Every other Wednesday the lovely Immelda and her assistant descend upon our house and do all the deep cleaning that's needed. I usually try to tidy up a bit before she comes to make it easier for her to clean (and not to embarrass myself too much). I go to the office that day, so it's always nice to come home after school and have cleared counters, made beds and sparkling bathrooms. Inevitably, the floors get dirty again, school papers and mail pile up on the counters and random pairs of shoes scatter the house, but for those first few hours it's heaven.
I've been thinking a lot today about clutter both internal and external. Around the house, I know we'd all feel better if the house was more organized. My office/family computer room is a mess. Snow boots, pants and gloves are still piled up on the floor in there. Boxes from my office at work are still on the floor awaiting my eventual lugging in. My desk itself is cluttered with a giant paper cutter, art work from the boys, random pieces of paper and sadly the huge pile of sympathy cards we received from friends and family. Don't even get me started on the dining room and living room. Each have corners piled with papers, random bins (crayons, legos, tech decks, mini football helmets) and totally useless junk that I just can't get organized to dump (seriously, there are 4 giant cans of pineapple juice from E's science fair project in my dining room).
All of our bedrooms are in a similar situation. D and L's room isn't too bad but it's a constant battle to keep clothes in drawers, toys in bins and those cursed pokemon cards from overtaking the floor. The girls room really needs more organization. E has taken over most of the room and is very neat but with limited space and a messy inclination, M's section of the room is a mess. Their situation is difficult too because they have a small closet that is again dominated by E. Our room is huge and an absolute nightmare. We actually have a lovely sitting room off our room with built-in bookshelves and it is currently piled with dusty books, the litter box, an old couch, my scrap booking stuff and wrapping paper everywhere. I can't write about my closet...it's too depressing. The basement, both play areas and the storage are messy. The garage is a disaster.
I had these grand plans about how organized I was going to be before the girls moved in. Now granted, we did have to organize enough to move bedrooms, make enough space in the storage area, and room in the garage for their bikes, etc., but the vision in my well-intentioned head, definitely does not reflect reality. I make excuses as to why it is this way.... 1. I'm too busy (true but the hour I spend watching Top Chef could be used to clean up my office). 2. We just have too much junk (true, but we also kinda like our junk and I can't imagine myself tossing any of the books or toys--materialistic maybe, but honest). 3. The kids should do more around the house to keep their own spaces clean, etc. (again, true but it would take effort to organize them all).
The thing is, I think this physical clutter is also effecting my mental and emotional clutter. I really think that if our living space had more organization it would trickle down in other areas. I'd be a little calmer and maybe not always be panicked about what I'm not doing when I'm laying on the couch watching The Real Housewives on Bravo (did I really just admit that?!?). Maybe I wouldn't always be worried about what E thinks about our messy house and constantly feel compared to her mom who was known to vacuum at 6am while vacationing at the beach. Maybe it would have a calming effect on all the kids and reduce some of the tension.. From what I've been reading, organization would definitely help M.
So here's the catch. There is just so much to do, I feel paralyzed. I practically don't have that much time or energy. It would probably also mean a little financial investment on bins, shelving, etc. which is not going to go over too well with the hubby given the expense of the girls and the fact that he works for the federal government and may not get paid. We also as a larger family have to clean out my sister's house before the renters move in at the end of June (another long post of that later...ugh, to say the least).
So, any suggestions are welcome. How can I jump start some spring cleaning around here? Do you think your physical space affects your mental state? Do you have any organizational tips that might inspire to get my rear out of gear?