A day in the life of a frustrated organizer

Since my second surgery back at the end of March (almost three months ago), I’ve been babying my back in an attempt to ensure that the second time around will be the last time.  (There really is no guarantee, but I’ll do whatever I can to feel better about my odds…)  To that end, despite getting the gift of four rounds of housecleaning from my fabulous in-laws, let’s face it:  twelve hours of housecleaning vs.  eight people constantly shuffling their stuff is really not a fair fight.   The eight (sometimes lazy) people win every time in accruing and leaving clutter and other worldly things in all corners and crevices of this house.  Add to the fact that we’re almost always here and wow, can we tear up a place!Long story short: our house is sort of a disaster… so much so that I’ve made a room-by-room list of what needs to happen to make each look presentable.  That in itself was a project (which allowed me to procrastinate beginning the task even longer.  (I’m good at that.  Earlier this week I baked a few things and even washed dishes in an attempt to put off starting my list.)  My kids have been avoiding eye contact with me, sure that if they look at me straight on that they’re sure I’ll put them to work.  They were right.Today’s project began in the laundry room/family closet, an ongoing project/mess that never seems to be done.  One of the reasons it never seems to be done is that we all keep creating dirty laundry.  This is a problem I don’t see changing, so I am trying to resign myself to the fact that life will always include a regular cleaning and reorganization of this room.I didn’t think to take before pictures, but it’s probably just as well.  It was baaaaaaaaad.  You can take my word on it.  When have I ever lied?

After lunch today, when the kids thought that maybe…just maybe…they’d get away with another day without tackling something on that awful, dreadful, very bad list, I announced as cheerfully as I could, “OK!  I’m getting the brooms! Let’s head downstairs!  Andrew, grab the trash bags.  Patrick, get some music.  Let’s go get this DONE!”  I’m sure you can imagine how enthusiastically this was received.  Yeah, not very.  I wasn’t expecting miracles, but still.

For the next two hours (which felt like twenty-seven, just saying), we plodded through the piles, dust, garbage, boxes, spiders, and other crazy things you’d never really expect to find in a laundry room.

It was painful.

The kids were not happy in their work.

I think (quite literally) that it was easier to birth them than it was to get them on board with cleaning that room.

In the end, however, they could see a remarkable change in the room we spent two hours incarcerated–err, I mean, bonded together–in.  Here are some “WE DID IT!!” shots…


The buckets which hold underwear, socks, and pajamas for each child make the perfect hiding places for little treasures to save for later…or clothes you don’t really want to hang or put away.  We found lots of both today and took care of it.


I don’t think that wire basket there in the picture has been totally cleaned out since c. 2003.  Just a guess.


It’s not the prettiest laundry room out there, but by golly, it’s nice to have a clean one!  The feeling of having a place for everything is something I don’t experience very often.  I’m relishing it.


Although we all definitely did not enjoy the process, each child made comments about the end result and that was a bit refreshing.  Perhaps it will sink in at some level that cleaning up after one’s self is actually a GOOD thing and something to work towards.


This all looks wonderful (at least to me) right now, but I’m wondering how long it will last, especially considering laundry day is tomorrow. </p><p><br />The next twelve hours should be fabulous. </p>


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