Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Secret Shame

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
“Messy desk, messy mind.”
 “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

 If I’ve said things once I’ve probably said them a thousand times. (I tell you the following things not to brag but to help you understand the impact of what I will reveal to you later.) I am an extremely organized person. I like having a process/system, a plan, for things to be neat, put away, organized. When I hear someone say, in reference to planning something, “Oh don’t worry, it will all work out,” I break out in a cold sweat because it never just “all works out”. I am often asked how I keep track of everything that goes on with my kids, husband, and dogs. I have been offered money to organize my friends and acquaintances homes (my family gets me to do it for free). People are forever saying to me, “You’re so organized! Your house must be immaculate! I bet your kids never lose anything!”  So now that you are aware of my reputation, I shall reveal my secret.
My house is messy.

It is my secret shame. Why is my house messy when there is a place for everything? It is because not everything is in its place. The backpacks and briefcase never make to the hook in the mud room. The lunch bags never get in the bin in the kitchen (this is really bad over a school holiday when a science experiment grows in it). The coats/hats/gloves do not make it to their home in the closet (they seem to prefer to lounge on the dining room floor). We run out of milk, mayo, paper towels because DH/the girls don’t write it on the board when they use the second to last (or even the last) of an item. Clean uniforms never quite make it to the dresser (they seem land on the floor next to it). The dirty laundry never quite makes it to the mud room on Sunday afternoon. Swim bags and dance bags are seldom packed the night before those activities. We have to hunt for DH’s keys/wallet/badge at least weekly because they don’t make it into his assigned basket. Homework/library books are often found strewn about the house instead of in the backpacks.

Why don’t I just pick it up, pack it up, clean it up, put it all away? Why don’t I save myself the aggravation of telling them all, repeatedly, to deal with their crap, to follow the system? Why don’t I just take care of everything and everyone in this house?

Well because, contrary to what my children and husband seem to believe; there are only 24 hours in a day and I am not Wonder Woman (I don’t know about wearing that outfit, but I dig the jet). Also, I feel like it would be unfair to them to just “do it” for them. I feel like I would be shortchanging them by not letting them learn to be organized, to plan. DH may be a lost cause, he’s an adult and for no older than he is, he’s rather set in his ways. I still hold out hope for my children. I hope that they will learn something about being organized and planning out how to do things. I hold out hope that none of them will end up on an episode of “Hoarders”. Perhaps someday they will appreciate what I’m trying to do for them.

I’m going to assume that “someday” will come when they trip over a backpack (because they couldn’t see it over the two bags of groceries they are carrying), falling, breaking the carton of eggs, and spilling the bag of popcorn kernels that were in the bags. 


  1. Ha! Oh, how I identify with this one! At the moment, my kitchen is a disgusting mess - and I need to get in there and do something about it before I go to bed. I try so hard to keep my house neat, but 5 kids in a 2 bedroom house makes it tricky.

    If you figure out the secret, will you let me in on it? Please?


  2. You make me feel normal - I have inappropriate things in my kitchen on a regular basis because they don't get put back. The kids call me from school with stuff they left behind - I'm not sure there's hope..

  3. Great blog! You make me feel normal as well! My only excuse is my work/commute hours! I only have one kid, one dog, and a house is always a train wreck!

  4. Be glad that its a secret. My house is a disaster 90% of the time and most everyone knows it. I looked at my kid's rooms this morning and the one word came to mind -- flamethrower.

  5. My house according my my lovely husband- is a disaster zone. While I (and everyone else) think it is slightly messy. After years in the Army where you have little and it all has a place (and pushups are a punishment), that mentality has not left him. With three kids, a dog, and him... I am surprised I dont have arms of steel o.O

  6. Whoa there, Sister! you.are.not.alone. I'm not "organized." I try. But then I stop because nobody else tries with me. While my house is a mess, there is a certain order to it (or would be if people would let me leave those piles of bills where I set them).

    Sounds like the story of my life.


  7. I used to be a very organized, clean, neat freak. Everything had a place and everything stayed in it's place! I made my bed, I dusted every knick knack. My bedroom was the most clean, dust-free, ORGANIZED room in the house. Well then I met my DH and we had children. My children inherited the lazy genes from my father. They don't use garbage cans. All garbage, whether it's papers, coloring book pages, food they don't want to eat anymore, food wrappers, plastic shopping bags....all of it goes on the floor in whatever room they happen to be standing in at that time. Laundry...well it takes effort to wade through their clothes on their bedroom floor to tuck them in every night. They wont use hampers or baskets. Coats, gloves/mittens, shoes, backpacks, all of that, even though we have a closet for them and a shelf for the shoes, goes on the floor inside the front door and eventually gets spread across the room and makes it way into other parts of the house as well. They drag their blankets and pillows around with them so I am always getting my foot caught in a blanket and trip when walking around because doorways seem to be their preferred place to leave those items! When i go grocery shopping now I only put away refrigerated things and the rest hangs out in bags on the kitchen floor til my mother yells and I finally put it all away or until my DH is sick of seeing it all sit there and does it himself. There's always at least 2 dirty cups and a bowl & spoon on my end tables in my livingroom at all times, along with cans and empty soda or beer bottles and anything I take away from the kids while I'm sitting here goes on the table next to me. We can't seem tokeep one single board game in tact and those are scattered in every room of the house. My kids will take off their socks and shirts wherever they please and that's where their shirts and socks stay. There's not a clear counter or table left in this house! Even the fireplace mantle and apron are covered in stuff the kids just left there. Yes I'm a stay at home mom, no I do not work outside of my home. People wonder why my dishes aren't done and the recycling is over flowing onto the floor and I just kick stuff out of my way when I was always such a neat freak growing up. You want to know the truth? I can't do it anymore. It's one little old me against 4 slob kids and a husband who doesn't want to be bothered. I would kill myself and be run down, more exhausted than I already am, and sick all the time if I tried to pick up and clean up after my family 24/7! Yes it drives me absolutely batty!!! I hate it, I miss my neat clean, dust-free bedroom when I was a teenager. But I can't change things. I do try. I have a place for everything and I do tell the kids, "put your stuff where it belongs. Throw your garbage away. Don't leave food laying around. Only eat at the kitchen table. Use your hamper." But they don't and I am not Super Woman and frankly I am not picking up after them! For what? To fill my days with nohting but cleaning and they get away scott free because they know mommy will pick up after them? Hell no! They want to live like slobs then so be it! Someday, when they are grown and I can kick them if they make messes, I will have a neat-freak clean, dust-free house again! And if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to come to my house! That pic you posted ^^ looks like every room of my house, the floors and the tables all are piled with crap just like that! None of it is MY crap and that is why all that crap is still there. I'm the only one who picks up after myself!

  8. Ahem. I have given up on cleaning. I don't even have a place for everything, because the kids just chuck it on the floor and leave it and move onto their next mess anyways. OH how I try to get them to clean up, but it takes threatening them within an inch of their lives to see any progress- and most days i'm just too exhausted!
    ONE day.