Out of sight, out of mind! That’s the old adage, right? When it comes to the issue of sticking to a daily routine ~ be it taking vitamins and allergy meds or putting laundry in a hamper, instead of on the floor ~ it sure rings true around here. I hate clutter. To look at my home on an average day, you might not believe that, but it’s true. Over the years, I have tried system after system to organize the vast mess generated by 5 busy, creative, crafty, hardworking people. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen.
The problem is, if we put it away, we forget we have it. Put the laundry hamper inside the closet? What a good idea! That frees up some floor space in the a bedroom…until the occupant of said bedroom throws laundry on the floor, because the hamper is forgotten behind closed doors. Put all of the daily vitamins/medications in a cupboard? Daily vitamins and medications? What are those?! Oh…those. Aren’t we out of them? Put them in a decorative basket, on the counter? What a great solution! They’re still handy, but not as untidy as they were when we just left them in the middle of the table all the time. Anemic? Who’s anemic? Wait…haven’t you been taking your iron supplement? No, it’s not gone ~ It’s in the basket! The one right there. Right next to the table. You know what? Nevermind. Back on the table they go, in a pill sorter. And they will still be forgotten some days. Put the litterbox inside a cupboard under the bathroom sink, and nobody every remembers to scoop it. Why? I don’t know. Can’t anyone other than me smell that? Garbage and recycling bins under the kitchen sink? Nobody remembers to empty them, and some barely remember to use them. We buy new coloured pencils and markers because we don;t have any, when there are at least two sets put away in the craft area ~ we actually HAVE A craft area, and it is fully stocked, most of the time, but nobody remembers to look there.
Honestly, I am at my wits’ end. I want a tidy home, but I also want everyone to remember to wash their laundry, refill the toilet paper when it’s empty, read books, take their vitamins and medications, empty the garbage, use the vacuum cleaner, eat the food we have in the cupboards…And it’s not just the kids. We do it, too. I recently discovered that I have 4 separate containers of dry breadcrumbs because, every time a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, I buy them, thinking I don;t have any. Yesterday, I discovered roughly 3 pounds of sugar in a cupboard ~ after I had recently bought sugar and refilled the canister on the pass-through counter. When I put the bills in a basket and tucked it onto a shelf, it looked tidy, but I forgot to pay them.
We need an organization intervention. Either that, or I need to accept that everything just needs to be left in plain sight at all times. This presents a number of problems.
While the 1,700+ sq. ft. of living space we now enjoy vastly overwhelms the <1,000 sq. ft. of our previous home, it’s still not a lot of space for 5 almost-all-fully-grown individuals and all of their stuff. Stuff has to be put away, and not just for aesthetic reasons. There’s just not room to leave it all out (as if I would want to). So, I am not really comfortable with the latter option; and, let’s face it: I am a cheapskate, so I won’t be shelling out money for someone to come in to my home and do something of which I should be capable. So, I’m going to have to stage my own intervention.
I am, again, down one wrist and opposable thumb. This time, it looks like it will be a total of 8 weeks, instead of the 16+ weeks I dealt with shortly after we moved in to the new house. Luckily, this time, it’s not my dominant hand. That is, assuming, after 16 weeks in a cast, more time in a brace and month of rehab my right hand is still my dominant hand ~ since injuring the left, I have to say, I question whether it ever was, to be honest. Why has being without the use of my left hand for 4 weeks seemed more difficult than being without the right for 16 did, if I am right-handed?
In the end, this is mostly talk. I have no advice about how to make battling a chronically messy home less stressful, beyond this:
1. Drink coffee.
2. Buy flowers.
3. Enlist help (spouses, children, friends, professional ~ whatever it takes.)
4. Don’t break your arm.
If you adhere to this plan, make time to visit with friends and laugh with people you love, and do something every day that makes you smile, I think you’ll be okay, messy house notwithstanding. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.
So, with that thought, I leave you, with a note to myself: chin up, keep moving, and, when it doubt, choose the brightly-coloured cast.