Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Martha Doesn't Live Here

Before I start the post today, can I just say that a snow day following a Monday holiday is just cruel?  Okay, with that out of the way, let's get on with it.

So, no, sadly Martha does not live here. (Rachael Ray doesn't live here either, because I cannot make a meal in thirty minutes to save my life, no matter how much food I grab from the fridge at one time, but more on that another time.)

If you are looking for a "how-to-organize-and-beautify-your-home-while-a-pot-of-homemade-stew-simmers-on-the-stove-and-your-angelic-children-occupy-themselves-with-yet-another-brilliant-craft-you-dreamed-up" blog, you have come to the wrong place.

In fact, Martha just could not live here, as the mere sight of my clutter and filth would send her on a bender unlike any since her days of three martini lunches with her hedge fund managers.

Organization is apparently not my strong suit. This comes as a complete shock to me, but apparently not to anyone who has ever lived with me. In my mind, everything has a place, but in my house, not so much. The lack of clutter control is due in large part to the overabundance of toys, books, papers, crap that we have crammed into every nook and cranny of our 1500 square feet of living space. Don't get me wrong, we are not signing up for Hoarders any time soon, or anything, but it is a little much.

I find it really hard to organize when you have two little creatures constantly pulling everything out of its place and moving it to another place all day long. We have tried baskets, bins, and boxes. But it seems like the toys just like to live out in the open. And the toys usually are not exciting enough to keep everyone entertained all day long any way.  At least some part of every day is dedicated to removing every DVD from the shelves, pulling every book off the bookcase, grabbing food boxes from the pantry and taking out of every piece of Gladware from the drawer.

It would probably make sense to keep all of these areas off limits to curious little hands, and believe me, we have tried. But there is always someone who forgets to close up the cabinet locks after themselves. And The Baby's radar makes her instantly aware of any opportunity to get into the fun and games within seconds.

I also remember someone telling me once that you should leave at least one kitchen drawer with safe objects inside, for your toddler to "explore".  I am thinking now that person must have had an au pair or something who was responsible for tidying up after the little monsters angels. Of course, now it seems like it would be cruel to suddenly lock up the Tupperware drawer, when The Baby clearly thinks that the space belongs to her.  It actually comes in handy, because I can usually look in there for anything else that has gone missing around the house. In the last week, I have found my car keys, the remote control and my credit card all carefully squirreled away inside.

There is also the small issue of picking up after one's self, a trait that not one of us, seems to have inherited from the more retentive members of our respective families. It is not as if we just leave our crap all over because we are too lazy to do otherwise; it is more like we are easily distracted and onto the next thing before we get through it.  (Which reminds me that I was in the middle of cleaning the dinner dishes when the idea for this post hit me.  Awesome, can't wait to get back to that!)

And when we want to put stuff away, the lack of organization piece makes it difficult for us to know exactly where to put it. As a result, we have a lot of jam-packed drawers of who-knows-what. Growing up, we called it the Junk Drawer. Oh, would that it were only one drawer-full now!

There are some days when I feel like I could spend every hour of every day cleaning and putting stuff away, and it would never been done. It is definitely worse on days when we are stuck at home all day, so I know it has something to do with the constant tornado of playtime that whips around here, which is why I like to get out whenever I can.

How do you (or do you not) control the chaos?


  1. I don't...my house is one big game of What's Wrong With This Picture? Crap everywhere, clothes everywhere, stacks and piles on the counters..I can't keep up with it...and I don't even try anymore honestly

  2. It's frustrating that moms clean up 99% of messes we don't make. I have giving up a lot lately as well.

    I even wrote a letter to my hubby and kids telling them to get off their butts, lol. *Seriosuly*

    Being at home with the kids is worse. We had a long week-end as well and I really almost lost my mind with hubby and kids throwing things around.

  3. We try to clean up each day, but fail miserably. I used to clean and straighten like crazy on Monday and Wednesday nights when I knew my daughter's therapists were coming the next morning. I didn't want them to know what slobs we actually are. One Monday/Wednesday after I had to work extremely late and the house didn't get put back together and the therapist didn't report me to the authorities the next day, that battle was lost. The toys remain strewn, despite the fact I feel like we are constantly putting things away.

  4. Are you hiding out in my house? It all sounds a little too familiar.

  5. I tried buying little plastic drawers to orgainze the toys, and I even printed pictures to put inside so Bubba could tell what went where. (Picture of Thomas for the train drawer, etc.) It didn't work. The kids ripped up the pictures, the drawers get pulled out and dumped daily, and Bubba thinks the empty dressers are for stacking/climbing/sitting on. Now, the stuff just gets shoved wherever it isn't underfoot and I only organize it once a week (or less).

  6. After reading your comment on my blog describing the "character" of your closet, I love that this was the first post I read on your blog. :-) When I was single girl.... you don't even wanna know the organization. But now? Now I am drowning in piles of mail. (My husband loves mail and paying bills and should clearly be committed.) We don't even have kids yet. So, I feel for you. Own it. No shame. I'm certainly not judging! :-)


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