Thursday, January 17, 2013


The general philosophy of cleaning around here seems to be:  Neaten the piles.  Piles on the kitchen counters, piles on the bookshelves, piles on the washing machine and dryer, piles under the beds, piles against the walls, piles in the closets.  Cleaning the house equates to shrinking, reorganizing, and straightening the piles, but definitely NOT eliminating them!

Way back in my younger days, I was a Neaty.  You know, one of those people who keeps their closets organized and who polishes their bathroom faucets every day.  Yes, in my deepest, most secret heart of hearts, I love counter tops that are (gasp!) empty - except for maybe a small vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit.  I like to put my feet up on the ottoman without having to first relocate all the books, papers, and sweaters that collect there.  I like to actually be able to see the baseboards.  I like to be able to open a closet door without flinching and throwing up an arm in self-defense.

Truth be told, many of the piles around the house are mine.  The stack of books I'm reading for various writing projects.  The egg cartons I'm saving for when egg production bumps up in the summer.  Lesson plans and school-related paperwork.  Yes, I am no longer the extreme Neaty I once was.

I soothe my frustrated inner Neaty by telling myself that one day (One Day - hahaha!) I will get around to cleaning out the closets.  One day, somewhere far in the future, I will empty the attic.  One day, I will clean out jackets and sweaters that no one uses.  I will reorganize the filing cabinet, so that I can actually put some of these loose papers away.

But today is not that day.  For now, I'd really just like to get the floors swept and mopped before Saturday's Ladies' Brunch.  That will be no small feat, because first, the floors have to be excavated.

Notice to my children:  I'll be recruiting you for heavy labor this evening and tomorrow.  Hard hats and boots optional. 


Suzanne said...

Oh, my dear sister! I sympathize whole-heartedly. When one of the rooms in this house becomes so filled with piles that I cannot bear it, I give up hoping that Samantha Stephens will drop in and twitch her nose and become a manic machine of pile relocation. Emptying a room is soothing to my spirit. Once empty I can rid it of cobwebs, clean the windowsills, baseboards, and doors, and even vacuum. Woo hoo! Then comes the task of returning to the room all that is actually needed in the room. Tragically that usually leaves some piles in another room for future relocation. I have been a meanie all week barking orders to pick up, clean up, sweep, and vacuum with little to no obedience. The somewhat obedient children have sulked in fury at the blatantly disobedient ones. I have doled out futile spankings as necessary. I have hidden in the bathroom and cried. I have prayed. I have screamed. I have trashed "treasures" and vacuumed priceless Lego parts. I am about worn to a frazzle and ready to accept the grime again for a period. Still, the girls' room has visible carpeting at this moment, two made beds, and closed closet doors! The boys' room...well, let's just say I vacuumed earlier today then left to grocery shop. Tonight is shaping up as a two glasses of red wine night. I know that you are having a hard time imagining your piggy little sister attempting neatness, but I can dream, too. One day. I love you, Neaty, and look up to you so much. Your home is neater, cleaner, better organized, and more peaceful than mine will ever be. I truly believe that my name translates "chaos".

Camille said...

No, Suzanne, your name translates "Tawanda!" I think I've figured out a clue to my stress with the mess - I live in a dry county. Hmmmm, maybe it's time for a run across the county line! :)

Suzanne said...

Spoken like a true Mom!