Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stuff, Stuff Everywhere... And No One Wants To Clean

While sitting on the couch relaxing yesterday, I looked around and saw my house. The clutter, the need for vacuuming, the accumulated finger and handprints on the walls, the piles of papers, mail, books, and magazines, and the toys. Oh the toys. My son's cars, the My Little Ponies, and a random Barbie brush and Lego placed exactly where bare feet will unknowingly step. My house felt so much like an obstacle course, I had the bright idea that perhaps I should de-clutter and get organized.

Sounded like a great idea at the time, I swear.

According to Pinterest making my over-crowded-with-four-desks-and-a-piano-and-a-fairly-large-bookshelf-that-contains-all-my-art-related-books living room to this beautiful and simplistic space should take less than $5 and 10 minutes. Yeah, right.

Either I am truly not a minimalist, or I have issues with letting go of things.

What started out as an "I want to move most of this stuff OUT of my front room" project has turned into a "Lets turn the entire house upside down" project. I managed to move one desk down to my twelve year old's room. She's starting Jr. High, she has her own room, I figure we'll try it out and see how she does.

Then my 8 and 5 yr old decided they wanted to share a room. Which then meant realizing that my almost 4 yr old son is now ready to graduate to a big bed of his own. And also realizing that I have no need for all these baby and toddler toys that have been sitting in bins just waiting to be played with.

So instead of a nice neat space with furniture arranged into an inviting pattern, I have instead piles of books and toys and newly washed walls -- Oh my goodness, little 8 yr old girls know how to make their walls extra messy. And I'm not even going to talk about her floor. Or the amount of garbage she had pushed into every tiny corner of her room to avoid putting it in an actual garbage can. !!!!

Once I get all the toys sorted into Keep and Garage Sale piles, I'll then sub-divide them into which room they'll go into. Then maybe I can figure out where the stuff in my living room is going to end up. In the basement with the tv? In the storage room on my work bench?

And with the heat, who wants to work???  Not me. I just want to sit. Only it's really hard to just sit now that everything is pulled down and out and is where little fingers can pick it up and say "Hey, look what I found! It must be mine now!" So it's like I'm doing everything in slow motion. Is it just me that has to make a great big mess to clean up a little mess?

I don't know if I'm extra grumpy because of the heat, but earlier today I got distracted by the bathroom while moving mattresses around. Yellow spots on the ceiling?? And a general uckiness in the tub/shower. So I used yet another pinterest trick, the whole Dawn & Vinegar soap scum thing. And it totally worked. But being busy with bedroom stuff, I took the Ceiling & Upper Walls job, then I assigned these jobs: 1: Scrub down the sink and tub/tile/shower doors. 2: Rinse everything off and make sure it's clean.  When I went in to inspect, apparently neither my 16 yr old nor my 8 yr old know what "clean" looks like. I guess the white streaks next to the soap scummy marks weren't a clue.

Feeling like I have failed as a mother, I made them do it again. And assigned Job 3 to my 12 yr old: Shower Doors. Honestly, the job wasn't super hard. The vinegar and dish soap lifted everything off, it just needed some extra help in a couple of spots. My 16 yr old then went in and cleaned the other upstairs bathroom and asked if she missed any spots that time. She may have been being snarky, but I was too distracted with trying to keep up with everything that I just double-checked before giving her the OK to go to her friends LOTR party. I mean really, when the 3 yr old thinks all the vacuum attachments are his personal arsenal, it's hard to double-check for spots on the sink or toilet when he could be whacking his sisters or going after the neighbors dog with what he thinks is an awesome sword.

One day this house will look put together. Hopefully before the 19th when we have a big Girl Scout training meeting scheduled to be here. If not, we'll fake it. But when all is said and done, my son will have his own room and not have to share it with Tinkerbell posters or barbies. The girls will have a room with a science experiment corner and their dolls and their fun things. I'm going to try to find a poster of the solar system and maybe the periodic table for my 8 yr old. That'll mesh well with Tinkerbell and Kung Fu Panda, right? My son might some day be interested in the science stuff, not yet. Right now he likes to chase and play and drive. He'll be thrilled with anything Veggie Tales, anything with wheels (trains, cars, trucks, whatever), or anything with a light saber. You know what would be cool? Putting in one of those Kids Climbing Walls... THAT would keep him busy for... an hour...

But, I guess we made some progress. Today we managed to get mattresses aired out, baking-soda'ed, and vacuumed. (Including mine!) We deep-cleaned the bathroom, and washed a bunch of walls. And moved toys from one spot to another.In the overall scheme of life, I'm not sure if anything I did today mattered. Except that I have hope that my space will soon feel uncluttered and hopefully that will reflect on the state of my mind, and I'll be able to work more effectively.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter has no idea what "clean" looks like either!! And that goes double for "a clean room!"

    I'd say you got a ton done, just not what you planned. I know decluttering takes me HOURS - for just a tiny spot. Because I tend to accumulate things I really intend to use. So my sorting is really Where Should I Store This, Do I Really Need This, Dare I Throw This Away, and Do I Know Anyone Who Could Use This? :D

    Good luck on the rest of the house! Especially the living room!