I was cleaning our living room like a maniac this morning. Trust me when I say that it was not a good thing to get in my way. It started out rather innocently. I was just trying to tidy up our adjacent computer room. Then I started dusting and vacuuming, and the more dirt and clutter I saw, the more motivated to eliminate it I became. And the rest is history.
I've often joked with my husband (who probably would have been better off marrying a Miss Susie Homemaker since he is more of a neatnick) that since I probably have ADD, I may "forget" to clean house sometimes, but once I get started, watch out! The hyper-focus mode kicks in. Don't stop me when I'm on a roll because I can get a lot done if I keep moving!
I sorted out DVD's, CD's and CD-ROM's, then stacked up stray books to put away later. I dusted the furniture (amazing how much of it collects in the nooks and crannies!) and poked everything out from under an antique cabinet with my long wooden back scratcher. My eight year old son helped me by dusting the piano. I remember dusting the same piano when I was his age, which made me feel nostalgic. Ever the curious one, he even opened up the piano and dusted inside. Then I pulled the couches away from the walls so I could vacuum behind them, and found an overdue library book in the process. Yay for me!
Not content to remove the surface debris, I decided to shampoo the carpets. Unfortunately, I broke the carpet cleaning machine while trying to adjust it. Now it can only suck up dirty water but not inject the clean soapy water into the carpet. Thad offered to rent a carpet cleaning machine on Monday, but I was so desperate to get it done right away that the three younger kids and I just sprinkled and even poured water with cleaning solution mixed in onto the carpet. While we spent forever getting it all sucked up again, it was worth it to see all the murky water that came back out of it and to see halfway clean floors. I'm just waiting for the carpets to air dry a little more before I put back all of the stuff I moved. The boys were trying to convince me to rearrange the furniture permanently, but I'm pretty sure our current layout is what we need. I still need to clean the stains off the couch cushions and put away (or throw away) the rest of the little junk that I threw into a bin on the end table.
Next time, I'll attack the computer room again. Yes, attack is the word. That is definitely the militant mode I was in today. No Miss Susie Homemaker here. More like Sergeant Clean-It-Up-or-Else, which is a drastic change from my usual Mystic Mommy Just-Let-It-Go-for-Now persona. At this moment in my chaotic life, mess is something I can control at least for a few hours, and that feels good right now. Besides, we just need to get rid of a lot of junk that is cluttering up our days. It would be nice to get to sit on the couch once in a while without having to shove over a pile of school papers or unmatched socks. Now if I can just convince the kids that the living room is not the place to bring food and drinks, or wear their shoes, or do their art projects, or scatter their toys, or leave their pencils wedged in between the couch cushions... Or maybe I should just hold my breath another 15 years until they all move out?
There has to be a balance somewhere. Life is too short to keep a white-glove-clean standard with nine kids still living at home. They will all be gone soon enough, and then I'll miss the mess. My second daughter is leaving our little nest to get married in just eight weeks and I'll sure miss her! At the moment, I'm helping my 12 year old son with his math homework and chatting with him about this-and-that as I type this blog post, just as I did when I was cleaning this morning. Yeah, multi-tasking and all. But blink, and he'll be gone too!
How do you all keep a clean house and still have time to enjoy life with your family? Care to enlighten me?
What are your favorite organizing web sites? Here are two to get started:
I thought about putting this post on one of my other blogs, www.ComeWearyMoms.blogspot.com, but I realized that cleaning is not just a Mom Thing. Besides, I just posted on that blog yesterday (see Friday Favorites #12: Back to School -- Overwhelmed?) and haven't put anything new on this one in quite a while!
If you like this post, you might want to read Let Our Ordered Lives Confess the Beauty of Thy Peace...? on www.StartWellHomeSchool.blogspot.com.
P.S. (Three days later) I guess we didn't get as much water out of the carpet as I thought. It was pretty stinky by the next day! My husband managed to neutralize the odor somewhat by yesterday, but I think he's still going to have to rent a machine and redo the cleaning, along with the rest of the house which still needs it! Oh well! I guess I was just being too stubborn for my own good! :-)