Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Disorganized AND Messy Part II: Spring Uncleaning

I really enjoyed Jan's post on disorganization yesterday, mostly because it reminded me that I am not the only person in the world who longs to be organized yet seems to lack the time, motivation, and/or skills necessary to achieve a state of chronic organization. You know the old phrase, "cleaning while your kids are still at home is like shoveling in a snowstorm"? I live in a snow storm and I keep inefficiently swiping at the drifts with a plastic shovel. It is spring which should mean spring cleaning as in purging out all of the detris and dust bunnies that we have been hording like bears all winter, yet it really means sweeping up piles of cat hair (shedding) and the usual crumbs while Elliott drives his trucks into my piles before they can make it to the dustpan. Alas, in my house spring cleaning is somewhat of a misnomer, and not only due to the shedding cats and the people who track muddy shoes through the house. Sometimes the kids do it too. All joking aside, Aiden is usually the one to tell me, "Mom, you need to take your shoes off when you come inside". If anything, I find my house more difficult to clean in the spring because after six months of winter, once the weather gets habitable I don't spend enough time inside my house to actually clean it. My husband has said all of these things in the past week:

"Uh, if you get a chance can you do some laundry today? At least socks?"

"We need to go through and organize all of these toys." (By "we" he means "me".)

"Have you had a chance to look through these papers and send that birthday card to your aunt since her birthday was last week?"

"Who got mud on the carpet? Is this going to come out?", and,

"I freed up those big bins so you can go through and put away all of the baby clothes in the basement." (hint hint)

You would think after knowing me for half my life he would realize that most likely only number one will be addressed this week, and number four I'll shamelessly blame on the kids. I know, their foootprints are getting awfully big...

I think he should really man up, quit his job, and organize the house himself. The end result of this would be the bank reposessing our house, so you see it would all work out. I think I could manage to keep a cardboard box organized....

I would venture to say that Jan and I are not alone in our chronic disorganization, nor our preference for spending time outdoors over a dark basement (which they don't have in California, anyway, but you get the idea). I could do yardwork all day long. I love to pull weeds and clear leaves and do all things outdoors. I am being serious, I actually find pulling weeds very therapuetic. Last week I spent two hours in the driveway washing and waxing my car, a past time that is nostalgic for me. While other little girls were braiding hair and playing princesses I was alongside my dad in ripped jeans and a dirty white t-shirt washing the whitewalls of his car tires with a brillo pad, no matter that only days would go by between washes. I wonder what are water bill looked like. Anyway, I love to get out there and wash the cars just like my dad did. Just don't open the car door and look inside. I'll get to that... tomorrow.

You see, I may have the traditional if not old fashioned gender role of stay at home mom, but I would not refer to myself as a home maker. I am really more of a home wrecker and I am far more efficient outdoors getting dirty. Before you let your mind wander, I mean home wrecker in a completely non swinger way and more in the literal sense of making a mess of my house (or allowing my children to do so). You may think my motivation towards yardwork at the expense of housework means my landscaping is prisine. You are welcome to keep thinking that, but remember there is still that pesky issue of time. Where is that au pair when you need her? Oh, yeah, she only exists in my delusion.

Alas, I will never be a domestic goddess. I have dirt under my unmanicured finger nails, I have never in my life had a facial, and I haven't been in a hair salon for my own purposes since my two year old was an infant. I am also totally with Jan in my desperate attempts to organize by buying those baskets with the exuberance of a kid in a candy store. "Oh, this one can hold the 8,750,000 toy cars strewn about since it has a car print on it! I am going to be so organized! This one can hold school papers and overdue library books for which I will search the house and then eventually deem lost forever! Go baskets! Go me!"

You see, even this post is disorganized. What does my hair and nails have to do with my house? Well, the common theme is unkempt and disorganized. But hey, maybe one day I will get all of that shit off the top of my dryer or get to the bottom of that stack of papers, or get the library books returned on time. At least I am trying. As for the issue of my personal unkemptness (I made that word up; we scatterbrains do things like that, right, Jan?) I will get to that when that damn au pair gets her shit together.

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