I tried for like five minutes to write a catchy title for this post but I got nothing.
I wanted to write quite a bit about this tonight but Monito is really sick and it took three hours to get him to sleep. Who knows how long he’ll be out, and I’m starting to feel the twinges of sick myself, so I promised myself I’d go to bed when I am done pumping. All this to say, I might not get it all out tonight, but I’m going to try.
I’ve been wanting to tackle the clutter in my house since the beginning of my maternity leave but it wasn’t until January that I felt I could manage it, or at least attempt to. There are a few big problem areas in our house, areas that cause me an incredible amount of stress. Of course, these are the areas we need to navigate on a daily basis. I have been wanting not only to clean and organize those areas, but to feel like I really KNEW where everything went. I want a spot for each and every thing in my house, and I want to know where each spots is.
The problem is I so easily get overwhelmed. I literally don’t know how to start these gargantuan tasks, my ADD makes it almost impossible for me to be productive. Basically, I need back up.
Today my mom TOOK THE DAY OFF to help me clean my house. Yeah, she wrote sub plans and burned a personal day so she could help me tackle the disaster area that is my house. She is truly amazing. Also my in-laws took Monito for me. They are also amazing. I am truly blessed.
I knew we weren’t going to have enough time to do everything we wanted to do, but we managed to get a lot of it done. The biggest areas were the entry way (where we dump EVERYTHING on our way in and out), the big cutting board/table in our kitchen (always covered in dirty dishes, mail, knick knacks, this and that), the shelving unit in our bathroom (a graveyard of personal care products), our entire bedroom (I can’t even describe how dire this situation is), and the storage nook in the garage (where the big shit goes to die). We got all of them done except the master bedroom, which we started but didn’t really finish. I felt the most successful area was the storage nook in the garage, and every time I walk past it when I’m doing laundry I feel warm and squishy inside.
I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more done in our room, but really, Mi.Vida needs to be a part of that effort, as half the stuff in there is his. Maybe we can have his parents watch the kids one day and just go in and get it done.
As far as my ultimate goal, I do feel like I figured out where more things went, but I didn’t find a home for EVERYTHING. I was a bit disappointed about that. I did get closer, though, and I suppose that is something.
Recently SRB asked some questions about clutter and the emotions it inspires as part of her Who Needs It? Challenge. Ever since reading that post, I have been thinking about how clutter makes me feel; I paid careful attention today, as I worked through the biggest problem areas in our house.
Clutter makes me feel a lot of things, all of them negative, some of them down right awful. Among the array of unpleasant feelings are: incompetent, hopeless, helpless, unable, stupid, embarrassed and frustrated. Mostly clutter makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty for having so many things when so many others are wanting. I feel guilty for buying so those things in the first place. I feel guilty for not using them anymore. I feel guilty for allowing my home to get so bad. I feel guilty for throwing away the stuff that I can’t keep and no one else would want. I just feel… guilty.
My clutter represents deep personal failings. It’s the manifestation of all my worst qualities: my laziness, my greed, my irresponsibility, my lack of self-control. The clutter in my house embarrasses me. I’m ashamed that I allow things to get so bad and I’m ashamed that I’m not bothered enough about it to make it better. I’m ashamed that I bought all that shit in the first place and I’m ashamed that I’ll have to throw most of it away. I’m just…ashamed.
The clutter in my house is constant evidence of my failings, how I’ve failed as a housekeeper and mother. How I’ve failed as a woman. I can’t do the ONE THING we’ve always been tasked to manage. (Come to think of it, I can’t do the other one either, as I’m a crappy, incompetent cook).
So yeah, the clutter in my house makes me feel pretty shitty about myself. I tried to work through some of that today, but the negative feelings are still there. I suspect they always will be.
How does your clutter make you feel?