I have been working hard on the house in the past couple of days. Tuesday and Wednesday we didn't have to go anywhere, and I finally have my energy back, such as it is.
So on Tuesday I tackled the pantry. We had a mouse infestation which fortunately didn't affect much of the food, but it did take quite a bit of cleaning up. Two hours later I had the whole pantry rearranged, cleaned and re-packaged. I put clear plastic bags over the smaller appliances that I store in there (food processor, cutting machine) and saran wrap over the top of all the larger appliances (crockpot, bagel maker). That way I can still see what's in there but they won't collect so much dust and grime. It is nice to walk into that plastic-y place and get in touch with my inner clean-freak, who usually doesn't get much of a chance to express her opinion about anything.
I also moved a bookshelf to a better place, cleared off another set of shelves (which used to go in the pantry but which I was using to shelf kids' books) and brought it down to our unfinished coat closet. I cleared a bunch of stuff out of there and shelved most of the rest.
Today, Wednesday, I mostly just cleaned, rather than organized. I vacuumed upstairs and typed a bunch of new entries into my Amazon seller account. I also took the kids for a walk for the first time in the longest time, mostly because we got sick and then the sky has been dumping so much snow on us that it's hard to get out of the house (literally -- our front porch has a sort of mountain in front of it).
The house STILL looks cluttered even after all the work I've been doing -- I stopped counting but I think I've gotten rid of at least 5 more big bags to add to the original fifty. But I am so happy with my pantry right now.
I'm even managing to continue detaching from our book collection. To keep it in perspective, we still have 7 largebookshelves, 6 medium bookshelves and 4 small bookshelves pretty much filled. But there were more before ;-). I can sort of feel sticky little internal tentacles reluctantly pulling loose. It's not easy, I tell you. SO much easier to dump a bunch of clothes or extra kitchen utensils. When I write out how many there still are I can see quite easily that we don't NEED that many books, no matter whether we are homeschoolers and bookish types or not. This will take a long time but I plan to keep at it.