Monday, March 22, 2010

My Secret Shame

I'm a flibbertygibbet. Andrew prefers to call me "Hurricane Ashley," saying that I walk through the house leaving disaster and chaos behind. OK, that might be a bit extreme, but really -- I feel sometimes like I am doing so many things at once that nothing, in effect, ever actually GETS done. And the "chaos" I leave behind drives my poor, extremely neat husband, insane. The worst part about it all is that, while yes, it does BOTHER me that my house doesn't look like a spread from House Beautiful, I can tune it all out and go to sleep at night, not caring that all the toys aren't put away, or there's a pile of laundry in the middle of my floor. Poor Andrew is haunted by it. He gets all freaked out and sweaty when the "stuff" starts piling up, and usually goes on a "let's donate everything we own to Goodwill" rampage. Why he hasn't either burned the house down or smothered me in my sleep is something I often question.

Let me just illustrate, however, the problem that I have in keeping my house neat. And btw, I must emphasize that my house is CLEAN -- I don't leave food laying around, or dirt on the floor. But I leave what my wonderful husband calls "crap," all over the place, b/c I either have NO earthly clue where it's home should be, or I'm just too overwhelmed to find a place for it. Anyway, here is a sample of what my night is like, after the kids are in bed:

Go into laundry room with laundry basket. Load washer. Notice that dryer is covered with random clothes, etc. Notice, specifically, Jack's hat, which I couldn't find earlier. Grab hat to put in coat closet. On the way to coat closet, notice that there are still dinner dishes on the table, along with a few miscellaneous toys. Sigh. Put hat down (I'll only realize I did that later) and grab plates off table. Get to dishwasher and notice it's full of clean dishes. Sigh. Unload dishwasher. Put baby bottles away (from dishwasher) and notice that new box of bottle liners is on counter. Empty bottle liners into cabinet, and break down box for recycling. Notice that recycling is getting out of control (we keep it on the counter until we take it outside) and take it outside. On the way back in, notice I never turned on the washing machine. Turn it on, and notice that there is a basket of clean laundry that needs to be folded. Bring it into kitchen, where I realize dishwasher is still half-unloaded, there are still dirty dishes on the counter that need to go in, and there are still dishes on the table that need to be put away. SIGH.

Put basket down in family room and force myself to go back and put ALL dishes in their respective places. Go into family room, see basket of laundry, know that at the bottom of said basket is all the socks I've avoided matching b/c I hate -- HATE -- matching socks, and generally tend to leave them in the basket until the sock population reaches critical lows. Sigh audibly. Turn on TV, trying to convince myself that it will be fun to fold laundry during DWTS. Sit down to fold laundry, and notice that the carpet has crumbs. Get vaccum cleaner out and vaccum rug before folding. Decide to vaccum kitchen floor, too, b/c -- well, it's easier than sweeping. Get kitchen floor vaccumed and decide I might as well steam mop it NOW, instead of tomorrow when the kids are around. Mop floor, and realize that there are pots on the stove that didn't go in the dishwasher. Turn off steamer mop, and wash dishes. Put them on counter to dry. Go back to family room, give laundry basket the evil eye, and sit on couch with a Klondike bar to check email and watch TV.

The next day, Andrew will come home (at 6:00 am, after working all night) and find (clean) pots on the counter, misc toys on the kitchen table, the steamer mop hanging out in the middle of the kitchen, a laundry basket in the middle of the family room floor, and the vaccum cleaner in the hallway. And this will be in addition to the various art projects laying around, and other miscellaneous items that I don't for the life of me know what to do with, so they just hang out for weeks until Andrew puts them away. Seriously, do you wonder why he doesn't divorce me? B/c sometimes I do. But he couldn't live without the kids, so I'm safe.

An example of the mess. Notice the miscellaneous objects on the counter, including Charlie's shoes, a few paci's, the top to a random pot, a wine opener, a project Jack did in January about penguins, some carpet cleaner and a pair of sunglasses. Some of these things DO, indeed, have homes, but that penguin project will drive Andrew to his grave. I can't bring myself to throw it away, but really -- do I need to keep that? And where would I keep it? I have a box to keep projects in, but that one won't fit. Time for a new box?

The infamous "Table Behind the Couch." This is one of it's cleaner days, actually. I think Andrew probably has nightmares of this table and the clutter it accumulates. On it today are some random items. Some are things that came out of my office at work and, while I don't want to get rid of them, where do I put them? A K&L Luggage tag (do I need this? who knows, but a luggage tag could come in handy...maybe...), a pocket atlas, a small toy football, a disposable camera (what pictures are on THAT?), a calendar I made from -- in 2008.
Poor, poor Andrew. This is my secret shame -- I am a disorganized slob. But I guess it's not so secret anymore. Now I just need some kind of rehab program to turn me into an organized, motivated person. Anyone? Anyone?