Category: organization

Please Excuse the Dirty Panties on the Floor

Clean or tidy. When you have kids you can have one, but not both.

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It has been said that attempting to clean with children in the house is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos; completely pointless. Having a 4 and 2-year-old myself, I can attest to the accuracy of this statement.

Before I had kids I was a bit of a neat freak. Every Sunday I cleaned the house from top to bottom to start the week off fresh. Everything had a place and everything was in its place. Now I’m lucky if there’s a walk path through the sea of toys scattered on the playroom floor, and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to need to step over a pair of princess panties wadded up on the floor. *Heavy sigh* 

Before I had kids my house was NEVER going to look like kids had taken it over (now it looks like I’m running an unauthorized daycare center out of my front room) and I was going to teach my kids that you only have one toy out at a time and that it needs to be put away before getting out another toy. (Ha!) Yeah, I was pretty much a giant sanctimonious asshole. Karma got me back though!

These days priority goes toward making sure the piles of dirty laundry get washed, hung, folded, and put away. To making sure the dishes are done so we can have clean plates for dinner. To taking out the never-ending trash before it starts to smell. Everything else is just a luxury that gets completed when time (and energy) permits. I’ve (mostly) learned to embrace this new standard of cleanliness.

It just becomes a fact of life that when you take the time to get some cleaning done, your kids will use that time to make a giant mess in another room. Case in point; When I decided to do a thorough cleaning and reorganization of our guest bedroom my darling daughter used that time in my absence to tear her own bedroom apart.

This was a clean bedroom. It only took my tiny tornado a brief time to turn it into a scene from a natural disaster.
This was a clean bedroom. It only took my tiny tornado a brief time to turn it into a scene from a natural disaster.

Or there was the time my house was neat and picked up. I took a phone call from a friend and in the 30 minutes I was not policing them my children turned my downstairs into an obstacle course that could double as a training ground for American Ninja Warrior. Every chair pulled out and lined up, and every pillow and cushion in a pile on the floor.

Here is my ninja warrior in action.
Here is my ninja warrior in action.

And then there was that time this Monday when I went upstairs to scrub the 2 toilets up there only to come downstairs to discover that one of my kids (neither one would fess up, of course) had made a mess of the downstairs bathroom. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ll just say that sometimes I feel like I am living in a frat house–and I don’t even have boys!!

So these days I mostly try to focus on keeping things reasonably picked up off the ground, floors from reaching the point of being sticky, and keeping the layers of dust under a quarter-inch tall. I have learned that the price of mopping your floors is having every toy strewn about the house, and the price of putting all the strewn about toys away is having dirty floors. And watch your step. There are some dirty panties on the floor right there…

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**My “Dirty” Secret Update**

I promised that I would keep you updated on my progress with my junk room. I’m happy to report that it is back to being a guest room instead of a landfill! Hooray!

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It is by no means the perfect guest room, and I have plans in the future for this room that will probably no longer make it a guest room. BUT I can leave the door to this room open now without shame and guilt! It’s amazing ya’ll!

Much better!
Much better!

Of course, Barry the bear will be remaining in this room and keep “Grandma” & “Grandpa” company on their upcoming visit. That giant damn bear. A gift only a grandparent would give! 😛

Barry's bed
Barry’s bed

What projects are you working on right now around your house? Master closet is next on my list!

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My “Dirty” Secret

I have a secret. It is lurking behind a closed door in my house. It is contained within a room that my children aren’t even allowed to go into. It’s a room that elicits immediate embarrassment when a guest happens to stumble upon it. No, I’m not talking about some kind of a creepy S&M room.

I’m talking about my “Junk Room”.

Feast your eyes on my dirty little secret.
Feast your eyes on my dirty little secret.

The Junk Room: where all things go to die. When we moved into our home 6 years ago this room was an office. Of course, back then we were newlyweds without children and we had no idea what we were going to use 4 whole bedrooms for!!? As we welcomed our daughters into our family this room eventually became a multipurpose office/guest bedroom. And as the chaos of raising small children has unfolded, this room has evolved into a dumping ground of sorts.

It’s the room where birthday decorations, craft supplies, outgrown kid’s clothes, and business receipts end up. It’s a layover for boxes filled with Christmas decorations en route to the attic. It’s Barry the GIANT teddy bear’s bedroom (thanks Grandma and Grandpa…). There are board games we haven’t touched in at least 6 years. There are books collecting dust. Empty diaper boxes are stacked in a corner with the intention of being used to pack up and get rid of some of the stuff. The desk area hasn’t been utilized in several years because we don’t even have the desktop computer connected anymore! Basically, this room is just a mess!

Behold the pile of receipts, leftover birthday party balloons, and Barry the giant bear.
Behold the pile of receipts, leftover birthday party balloons, and Barry the giant bear.

Now, before you go getting all judgy-pants on me…I’m not a slob. No more than anyone else with a couple of small kids anyway, ha! I love having things neat and organized. I recently finished setting up a more stream-lined and organized hallway at out garage door entrance. A place for keys, a place for mail, hooks for coats and bags, and baskets for shoes. I like for everything to have a “home”. Maybe that’s why my Junk Room is such a thorn in my side. It’s where everything without a “home” ends up.

My recent garage entrance makeover.
My recent garage entrance makeover.

The Junk Room has been on my to-do list for at least 3 years. It became an issue right before my youngest daughter was born and I needed the 3rd bedroom for her, thus, 2 unoccupied rooms merged into 1. It isn’t that I never clean it out either. Twice a year I go through and donate unused clothing, toys, and household items. The problem is that stuff keeps coming into the room as fast as I can seem to get it out. And in an effort to keep the rest of my house reasonably clutter free, stuff finds it’s way in there.

So why am I exposing my dirty secret for everyone to see? Because it stops here. I need to come clean, so to speak, in order to force myself to change this. Well, that, and my in-laws are coming into town at the end of the month and they probably don’t want to sleep on a pile of crap! I will, however, keep Barry the GIANT bear in there for them. They are the ones that “blessed” us with his giant furry butt after all.

Do you think I can refer to it as an en suite if I keep this potty in here?
Do you think I can refer to it as an en suite if I keep this potty in here?
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Our beloved Barry, courtesy of my in-laws.

So now it’s your turn. Do you have a dirty secret lurking behind one of your closed doors? Perhaps a closet a-la Monica from Friends.

Monica's junky closet.
Monica’s junky closet.

Tell me about your “dirty” secret. Extra points for a picture! I’ll update my progress later in the month.

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