Friday, December 9, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

I don't want to seem overly negative today, just a couple of weeks before Christmas (is it only two weeks away?) so I will attempt humor.  If at any point I sound bitter, that's the point where you're supposed to laugh.

What I want for Christmas is a clean house. 

Honey, if you're reading this, I do NOT want a house cleaner.  

Here's why:  I don't have the energy to tell someone where to put the three hundred fifty thousand things that are out of place in our house.  No person can come into a cluttered house and declutter it without an incredible amount of energy from the caretaker of the clutter (me)...unless they box it up, which sounds like an amazing nightmare to unbox.  If the stuff needs to be boxed, maybe it's better to pitch it and start over.... 

But the hillbilly religion of my ancestors, which I don't quite accept but seems to control my nervous system anyway, makes me feel like it's wrong to throw things away if they are at all useful.  The voice in the back of my mind that says 'Don't throw it out!' is in epic battle with the one that says 'I can't take it anymore!'

Before you yell at me for saying out loud I am considering throwing away potentially useful things, we give more than our share to local charities.  However, my hillbilly blood (or maybe OCD) requires me to organize and clean these things first and make sure all the parts are in order - that takes as much energy as cleaning the clutter.  You see my point?

In case my husband doesn't and happens to read this, I will clarify:  Everything in our house has a place.  If it turns out there's no place for some of the stuff, it's got to go.  Now.  Seriously.  Today.  While you're at work.  I wonder if you'll notice.

Kids, if you are reading this, yes, this means I was serious when I left a note on the basement door declaring it a child-free zone because the toys, games, controllers, Wii guitars, individual puzzle pieces, and Legos pop out of the place they belong and onto the floor every time even one child walks down the stairs.

Our basement is a paradise for children and men. We have several gaming consoles and two tv's next to each other - six or eight kids (or men) can play different games at the same time. The entire back wall is reserved for Legos - my son has probably fifty sets built and probably thousands of bricks on reserve. My babes has a train table and a shelf of toys just for him plus race car tracks and train sets and three hundred MatchBox cars inherited from his older brother.  We are not rich, but we are rich in toys for sure and are the recipients of used toys from several friends who stopped having kids when we didn't.

So all I want for Christmas is clean.  Not just uncluttered, I also want the sticky fingerprints to go away. 

Unfortunately, I think I'm going to be the one that does the cleaning.  I accept that.  I just want it to stay clean, even cleanish or mostly clean most of the time.  I would settle for end of the day lack of absolute chaos most days or even just on weekends.  Or some sort of sign that someone cares.  (Oh, that last line definitely was bitter...please laugh now.)

*Last minute addendum in case my husband reads this:  No, this does NOT mean I want a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas.  Love ya.


  1. Alex - LOL! Take my advice and clean while she's not looking. Just put the laundry in the hamper, wipe off the sink in the bathroom, load the dishwasher. I guarantee she will smother you with affection. :)

  2. lol. Maybe try bribing somehow? A dinner out in exchange for a couple hours of everyone cleaning up?

  3. Joanne - I dunno. Doesn't seem to work for more than a moment. I think no one but me sees the mess. Maybe I should take a picture of each room clean so they can see what I want it to look like?

    Shelly - I am certain I'm not alone.

  4. Are you a hoarder? If so, perhaps there's an agency that could have some social workers come over and help. I know it can be extremely traumatizing for hoarders to diminish the stacks of things that they have accumulated and having a professional who is trained in both counseling and organization could help. These kinds of things are not tackled overnight and can take a year or more to declutter as you work with someone. The first step comes in admitting that there is a problem. Only then can you take the proper steps to fix it.

  5. Michael - LOL! Oh my God, no, not even close. I'm saying if you hire a house cleaner and there's any clutter on your dressers, desks, bathroom counters, whatever, they dump it into a box unless you tell them precisely where every misplaced item should be put away. There would probably be one box of non-toy clutter, maybe 5 large boxes of toys. Not hundreds.

    My impulse is to throw it all in the trash now - no one would miss 50 misplaced random Lego pieces, right? But they are expensive.

    I am an introvert. To have to explain the location of every charger cable, toy, hair bow, etc. left on the counter would drive me to drink.

    I'm a neat freak living with people who aren't. I admit it's a problem, but I love them. :))

  6. I hear ya. I want a maid, though. It's my dream to be able to hire a cleaning service with my writing earnings. :)