I’ll Tell Ya What I Want (what i really, really want)

I really wish I was one of those people who loved to clean.
While we’re at it, I wish I was one of those people who loved to run.
But, alas, I am neither.
And, okay…if I’m being honest?
I don’t really want to be a neat freak or a runner.
I just want the results of being one.

Pssssstttt…Marshall!  This is what our room looks like when it’s clean.  Who knew?

Every single day, all day long I pick up.
I pick up toys.
I pick up dishes.
I pick up clothes.
I pick up books.
I pick up men.
(And women, actually.)
(Little men and women, that is.)
I pick up trash.
I pick up…you get the point.

It is exhausting to constantly be battling the clutter.
I’ve followed the suggestions of fancy organization people.
I’ve set up system after system:
Labelled boxes, baskets, hanging compartments.
I’ve tried it all.
And for approximately 3.637 minutes, everything is happily tucked away in its home
And it looks great.

But then one small person grabs this and another grabs that.
And then they play with this and that.
And then they trade this and that.
And then this person thinks that that person should put this away.
And the other person thinks that the other person should put that away.
But neither person thinks that they are responsible for the putting up of either item
Because either “I didn’t have it last” or “I didn’t get it out”.
And all that clutter finds its way onto the table and the counter and the “save box”.
(By the way, Lydia, you can’t put every single thing you’ve ever made in the save box!)
And in trying to fight that clutter, I produce my own.
And it piles up onto of the other clutter
And before I know it, we haven’t eaten off the table in well over a month.

I currently can’t see my kitchen counters.
Nor can you access our breakfast table.
It is more common to have them this way than cleared and accessible.

Very frequently we will all work together to clean their room before nap time.
But by the time Marshall gets home from work, it’s a disaster area.
I’m shocked that we haven’t yet had a trip to the ER.
(Did I just jinx myself?)
It is maddening.

And not only does this drive me insane,
But sometimes I get downright angry.
I JUST cleaned up!
How in the world did this happen so quickly????

So, you neat freaks and domestic goddessses…
I don’t want it to be perfect,
But how do I at least get it to be manageable?
I’m not seeking a magazine-worthy home.
I just want to walk to the bathroom without falling over pieces of train track and baby dolls.

8 Responses to I’ll Tell Ya What I Want (what i really, really want)
  1. Secret Agent Mama/Mishelle Lane
    August 5, 2011 | 8:37 am

    I say don’t fret about the mess. Enjoy it and know that there will be time for clean. I promise!

  2. Chris
    August 5, 2011 | 8:45 am

    Don’t you just hear the “Ahhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhh” when you walk into your room when it’s clean?? I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to have 4 kids. I’ve had 3 for the week and I’m ready to have my tubes tied.:) And the clutter?? I too have done the whole organization thing and it works out (when I do it.) On days when I just want the stuff off the floor I tell Anna to put all of her stuff in these rubbery container things with handles. That gives me some instant gratification but I know that eventually she will dump all of that out because she MUST have the toy on the bottom. And don’t even get me started on the adults I have to pick up after….So, maybe I’m not the one to offer any advice, but it sure was nice getting that off my chest. 🙂

  3. Heather
    August 5, 2011 | 9:04 am

    I am TOTALLY digging you. I, in my grumpy nasty mood as of late, went on Amazon and ordered a BUNCH of Ball Jars (the BIG ONES—half gallon and gallon size). It’s amazing how much they hold, and still look good. I mean there’s no hope for the toys, but at least my pantry looks good. 😉

  4. Dawn
    August 5, 2011 | 9:05 am

    How about you and I work on this together? I’m feeling your very very real pain.

  5. Jessica
    August 5, 2011 | 10:38 am

    I actually recently figured out a system that “works” for me. It’s not perfect, and I do still step on tiny toys and trip over large ones, but it does seem to keep the clutter manageable and able to be cleaned up quickly in a pinch. Basically, every item in my house has a place, utilizing bins and closet storage space. Everything is organized to the best of my ability (though others could have it much neater, I’m sure). Every night, while the kids are winding down or after they are in bed, I simply put everything back in it’s place, including the stray papers and dishes on the kitchen counters. We also have a system set up to have the kids help as they get older. We have some smallish fashionable toy boxes behind our couch with each girls’ name on them. As they get old enough, each child can put her own toys in the box with her name on it, regardless of who got it out, had it last, etc. They can do this at the end of each day while I am straightening or as needed when guests come by. As the boxes get full, I, at my convenience, or them as they are able, can clean them out, putting the toys in their proper places. Like I said, not perfect, but keeps things to where I can have a clean house each morning and in a short amount of time throughout the day. We also try to spend a lot of time outside the house, so as not to mess up my hard work 🙂

  6. Andrew Allen
    August 5, 2011 | 6:27 pm

    I do like to run, I don’t like to clean. 🙂

  7. punkinmama
    August 8, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    This is one of my biggest problems and frustrations in life! And I only have one kid! I think I’m the bigger problem, as he’s actually good about putting things away. But clutter just piles up all the time, like out of nowhere. I can not get a handle on it and it drives me batty!