I don't know which way to go. Any advice?

Lauren v. Mess

with one comment

Are any of you completely overwhelmed and amazed by the effort it takes to keep your home in order? I grew up in a very orderly and clean home. It was cluttered as hell, but grime was wiped away promptly, high tread areas of carpet were vacummed multiple times a day, and regardless of how many growing piles might be accumulatng, my mom always knew where everything was and kept things completely organized.

Now I have my own home, and I’m haunted by ants in the kitchen, dust in the living room, and mildew in the bathroom. It’s like Lauren v. Mess around here. Somedays I feel like I’m fighting the fight of my life, and I’m always one step back and one man down. The thing is, both Mike and I are actually pretty clean people (some of us more so than others), and yet, it feels like there is always, without exception, something that I should be cleaning.

Another problem: I detest clutter of any kind. I’m sure this is a result of my childhood home, which as I mentioned, is infested with excess. See, my mom grew up with seven siblings and a motley crew of foster kids and step-siblings roaming the house — there was never enough to go around. In response, she keeps her home, well (uh, how should I put this?), like it’s a Costco. Twelve bottles of Hidden Valley Ranch, eight bottles of Newman’s Own Ceasar Dressing, three French’s Mustard, five Best Foods, twenty-five packets of Chicken ramen, two bottles of Tapatio, dozens upon dozens of canned soup, I can’t even talk about the number of cereal boxes without getting shudders. There’s also an entire cupboard devoted to extra bozes of ziploc bags (in every size), plastic wrap, and tin foil.  The three-car garage fits one car (snugly) and a few hundred rolls of toilet paper, dozens and dozens of boxes of tissues and an innumerable amount of paper towels. Last time I was home the refrigerator broke because, according to the repairman, the freezer was “packed to three times of what it should have been.”

“Get an outside freezer,” the guy told me.

“We already have one,” I said.

Have you seen Hoarders? Okay, it’s not that bad. And like I said, it’s actually extremely clean and hygienic. But . . .

It’s no wonder I can’t stand clutter. I don’t allow more than one toothpaste, box of tampons, or shampoo and conditioner. When they run low, I buy new ones. You get the idea. My mom doesn’t.

“But what if you run out before you have time to get a new one?”

“Then I don’t brush my teeth that night.”

“How do you live on the edge like that?”

“I’m wild, Mom. I’m a real rebel.”

The truth is, I am no rebel. I just want things clean, without, you know, cleaning every day. Why is this so hard? As a kid I pretty much got that there were certain things in adulthood that would be difficult: working, marriage, kids, crazy relatives, having enough money, etc. . . But no one ever mentioned just how difficult it is to keep house. Is it a. that our incredibly hardworking, working mothers made it look so easy that we didn’t actually get the effort it must have taken? b. because we only actually care now that it’s our own home? c. I’m just lazier than a person who wants a clean house should be? or d. none of the above.

Yea, I picked ‘c,’ too. 

Related topics of interest: Pack Rat Syndrome; Intervention; Why Mike Doesn’t Care About This Shit And I do (Damn The Patriarchy)


Written by ditheringmiss

January 19, 2010 at 6:36 pm

One Response

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  1. i have a baby and trying to keep up with the house is sado masochistic

    The Tao of Pig Pen

    January 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm

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