Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Where oh where is my clean little house?

When I was in law school and living on my own I kept my apartment very clean. I had a roommate bail on me so I lived for two years in a two bedroom, two bathroom condo, alone (and with the financial help of my then-boyfriend, now-husband, I was able to afford to stay there). I liked things neat and orderly. I suppose because I lived alone and only had my studies to keep me company, keeping my place neat was something that kept away the loneliness.

I wish I could say that my neat freak attitude stayed with me, but it hasn't. I don't know where it went, but it certainly isn't here in this house. We have so much STUFF. So many papers, toys, books. This is a large house, which I suppose with a family of six you have to have. I have a gorgeous kitchen island that I cannot see. I rarely see it, unless we're having a big family holiday here and we have to use the island for food. I have stacks of magazines without a home, kids' school papers that need to go to their box in the basement, bills, junk mail. It is overwhelming. Doug isn't allowed to do anything other than pile things up for me to go through, since he threw away something important when we first moved here that almost cost me the ability to declare myself an inactive attorney in the State of Maine. So, it's up to me to take care of the mess on top of the other things I'm already responsible for. To say that I relegate it to the bottom of the list is an understatement.

Last night I was watching the Red Sox game and checking Twitter, when I came across this from Casey at mooshinindy: When that moosh lady met the Style Network, Trish Suhr and reality TV. And had cameras FILM HER HOUSE. I checked out the website last night and this morning and did something very unlike me~I signed up for the contest to have a cleaning intervention staged at my home! A FILMED cleaning intervention. I doubt I'll win, but holy cow it would be nice for some help. I am good if I can keep on top of the mess, but when it gets to the stage it's in now, well let's just say that I turn a blind eye to it and hope it goes away.

Don't get me wrong. I like to clean. I love vacuumed floors, dishes put away, clean sheets and sparkling sinks. But hello, I have four messy, messy children who don't believe in my clean philosophy. When I vacuum the living room floor, the younger ones immediately take out trucks and go in circles, ruining my nice, clean rug. Someone always starts crying when I try to go upstairs for a few minutes to put things away (no, I don't take them with me due to the abomination that is the kids' playroom; it's not safe for the twins to go in there with all the toys on the floor thanks to Meg and Drew, and we've already had tumbles down the stairs and we don't need any repeats). My driveway is gravel, so my floors are always covered with dirt. Did I mention my kids are messy?

I once wrote a post about how I'd spend a free day scrapbooking. Ha. If I had a day to myself with NO KIDS, I'd clean. Really, I'd want to read a book or take a nap, but I would clean. For now though, since a day without kids isn't on my horizon, I'll have to do little bits here and there to try to tackle it all. And maybe I'll win the cleaning intervention and get some good hints for taking care of my house. I really want to be a better example for my kids.


AndreAnna said...

Haven't you ever heard of "A clean house is a sign of a life misspent"

That's how I get by. I tell myself I'm living better BECAUSE of the mess. LOL

Clutter makes me twitch.

LoriD said...

I am so much happier in a clean house. I really am. But with three busy, messy little children, my home is very rarely tidy, let alone clean. We do summer hours here, where we take off a few hours early on Friday afternoons between May and August. I plan to use my kid-free time purging, organizing and cleaning. Like you, we just have TOO MUCH STUFF!

Anonymous said...

I love clean and organized. It makes me twitch when it's not organized. But, I only have one child and she's pretty neat.

I'll come organize and clean for you. Seriously. I'll show up with my totes and labels and Sharpies and cleaners and....

I have to stop. I'm getting all light headed thinking abot it :)

creative kerfuffle said...

you are a brave woman for signing up for that intervention! i watch those shows and think how cool it would be but i'd be totally embarrassed! LOL the thorn in my side right now, the one i've been avoiding is our closet in the bedroom. holy hell it is awful! and the dining room. it never gets used so the table is piled with papers, the boxes of stuff from my office and kids stuff. ugh.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm just catching up-love the last few posts! And lately I've been telling myself that I can either be a full time housekeeper or full time mother. Mother it is. My house is a MESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS but I would literally go insane if I did the work to keep it the way I really like it. Talk about being up until 2 am after the kids go to bed, and repeating the same thing every night! Just not do-able!

Anonymous said...

i am so glad to read that i am not the only one who has this problem. i have 4 kids, 8,6,5,and 3. my three year old has speech apraxia, which requires 6 half hour sessions a week. i try so hard to keep the house clean, but it seems so impossible. i haven't found that a written schedule works because everyday is different, between therapy, and appointments, its soo hard. if you have figured something out, please let me know!!!!