Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting my sh$t together

I've spent the last several weeks taking 2 or so hours every night or every other night and organizing, making lists of what to organize...organizing, merging and purging, merging, purging, rinse and repeat. The progress is great and very rewarding, but every cabinet I open, every corner I turn, every drawer, bin, desktop, counter top...more papers, projects, to dos, photos, bills, coins, pens, boxes, wires, scissors, cds, tape, stamps, calendars, magazines, catalogs, mp3 players...it's overwhelming. Paper coming into the house and leaving the house on a daily basis, is NOT even a fair battle. Not to mention my little 4 year old "treasure" keeper who makes a project out of a piece of junk mail and Wa La, now I can't even discard junk mail in the light of day. My piles are getting smaller, boxes are getting emptied, 3 boxes of sh$t to go through becomes one. The garage becomes bigger...it is progress. But it's a lot of work and I'm working alone. Some how my dear dear hubby seems to have forgotten how to put ANYTHING in it's place. Now don't get me wrong, he does a LOT around here, with kids and cooking and even laundry folding. But at some point he started stopping at the top of the stairs. Fold a basket of laundry, THANKS hon, get to the top of the stairs, there it is for me to step over. 3 more steps to our bedroom, but he couldn't make it. Bring a cord from the garage to the computer room, no problem, oh wait, here it is, on the ledge at the top of the stairs. Is there an invisible barracade he can't move past the top of the stairs with ANYTHING in his hands? That's gotta be it.

I've gone through all the kids plastic dishes and cups, threw out about 2,000 of those restaurant kiddie cups (don't worry my clutter-teaching mom, I kept 1000 more), I am on my feet the entire nap time cleaning the kitchen and such. I give him about 6 cups to take upstairs to the kids bathroom, put under the sink, so that when the cup I use to wash their hair becomes to grimy..wa la...new cup. It's the only chore I've asked of him for an entire college football watching Saturday. Come up stairs, and there they tower, you guessed it, on the ledge next to the hall railing. Doh.

Now I'm actually not mentioning this to complain about him, for once. I'm only mentioning it because of how impossible it is to stay organized whilst finishing ALL the tasks for the rest of the family. I also won't complain because I can WALK, and walking, even with stiff shoes and some pain, IS THE BEST. (For those of you who don't know I broke my foot at the end of August and couldn't walk for 2 full months) I am so grateful that I CAN take that laundry basket the rest of the way or put those cups back under the sink. I just wish I wasn't fighting the loosing clutter battle alone.

If you happen to know the story of the lights in our bathroom, um, we still don't have any! Guess why? It's on his list, and out of principle, I will not do it. I will get ready in the kids bathroom or do a poor job of make up applying (the three days a month I have time to apply it), I WILL NOT order those bulbs. I do not know another woman who would or could live without any light in the bathroom. I'm pretty much a trail blazer...uh huh...

Anyway, despite all of this, I have a great level of satisfaction from trying so hard to declutter our lives and some how set up systems in the house that makes this all manageable.

Okay, it is 11:37pm and I have a croupy girl so I need to get into bed. I feel like I don't have time for more than a one line update on facebook lately, even though writing on here makes me feel organized and productive, so I know I should find more time for it. Oh well. This is me.

Oh- and I did have one more point with the organizing and Lawrence. He thinks that once you get organized and everything has a place, it is easy to keep up. He thinks that the reason our house is a mess is because we never got it organized in the first place. Umm. This from the guy who leaves his clean shirts on my side of the bed and crawls into bed. Well that shirt certainly has a place. I'm gonna blame this one on you, Carol. He was so used to growing up in a decluttered environment, and you obviously did a good job of making all the "behind the scenes" stuff look easy, he just thinks things take care of them self. I'm not as good at it as you, and he's not as good at helping with it as Steve. And now mom, it's your turn for some blame, DID YOU HAVE TO RAISE ME AS SUCH A PACK RAT??? I mean, I'm about 1000% better than you at getting rid of stuff and going through stuff and staying organized in general. But how did it end up that I married a man whose standards for how it should look and how easy it should be to make it look that way are so out of balance, and me, working so hard and keeping things so much more organized than what I was raised with, can never ever ever achieve the standard?

Not that I'm doing it for him! I'm doing it for me, and for keeping our nice things nice, and to have free time, believe it or not, living in clutter wastes a lot of your time. Ugh. 11:45pm, what am I DOING? still rambling about this. Yes, mom's from opposite sides of the spectrum, we get it, I'm a genius. So what. Get to bed! Good night! Hope neither of you took offense to your deserved blame! You both worked hard to earn it! Love! J

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