bags back, so my plan never became reality.

In fact, this is what my entryway looks like almost all the time.

entryway before

The poor shelving units ended up housing a random amount of paperwork and our video players for the cars.  The top hosted our bucket of left-over Halloween candy (yes I know Halloween was several months ago…but out of sight, out of mind I guess).  The coat rack was a Wal-Mart special that was so used and abused it was falling apart.  We also have a lot of homeless shoes.  My husband and I have dress shoes for work, tennis shoes for every day and the kids have their everyday shoes, soccer shoes, and (since indoor soccer overlaps baseball) there are baseball cleats down there too!

What’s a mom to do?  My answer was to go shopping.  For those of you who know me, I hate to shop.  I hate the crowds and I hate when I don’t find what I’m looking for and have to run to more than one store because that’s time I could be using for something more productive.  When possible I shop on-line.  In-store pick up is my friend!  Even better is delivery to my door.  Two or three years ago we invested in Amazon Prime and we use the heck out of the free 2-day shipping.  So, off to Amazon I went.  (Note: This is not intended as an advertisement.  I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way, it is just a method of shopping I use.)

My online shopping trip was a success!  I found a new solution for the school bags and shoes.  I also order a new hall tree as well.  The only problem was the items showed up on Monday.  This was the same day my husband had plans and the boys had back to back practices.  So I multi-tasked and worked on the entryway between feeding the boys and toting them each to practice.

First, I dropped Ian off at practice and when I got home I put together my awesome new bench with shoe storage.  Then I made Vincent dinner and while he ate and got ready for his practice, I proceeded in making an even bigger mess in the entryway by moving the shelving units and all the crud they housed to the side and placing the bench in its new home.  Next, I put together half of the coat rack I bought, but then it was time to take Vincent to his practice so finishing the coat rack would have to wait.  Notice I didn’t say anything about picking up Ian?  Ian’s practice ended when Vincent’s began and they were at parks that were  each opposite directions of my house.  No, I didn’t forget about

Coincidentally, Ian’s coach also has a son on Vincent’s team so he was kind enough to bring Ian to me. 🙂  After that, Ian and I headed back home where I fed him and put him to bed.  Then I started the task of actually cleaning my entryway and making use of my new organizational tools.  I even repurposed the shelving units to be a better solution for storing shoes and hats in our closet.  I still need to go through the jackets in our closet and decide what we keep and what we can donate or toss, but that will be another (small) project for a different day.  Thankfully my husband ended up getting home in time to pick up Vincent so my cleaning flow wasn’t interrupted.  Let’s face it, you know what happens when your cleaning flow gets interrupted……it never gets going again.

Look at how wonderful the entry way looks now.  The closet looks pretty good too with the repurposed cubbies.  I love it!
Entryway afterclosetSo, why do I think the boys will be better with this setup?  Now they can drop their bags on the bench when they get inside the door.  Much easier, in their minds, than having to put it inside something.  The boys have already been putting their shoes under the bench without my having to ask, so that’s a bonus.  The new coat rack has more hooks than my old one, so the storage there is beneficial too.

As I mentioned before I struggle with depression and being surrounded by a mess, tends to be part of a combination can trigger a spiral back to depression.  It’s so refreshing to walk into a clean entryway.  It keeps that wave of dread from hitting me the moment I walk in the door.  When I walk in the door to a clean entryway, seems brighter and makes me feel like whatever else I have going on that evening is doable.

I am going to enjoy my new entryway!

What small victory have you had this week?  Share with us below!