I'm not sure what it is about January that drives me into a re-org frenzy. Nothing to do with it being a new year or resolutions, I think it's more that the holiday season (my birthday, Thanksgiving, Kate's birthday, Christmas, the New Year) brings a bunch of new stuff into the house. Gifts come in, food and drink and other holiday entertaining essentials spring up, decorations are dragged out from the nooks and crannies where they've been stashed all year... and as I look at the new untidiness in the calm after the storm it's organization time.
A major relief has been getting the plumber in to finish the work of closing off our heating system from our potable water system. Our super nice plumbers came in and replaced all the piping in the water closet with lovely copper pipes and fittings, stuck a heat exchanged and pressure gauge on the heating side and replaced our ten-year-old water heater with a nice new tankless system. When they pulled out the old expansion tank it was rusted inside and full of water, a sure sign of impending failure, and I was glad to have them take away the water heater while they were at it rather than keep the thing and have to revisit this whole issue again in another few months or a year. The heating system, now that it's closed off and held at a lower pressure, only holds about three gallons of water. In the future, should any leaks spring up they'll be easily discovered because of the pressure gauge and with only a few gallons of water in the system the risk of catastrophic damage is removed.
A bonus to having the water heater out of the tiny water closet is that I have a tiny amount of extra storage! It's not much but it's enough to have a place for my brooms, mops, buckets and other small cleaning items, which were previously crowding my already crowded laundry room. (As I discovered when I had to replace my washing machine, the room is just barely big enough to hold a modern washer and dryer and still have room to open the door.)
Anyway, despite our decluttering and organizing efforts in 2009, the bottom line is that we still just have too darn much stuff! I've also reached my limit on how much cleaning and organizing I can take on myself. I'm allergic to dust and shirk dusting duties, but that just means the dusting doesn't get done. I spend several months in 2009 nursing a shoulder injury that made things like even drying my hair with a towel, chopping vegetables, or scrubbing pots a painful experience. I got the thumbs up from my physical therapist to go back to normal routine at the end of the year but my first foray into vacuuming the house and scrubbing the bathtubs left me hurting. My loving family does what I ask (most of the time) but we have very few regular, assigned chores and absolutely no schedule. Instead of continuing to try to be supermom who either does it all myself or takes the blame when things don't get done, I've been looking over options for assigning chores and creating a schedule. I have a pile of organizing books and home upkeep books beside the bed. Now that Kate's back from her dad's a family meeting is in our future. I haven't decided exactly how the chores will be divided but we're going to build on the organizational successes of 2009. Here we go!