March 23, 2011

No Joke

(Courtesy Google images)

Housekeeping ain't no joke!
 ( Little Women)

Haven't posted for a couple weeks.

Completely overwhelmed with our house.
Since we moved here, any time a friend has asked how I am doing, my response has been something like, "Oh we're good. The house is a mess--but we're good." I haven't had people over in a long time...because I don't know what to do with our mess.This is a common thread in my life. It's not new.

 In all honesty--I've been overwhelmed with our house for ten years. It's been great for me to be married to someone so opposite of me. He's actually incredibly helpful around the house. I know men aren't supposed to be. But my husband is. Alas, he's not here...and I am.
 I decided to purge as much as I can for the next couple weeks. To rearrange my house to better fit my needs (and weaknesses).

Last week when the garbage man came, there were all kinds of treats for him to take away.

 I've never thought that we had a lot of stuff. Compared to the average American...I thought we were normal. But, when you start adding up the treasures of 7 people. It's a lot! When you couple that with a lady in charge...who's really bad at throwing away artwork, books, and, "special toys." It can be a disaster. 

Consequently, it doesn't matter how much junk you do or do not have.  
It's all about how much you are willing to manage. Apparently, I am willing to manage very little. My goal is to cut back and cut back until I am able to deal more gracefully with the needs of my family, and the stuff we have. (By the way, that's the name of a really awesome book about hoarding. "Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things.")

I've called out an intervention on myself. 
No, I don't think I hoard...but I do think I have a really difficult time multitasking and making decisions. Not great weaknesses to have with five kids. It's not that we live in squalor. It's that we live in bursts of  clutter. The toilets are pretty clean. The dishes are done. But, I ALWAYS have a big pile...of something that I need to got through. A room that is a disaster, because I stuff all the things I can't sort. Clean laundry is almost always piled in my room. Not a load. Not two. But, usually a handful of loads. This post over at, Starry Star Ranch was totally inspiring to me. So much so that the kids and I move ALL the kids dressers into my room last week. The master bedroom is the biggest room in the house. And, currently...there is only one person living in it. Meanwhile, there are two small bedrooms for five children. So far, taking out the dressers, getting a bunk-bed, and loading up SIX garbage bags of unused or unwanted toys...has me feeling pretty hopeful.

It's hard for me to see the big picture when people are around. I've often been called a, "good listener." It's probably mostly that I am incapable of doing more than one thing at a time. If there are tasks, or people to tend to. I will tend to people. Problem is, people need tasks done as well.  I'm learning to see this for what it is and not, " I just had a baby. " Or, "We just moved." Or, "We just adopted and moved...and moved...and moved." It's a life skill that I've never acquired. Plus, every time your family grows or changes, you have to adjust for that. Five children is more than four every time I do the math. The little tasks and responsibilities add up. Having a husband gone leaves me with less work in some areas and more in others. This is something that everyone deals with. I'm just realizing                     it's no freaking joke. As much as I rebel against the barefoot and pregnant, empty-headed, stay-at-home, downing bon-bons, and legalistic portrayal of woman people tend to mock. Keeping a home is an art. It's a lot of work. takes managerial skills I seriously lack.

I'm hoping this is the year. 

And, you know what? Maybe it's not super horrid. Maybe someone else would think our house was functioning. Another person might think it was a horrible pig pen. The thing is...I'm not functioning well in it. I never have. That STUPID freakin' saying, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place." It's been running through my head constantly the past few months. Since we moved here, I haven't  completely set up our home.   We have generalized locations. But, there's a lot missing. So, when piles accumulate--I freeze. I'm not really sure where anything should my own home.

I read this post awhile back at Ordinary Time, "Why home disorganization is a lot like debt." That is such an awesome analogy! I would say the feelings are almost exactly the same for me. So, just like we are Dave Ramsey-ing it up this year...I want to live in a home that is functioning and orderly. It's doesn't have to be perfect. I'll take the wall scuffs. The stuffed animals. The shoes lying around. But...the school room piled high with junk. The garage with dozens of unsorted boxes still from the move. The bedroom with piles and piles of clean laundry. The boy's closet with coats, legos and shoes. No thank you.

This housekeeping rebel has been converted.

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