My house isn't dirty...no. It is just cluttered so badly with things. Things everywhere. For example, a quick scan of my living room from the couch where I am sitting reveals the following things:
- A bag of randomness that came out of the Jeep this morning (some metallic tissue paper that I *think* I need for a sewing project, monster trucks, 2 jackets, a blanket, and an empty sippy cup)
- Zane's Moses basket, full of toys that Kevin put in there "for him to play with"
- 2 empty cups and an empty box of Goldfish from our pre-dinner snack (we skipped lunch today)
- 3 separate piles of clothes to be washed (still catching up from the washer/dryer failure)
- An empty Build-A-Bear box
- 2 gym bags
- house shoes, flip flops, and 2 pair of tennis shoes (that have a home about 15 ft from where they lay now)
- Zane's carseat, taking up space on one of our big chairs
- A mass amount of random toys/books/crayons/ziploc baggies/whatever else Kevin decided he needed to play with in the 3 hours we were here today
When our friendly neighbor left, Mark said..."Holy cow this house is trashed...I hate that he came in here." Meee too Baby Doll...mee too. And that's when I remembered the CHAOS acronym from Flylady. This can't be anymore. I can't deal with it properly. I've never been the best at keeping house, but the house does not stay dirty...I clean my floors, my dishes, the bathrooms, take out the trash, etc. etc. But since we have been blessed with Zane in our lives, I have somehow lost total control of the things inside of my home. It is beyond critical that we get back into the swing of order and much less CHAOS around here.
So what's my plan? I like the ideas on flylady.com, but not all of them are for me. First of all, I have limited bouts of time (15-20 minutes each) where Zane and Kevin are both happy campers and I can clean/organize my things. So...I can't spare one of those times to be shining my sink. I also hate wearing shoes in general, so I do not "get dressed to lace up shoes" every morning. Kev and I both change out of our jammies and brush our teeth, and then we are ready to face the day. But only shoes if we are leaving.
My first solution is to create a list in Excel, with responsibilities in rows and days of the week in columns across the top. There will be three groupings of the rows: daily items, weekly items, and meals. I feel like this visual list will be critical to my house remaining intact in the coming weeks, as my dear husband gets an honest feel for what it's like to care for a 2 year and a 2 month old for hours on end, all while trying to accomplish a few things around the house. I will post this list here if anyone thinks it may help them too.
My second solution is to get rid of many of our things. We are both collectors, and some things do have some use for us. I feel like I really NEED that metallic tissue paper left over from a gift at a baby shower for a project I have in my head. And I don't want to lose it, so it would normally go into a bin of craft things that I keep stacked in our dining area. Mark feels like he really NEEDS to collect pieces for his projects and keep them handy at all times (on the hutch in the corner of our dining area) just in case he decided he needs to work on them in the next 3-4 months. But in reality, there are many many things that we are just holding onto for those "in case I need it" moments which more than likely will never come. Yard Sale anyone?
I don't like living in CHAOS because I can't think in a cluttered house. I can't relax, I am constantly gauging how much time organizing/cleaning a certain area will take. Maybe you are saying, "just get started and work at it little by little when you can." Initially, this seems like the perfect solution. However, let me come to your house, dump out your junk drawer on the kitchen table, say I'll be back in 30 minutes to start sorting, then let my two-year old linger in your kitchen while I run to the bathroom/feed my infant/put away a load of clothes. Exactly...
Now, it is 11 pm and I am typing this posting from my couch, with my fat cat napping by my side. The hubs, the toddler, and the infant are all asleep. So wouldn't this be the perfect time to get some work done? Sure, but I forgot to mention that one foot is on a bouncy seat, pumping up and down, keeping that infant asleep. Once it stops bouncing, it's over for sleepy time. And this is my biggest obstacle, my adorable, chunky ball of love whose only wish is for mommy to hold him. All.day.long. And after having one chunky ball of love grow overnight into a spicy handful of toddler attitude, I happily grant his little request.
And you know, I'm working towards regaining control of this house and eliminating the CHAOS. But one thing that I know for sure...years from now, I will not recall the dryer that is sitting right in the middle of the living room, waiting for someone to come collect it. I hope, rather, to remember the little dimpled hands of my Zanie, clinging to my fingers, giving me a huge crazy baby grin in his sleep. Even for the planner/organizer personality that I am, going crazy in the middle of all this stuff, looking into those big baby eyes fills me instantly with peace and happiness. :)