Saturday, December 29, 2012

Clean all the things!

Adding a second child to our family has resulted in exponential growth of the Laundry Monster, to the point that I fear it will never be vanquished. I remember watching 48 Hour Mystery recently and the police sergeant questioning the mother's innocence in the murder of her family, because the house was messy. As the police video slowly panned across piles of laundry in a bedroom, a narrator commented solemnly, "As you can see, the mother didn't seem to really care about her family."

It had never occurred to me that someone would think homicidal tendencies and an aversion to domestic drudgery went hand in hand. One more reason to try harder to find my inner housewife? Well, no. I only have so much emotional and physical energy to give, and I regularly choose to spend it actually holding my baby or dancing with my little girl, rather than cleaning the house. If you think that's being a bad mother, fuck you. No one ever got up at their mother's funeral and talked about how immaculate her house was.

http://www.pinterest.com via Diane Fry

And because I'm in a pissy mood, I'm now going to indulge myself in a mini rant that's been irritating me for quite some time. Feel free to skip down two paragraphs if you don't want to hear it. It's that term: "family-friendly," which when defined, appears to exclude me. What the FUCK? I'm very friendly and I have a husband and two babies I love very much. What about that makes the mommy-nazis squirm in their bloomers?

Ohhhh...it's the swearing. Or the willingness to talk openly about uncomfortable things, which apparently includes sex (how the fuck did these ladies get their babies? Because getting mine involved a penis and a vagina). Presumably my blog is read by adults, so I see no need to keep things G-rated. I don't expect everyone to be comfortable with that. I do expect them not to define their discomfort in terms that suggest I'm not fit to be around a family. FUCK THAT SHIT. Just say "no swearing or nudity, please" and leave it at that. I am capable of restraining myself.


Anyway. Lately the house has been more out of control than even I can handle, and my stress level has been ratcheting up nicely as a result. When I look around the room, my eye snags on every single thing that isn't in the right place and immediately begins running through the entire history of that item since I purchased it:

That dressy cardigan shouldn't be in the living room. Well, when I bought it six years ago I used to keep it in the front hall closet, so I wouldn't forget to take it to work when the air conditioning was too high. Sometimes it didn't quite make it into the closet and I would just leave it on the living room couch. But since I got promoted three years ago I don't wear cardigans at work anymore, so it shouldn't be in the living room. It should be in the closet upstairs. But in which row of the closet? It doesn't belong with my work clothes anymore. But it's really dressy. It doesn't fit with my casual clothes. Hmm. Maybe I should get rid of it. No! It's a perfectly good dressy black cardigan and who knows when I might be at a semi-business casual event where a jacket looks too stuffy, but my regular sleeveless blouse will be just a little too casual, and I'll think, 'If only I had a dressy black cardigan.' It's kind of wrinkled from lying there though. I should wash it. So then it should go in the laundry, not the closet. OMG I am so tired of thinking about this fucking cardigan!

You can see how this kind of internal dialogue about every item that is not in precisely the right place could get exhausting. Generally by the second item I've given up and decided to watch The Office (if kids are awake) or Dexter (if kids are asleep). As I was moping around thinking about how I didn't want to make New Year's resolutions (see Vince Vaughn below for why), I realized that some of the mess stress could be permanently alleviated by doing a decluttering blitz.


I started with my Facebook friends list (which is a whole other post) and that felt so good that I'm on a roll. Basically anything I don't absolutely love (and have some hope of fitting into again) is going to Goodwill or the dump. So my weekend plans are set. I'm going to declutter and I'm so excited I feel euphoric.

Wish me luck. Maybe I'll take pictures.

18 comments:

  1. You go girl!! Decluttering is good for the soul I do believe! I'm always decluttering (well trying to with where I live but that's another post for another day) but I'm always fine tuning my blogs I follow, friends on FB, etc. We don't need that extra baggage, so just dump it indeed!!

    (I'm in a pissy mood too; must be the full mooon)

    betty

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    1. Yesterday I did my facebook list, and tonight I did my blogroll right after I wrote this post. It felt SO good. What is it about that moon anyway? When I worked at McDonald's as a teenager, the customers were noticeably crazier when it was a full moon.

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  2. There is a fine line between clutter that says "I like to play with my kids" and clutter that says "I'm a lazy slob". I hate it when my clutter crosses the line. Purging always makes me feel better. Good luck on your big clean this weekend!

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    1. Oh, ours doesn't even see the line anymore. I haven't been this excited about cleaning and organizing for a long time.

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  3. Ugh, the never ending kid mess. It's like the movie Groundhog Day. Laundry is never, ever done...or put away...or folded. It's constant rotation. With the holidays coming to a close, I foresee some deep cleaning and decluttering in my future. Or maybe I'll just think about it for awhile until I get distracted again. Please take pics so I can get some motivation up in here.

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    1. My husband had a late night out playing cards and when he got home, I showed him my post and explained that instead of actually doing any decluttering, I wrote a post about it. That counts for something, right?

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  4. At least you have kids as an excuse! We just have too much stuff and we're not good at letting go of it. I may take your lead and write about my mess before trying to actually deal with it. It's... research. Can't just jump in without a plan, right? That would be irresponsible!

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    1. Research! That's it! I'm a hard-core planner, so of course I need to prepare a proper decluttering road map first.

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  5. All I have to do is watch an episode of Hoarders to light a fire under my ass to start decluttering. It is seriously motivating. I am paranoid of becoming a Hoarder, since I already have OCD tendencies.

    Also, I'm curious about who wants blogs to be "family friendly"? Is it some kind of blog hop? Or directory or something?

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    1. I always tease my husband about us ending up as hoarders. It's not really funny though. Hence the decluttering weekend.

      Yeah, it's primarily certain blog hops and communities that won't let you join/link up if you're not "family-friendly". I completely respect that the organizer has the right to set the parameters of their event or community, and some people are offended by swearing. I just don't like the term - it seems so self-righteous and condescending. Why can't they just say: "Please, no swearing/discussion of orgies/pictures of people beating each other in the post you link up"?

      I'm sure the people who use the term never think twice about it. But thanks to my usual overanalyzing ways, it's begun to really annoy me.

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  6. Good for you - hope the cleaning goes well. It's always good to unload the crap you no longer need onto someone else.

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    1. I think that's part of the problem - I don't want to throw anything out, because there might be someone out there who might need/want it. But I never quite make it to the thrift store, so it just sits there forever.

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  7. Love this and relate to every bit of it. I'm joining you in a de-cluttering splurge and if you find that t-shirt, send the link, cause I'm all over it. Family-friendly police? Who are these people? I love your writing and wouldn't want you to change a thing!

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    1. Aw, thanks! :) Like I said to Bee, I don't think the people who use the term "family-friendly" give it a second thought (it's mainly on linkys, but some communities too). And really I should be glad for the warning, because I've almost always found that the people on those hops/communities aren't people I click with. I enjoy a healthy dose of snark/irreverent humour along with my thoughtful musings, and that style of blog often doesn't meet the "family-friendly" definition used in the blog world.

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  8. LMAO you always amaze me. I feel the same way.

    Now. Go to my blog. Check it out ;)

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  9. Once I get started cleaning one room, I go on a total spree too. Sometimes a good thing, sometimes not such a good thing.

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    1. It's turned out to be a much bigger job than I realized, but that just makes me more determined to get it under control. Renovations are like that too. Once you make one thing all spiffy, everything else looks all decrepit by comparison and suddenly painting the living room has turned into a full-on renovation.

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Lend me some sugar!