October 4, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
This weekend went to heck in a handbasket in 2.2 seconds. Starting Friday morning when Bugaboo’s bus showed up 2 hours late to take him to school, he sat on the bus, stuck in traffic and then they gave up and brought him home after TWO AND A HALF HOURS. My barely-potty-trained child was in underwear the whole time. And he didn’t get to school, so he was in rare form. Rare form as in biting himself, hiding, taking multiple baths, dumping bread crumbs and baking soda all over my house (baking soda is a great deodorize for the carpet, but NOT THE BED) and being quite withdrawn. BLECH.
I didn’t get a nap, and I needed one. BADLY. Bug Boy was a total cranky pants. The Husband was running late getting home (he had the day from Aitch-EE-double-Hockey-Sticks, too). I was out of anything redeeming for dinner. The puppy kept peeing in the house, Our Guest Dog ate the last of the chicken nuggets, FROZEN, out of the toaster oven. As in, she opened it and ate the frozen nuggets out. We ended up ordering chinese because she also ate the half pound of cheese while I was making grilled cheesers. Yeah, Friday was a GREAT day. The only good thing was that I ended it with a glass of wine.
I woke up Saturday morning with a renewed sense of focus. I felt like my life, and therefore my family’s life, was spiraling out of control. We were in chaos. Things sucked big cajones, to put it mildly. And when our lives are in chaos, reorganizing the house makes me feel better. Wanna know why? Because our home is our sanctuary. Our lives are so flipping chaotic, perhaps more than most people could possibly know. Bugaboo and Bug Boy and autism in general keep us in a constant state of chaos. There are no two ways about it. It just IS. So, organize. Make our sanctuary livable again. It’s the only way.
I was inspired by The Ever Fabulous Uppercase Woman (She rocks, yo, check her out) because she was coming clean and admitting that she dropped the ball in her house. And that’s what I’ve been doing. Making excuses. Cutting corners. Giving up. And it was time to stop giving up, y’all. My family deserves better than this. I had to take the lead. I’m the home maker, after all. I needed to make my home better and happier and it wasn’t going to happen by itself. And while folks were all, “Your house a mess? Whatevs! It always looks good!” what they didn’t realize is that I’m a STASHER. As in, if someone is one their way over? Closets and drawers, y’all. Don’t ever open one in my house without hazmat protection. Just sayin’.
I walked around and assessed the situation.
The situation was that I have been cutting corners for months, making excuses about it and my family was suffering as a result.
- Laundry wasn’t put away. Heck, it wasn’t DONE. And all I had out were summer clothes and we are now at 50 degrees in PA, folks.
- Dishes were overflowing from the sink.
- The baths and kitchen hadn’t been wiped in days. You might not think that is bad, but remember, I live with Bugaboo. And multiple dogs.
- The vacuum? Let’s just say I could build another dog with the amount of hair on my floors and my dogs don’t shed much.
- I hadn’t mopped in a few weeks. I know. Ew.
- The kitchen, the heart of my home, was in shambles.
- The basement playroom? Let’s just say you kinda had to kick stuff out-of-the-way to even walk through there. And watch were you walk. Crunch, crunch, crunch. I’m surprised we didn’t have creepy crawlers or rodents. Thank goodness for dogs (who aren’t allowed in the basement but hey, they DID help me clean up the food messes).
- There is more but I’m totally embarrassed and I’m not telling you. So there.
Basically, the house sucked. I hated it and then I died. The end. But not really.
So. I started by wiping down EVERY surface in the kitchen. EVERYTHING. I dusted the whole house, I vac’d. I mopped some. I straightened and put away. I cleaned out drawers and closets. I tossed and pitched and gave away. I went up and down the stairs so many times that I BETTER have buns of steel. And this morning when I woke up?
We still have a few little messes. But it’s much more pleasing to the eyes. Our laundry is caught up, our fall clothes are out, the floor doesn’t feel like a movie theater, the beds are made with fresh linens and lunches and school bags were packed and ready to go. Everyone woke up on time. My dishes are clean. And I’m sipping a cup of tea and feeling pretty darn good about myself. Because I took charge, and even though everyone else was all, “But! But! I DON’T WANT TO!” we did it anyway. Our house is back to being our comfortable, organized sanctuary (mostly, still have to put summer away in the attic).
And now I need to stop watching Hoarders.
(But not before I download THIS handy tool for myself. Seriously. WORTH EVERY PENNY. I’ve used it for four years now. I’m not a naturally organized person and this takes all thinking out of everyday chores. Try it. You can thank me later. YOU’RE WELCOME.)