I fantasize about a clean house.
If someone knocked on my door tomorrow and said “Two week long vacation on Tahiti, $10,000 or a tidy, well organized house?” I would be ALL OVER THE TIDY WELL ORGANIZED HOUSE.
Sure, I could make something happen with the $10K, but I’d probably just do something responsible with the money, like pay of school loans or get Cody a new car. Perhaps a fence or a deck. Or one of those college savings plans, surely those are more important than a clean and tidy house.
This photo? It was basically taken the day we moved in, before we had the time or energy to mess ANYTHING up.
Confession: organization is NOT my strong suit. Never has been, just ask my mom. It took Addie 6 hours, three crying fits and me using my bossy mom voice at least a dozen times for her to end up with what could be considered a relatively clean room on Saturday. The thing is, the kid is JUST LIKE ME. I couldn’t keep my room clean with the promises or threats of anything. Addie is the same way. Take something away? “That’s fine, I didn’t like it all that much anyway.” Ground her? “It’s cool, I’ll just sit here and read.” Take her books away? “No worries mom, I’ll just play with my carpet.” I once asked her to clean the loft, two hours later not a single misplaced toy had been put away, but 100 DVDs had been alphabetized and arranged by genre.
You would think I could get things done during the day, while Addie is at school. But there’s this other little person running around undoing everything I just did. I couldn’t find my underwear today which was really strange because who loses underwear? Turns out Vivi had snuck it out of my drawer and shoved it in the dryer. It wouldn’t have been so bad had a dryer repairman not come over this afternoon had to ask “Ma’am? Could you please, uh, remove the…uh, laundry from your dryer?” I debated for a long time which was worse, being called “ma’am” by a guy my dad’s age or a guy my dad’s age getting a face full of my underpants?
I like work, I have a nice tidy little checklist right over there and as I get things done I can cross each one out feeling very accomplished. While “laundry” is currently checked off my real-life to do list, in a week laundry will be right up at the top begging my attention. So will the toilets (DUDE, what is with moldy toilets after three days in humid weather!?) and those stupid white spots on the mirror.
I’m convinced I’m missing the gene that qualifies people to be considered “put together.”
I grew up in a house where EVERYTHING (and I mean EVERYTHING) had a place, and if something dared to be out of place? So help you… My room must have caused my mother a thousand tiny deaths everyday. I have two photos of the fireplace in my old house taken nearly ten years apart, the only thing that changed? Me. Every other thing in the photo was in the EXACT same place. Every plant, every photo, every decoration. What went wrong?
Ladies and (a few) gentlemen…I am horribly disorganized. I’m a clutter-er.
There’s no squashed cats under anything, nor is there dead or rotting food anywhere in the house. Basic needs are met, clean clothes exist, beds are made half the time, bills get paid, honestly you couldn’t really point out anything absolutely disgusting. It’s just chaos, clutter, half completed projects, boxes, and the toddler doesn’t help. (Neither does the seven year old version of her mother.)
I’m tired. I need my mom. Perhaps Nate Berkus. I’m overwhelmed. I really want to eat my feelings.
But really I just wanted to put this out there lest you think I’m one of those women living a very well styled and fancy existence. I won’t apologize for my house because it is lived in and occupied by a very happy family. But I also won’t lie to you and give you the illusion that I have my $%&# completely together.
Because I totally don’t.
Thanks for listening.