Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A place for baseball belts, and baseball belts in their place!

I found my son's baseball belt just a few minutes ago. Yep, it was in the corner of the bathroom downstairs, just in the sort of place my husband suggested it might be last night while helping my son get ready for practice at the last minute. I heard him say something like, "I just saw it the other day where it wasn't supposed to be. It's probably wherever you took it off when you got home the other day. Go look in the bathrooms."

Now these few short sentences sum up our entire family dynamic. Mr. Engineer, aka Captain Trash, is frustrated with the rest of his family's lack of engineeriness (that is so a word) and our inability to find a "place for everything and everything...blah, blah, blah." While our 9-year-old son, aka The One Whose Head Resides in the Clouds, is assuring us that there is no such thing as a baseball belt, so he couldn't possibly have lost one. And I am thinking, "Oh yeah, I saw that belt in a strange place, too. It's probably in the bathroom downstairs and I should go -- look, something shiny!" While our girls are downstairs coloring on paper with markers on the one patch of carpet that doesn't look as if it has been herded over by muddy elephants. Yep, that's us.

I have told you before about my stellar housekeeping skills, and I am sure you must be bored of it by now, but there's a reason I've brought this dead horse up to beat again. A lovely author whose blog I follow, Joshilyn Jackson, and four of her just as lovely friends are running a Spring Cleaning contest over at Five Full Plates. No, there is no fabulous Dyson vacuum cleaner up for grabs. The only thing you'll be getting out of this contest is bragging rights and possibly a freshly cleaned house. The first contest they did was a 10-week weight loss challenge that I failed at, but at the same time won. The goal was to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. I lost about 6 pounds, so technically I failed. But, I started actually and truly exercising at least once a week and at least thinking about what I shoved in my pie hole before I shoved it and am now healthier and my jeans are too big, so that is totally a win for me. I am sure it will be the same with this contest. If I just manage to get one closet cleaned and make a dent in my bonus room, it will be an EPIC WIN for me. I may, if I get up the nerve, post before and after pictures. Do not hold your breath.

Now I did not see any rules posted for this contest, except for the fact that we are in no uncertain terms not to mention the Flylady to her ever, so I am so totally going to cheat. I have a friend who has recently become a professional organizer, and I plan to call her. Yes, I have used organizers in the past and my house still looks like a pack of hoarders up and moved in, but like the Apostle Paul, I will press on through my failures! Speaking of Paul, after the last few months of the metaphorical cleaning I've been doing in my life, I should feel refreshed in doing just housecleaning. (That was last week's post, and I am just too lazy to make another link to myself.)

Anyway, have I mentioned I broke down and got myself a cleaning lady that comes every two weeks? Now some of you are probably giving me the evil eye right now wondering why I'm complaining about a dirty house when I have a house cleaner, but friends the cleaning lady brings out a whole other can of worms, and she certainly doesn't help with the underlying whole organization thing. I finally hired her because I didn't want my wonderful, awesome, did I mention hot? husband leaving me with three children clinging to my Depression-era skirts, because my house occasionally looks ready to be condemned. (Am I the only one now singing "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille..."?)

God bless Mr. Engineer's heart, he loves a freshly scrubbed and organized house, and I am genetically unable to make a house either sparkly or organized, so I decided to cut out lattes that come in cups with a pretty green logo and stay out of the fabric and craft stores for a while and get myself some shiny and sparkly. The problem is, I hired the sparkly before I hired the organization. Now I spend every Wednesday marshaling the troops to "pick up all the crap off the floor, because the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow!" And then I spend an inordinate amount of time running around and trying to put things up and generally working myself into a tizzy, just so my toilets and sinks will shine like the stars every other week and my lovely cherry desk will reflect my surprised face when I look at it. What's that you say? You can see your reflection in your desk!?! Why yes, I did. So that means that all of the papers that had been piled on my desk for the last three, four, five? years, are now in boxes residing beside my desk. Yep, you heard me. She cleaned off my desk. (Insert mild expletive here.)

This, of course, had to happen right before tax time, which is my absolute favorite time to be married to Mr. Engineer. This is when he starts asking me dreadful, hateful, nasty questions such as "Where are the receipts for the inventory you bought? And where are your receipts for what you sold? And how about those sales tax forms that show you paid your taxes this year? You did pay your sales tax this year, right?" And this is where my heart feels all panicky in my too-small chest and my armpits start to sweat, and I try really hard not to shout, "How the *&^% should I know? And LEAVE ME ALONE!" I refrain from shouting this because I know that he is only doing our family a favor by keeping the IRS off our backs, and seriously, I should know these things. I am a grownup, and I have had this embroidery business for at least 4 or 5 years now, and I know that the Tax Man cometh every April. I should really know where all that crap is. And I usually have a vague idea of where it is piled up on my desk, written on backs of envelopes and folded and put in the special "tax" places on my desk. But remember, I hired out some sparkly and shiny, and that is what I got. I just didn't realize I'd get a big freaking headache to go along with it.

Anyway, the whole point of this rambling post is that I'm trying to get this pit I call a house in order, because I've got some things I'd like to do that require a little organization. My goal is to tackle some particularly nasty organizational task every week for four weeks. Anyone willing to join me? I meant join me in organizing your own house, not coming over to help in mind. But if you are up for that sort of thing, I certainly won't stop you. Just bring some water, flashlights and emergency food packs. Who knows how long we'll be buried in my closets...


  1. Two posts in 10 days.....WOO HOO! Welcome back. I missed you!

  2. I AM SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK!!! I WANT TO ORGANIZE YOUR HOUSE! We keep giving this lip service, but I am so dead serious! Organization for sewing lessons. I read this and I yeeeaaarrrrnnnnn to bring organization to your world!!! I think to myself, "Of course. That receipt is in my tax write-off folder under the income taxes tab in my filing cabinet." There is one condition. You have to promise that you will implement the system. I've organized many a things and places for people, only for them to return to disaster areas within a week. We'll just sign a binding contract. You don't pseudo keep the system.... I publicly post big-hair whack-a-mole and pre-teen bikini videos for everyone to see :)