Cleaning up our act

9 Jul

I can’t seem to get to bed before 12:30 these days.  I admit that some nights it’s been because I just couldn’t put the latest library book down (I’m reading the Earth’s Children series, but fortunately will be forced to wait for the next installment because someone’s got it checked out).  Most nights, though, it’s because of lunch-packing, dish-washing, laundry-folding, garbage-collecting, meal prepping… you get the idea.  And yet I never feel like I can get ahead.

We’ve been falling farther and farther behind on the housework front over the past few months.  (We must have way too much clothing because how could we possibly have clothes strewn all over both bedrooms, all the laundry hampers full, the laundry room floor covered in laundry, and yet still have 14 loads of clean laundry to fold?!)  Because the greenhouse has been torn down and Jade’s new room (previously a catch-all storage room) is being renovated, we have boxes and bins of junk filling our family room in the basement, much of which will someday move out to the as-yet-non-existent shed.  It’s all a bit overwhelming.

I once read a study that showed when the area around a garbage can is tidy, people tend to be very conscientious about putting their garbage in the garbage can, but as soon as there’s a bit of litter around it, they tend to get lazy and not care if the garbage goes in or falls out of the can.  I think the same thing happens in our house; once things start going downhill, things tend to snowball.  Please, God, let the shed get started soon, because despite being busy now, I know things will be all the crazier come November.  And if our household standards “relax” any more than where they are now, our house will be deemed unfit for human habitation.

On Monday, we actually hired a couple of girls from down the street to babysit Jade for two hours so that we could do some serious scrubbing and cleaning upstairs.  Yes, it had come to that.  The toys got put away, we got everything dusted, the rug vacuumed, toilets and sinks scrubbed, and Michael actually got down on his hands and knees and washed the upstairs floors.  Plus, Jade’s room (which is downstairs) got aired out and all her clothes got cleaned up, and I found a basket to stack her books in so it’s not just a pile of books next to the recliner.  It was an epic few hours of cleaning, but it was so good to be able to focus on it, and two whole days later it still feels so much cleaner.  (Laugh, if you must, but there have been so many times where we’ve cleaned and it felt like we were right back to square one the very next day.)  It’s amazing what a relief it is to not cringe when Jade decides to eat something that fell on the floor.  The $20 in babysitting was well worth it.

Bonus: last night we popped in Music & Lyrics and folded all but one basket of laundry — and put most of it away.  We are on a roll, baby.

There’s still tons left to do, but some of it will have to wait until Jade’s room is finished and the new shed has been built.  But on our next free weekend (not this one coming, as we’ll be at the music festival in Atlin) I’m thinking we need to hire another babysitter.  And there will be culling, oh yes, there will be boxes of recycling, goodwill, and garbage.  Is it wrong to be excited?

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5 Responses to “Cleaning up our act”

  1. MIQuilter July 10, 2008 at 6:01 am #

    It’s not at all wrong to be excited about cleaning and culling! It’s the time of year I love the most – and my husband dreads the most. I feel like if it hasn’t been used in a year there’s no reason to keep it. We’re currently in the process of shifting all sorts of rooms of stuff around to make room for my grandfather who will be living with us shortly (he needs some space to himself after all). About 1/2 of the house is getting moved and consolidated. For me it’s the perfect time to go thru closets and make piles of things to give away. Good luck on going thru your stuff – it’s painful at the time, but such an excellent feeling when it’s all done!

  2. Jenn July 10, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    It is totally not wrong to be excited! I often say the clutter gets to a point where I actually can’t think until it is dealth with! My friends find it very amusing…they can walk into the house after a total overhaul and say….hmmmm…..wonder what she has to think about? 🙂

  3. Dad July 10, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    The Earth’s Children series is definitely bad for you. Not only does it cut into necessary sleep time, it puts you into imminent danger of devolution. I caught your mother several times, since this series has been in the house, making two fists and sort of moving them in a circular motion like the pedals of a bicycle and then actually ask whether we will be taking a bicycle trip this weekend. Start’n to talk like a flathead she is…. Though I have to admit, it does have have communicative value, at least Jade always understood what puckered lips were supposed to mean when she was here.

    Love ya

  4. IndyComp0T1 July 11, 2008 at 6:30 am #

    I know what you mean about getting excited over cleaning. I often get the urge to tidy up messy parts of the house that have been gnawing at me for days or months (my hubby doesn’t share that urge). Last weekend I decided to clean out some cabinets in our den which were full of old computer keyboards. We had about 5 or 6 of them sitting there, gathering dust, so I put them in a bag, and they went straight to our storage locker in the garage. How we’d managed to accumulate so many keyboards is still a mystery to me…

    Anyway, when all was said and done, I was very happy to have a free shelf. Though I’m sure it’ll clutter up with some other crap really soon. 😛

    As for reading a good book in bed at night, I’m totally with you there. I love reading before I go to sleep, especially when it’s a particularly engrossing book. I was once totally addicted to the Ender’s Game series of books (I don’t even like reading sci-fi all that much). Unfortunately, like you, I feel the effects of it the next morning. I think we just need more hours of free time in the day!

  5. shannon maccuaig July 17, 2008 at 4:43 pm #

    i decided a while ago that i wanted a babysitter to reclaim some of my life and when i told my mom this plan, she volunteered. and at first she was really enthusiastic about it and it worked well, but she has a schedule too, and so we’ve put off our date night a few weekends now (our plan is every second weekend on average) because she wasn’t available. i worry that if i try to get a sitter, mom will be offended. and she’ll still want to sit sometimes, but maggie is such a picky girl, i really want whoever i get to sit for us to be our sitter long-term. someone i trust completely with my little girl… hmm, all that to say that if i had a sitter, i would totally use her to do non-saturday-night-dates as well, like during home projects or my massage/naturopath/chiropractor appointments that phil is not fond of… so be excited and go for it! best $20 you could spend indeed! 🙂

    PS: i’ve never heard epic and cleaning in the same sentence before; love you babe!

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