Well, our house has been cluttered and embarrassingly messy for such a long time now that it was time to do one of the following:
- Set fire to the house
- Sell house "as is" for about 12 cents
- Continue living this way until we are found dead in our home in 50 years, but they have to follow the smell because no one can find us among of all the piles of magazines, newspaper, and folded laundry, and we're dead a few months before the neighbors even notice because it's not unusual for us to have a month's worth of newspapers on the front porch and then our house will be on the news with all our relatives complaining that all we left them in our will is a big to-do list
My back is killing me because I chose #4. I decided it was the least illegal and/or embarrassing.
I want to point out that this is not just the normal picking-up kind of cleaning. This is the move-furniture-vacuum-repeatedly-go-through-every-drawer-and-cabinet-and-storage-box-and-closet-fill-the-garbage-can-12-times-with-the-receipts-Vic-never-seems-to-throw-away kind of cleaning. That kind.
I keep a lot of things I probably don't need. They end up in Rubbermaid boxes in the attic and every few years I shred a LOT of paper. But I married someone that's way worse than I am about keeping stuff. Exhibit 238: I found Vic's 1991 Ohio state tax forms in his nightstand drawer. I mean, you never know when you need to look at your taxes from 16 years ago (when you made no money), so it's a good idea to keep them handy in your nightstand.
Vic isn't even embarrassed! Mostly he just likes to say, "Jen got into my drawers for my junk." (Mom, if you don't read that sentence, it's okay with me.)
So far I've done Katie's and Jack's bedrooms, our vanity and bathroom and the master bedroom. And the best part is that I haven't messed up other rooms getting them clean; I'm putting things away as I go. The most time-consuming task is sorting the kids' clothes for donation and hand-me-downs. The other thing I don't like is arguing with Katie over things to throw away and keep. She is sooo like I was about hanging onto meaningless things. I try to remember how it felt and just hope that eventually she'll be able to throw things away on her own.
After a long day of backbreaking work, I collapsed in front of the TV tonight and, finding nothing on TiVo for me, flipped channels until I came to The Sound of Music. And now I want a ballroom in my house, just like the one in the movie but with fewer Nazis. In fact, I've decided I simply cannot live without a ballroom. I'd keep it clean, I promise.