Saturday, September 6, 2014

Me vs. Chaos

Chaos is definitely winning in my home right now.  The clutter and the disorganization just keep getting slowly worse, despite all our best efforts.  

The girls' room and closet has been such a battle.  When we moved in here, I put a latch on the closet door so I could store all their toy sets neatly away along with their Sunday clothes and dance clothes  etc. so that everything was right there where it was supposed to be when we needed it.  They could have one or two toy sets out at a time.  This system has worked well for us for years.  It matters a lot for two reasons: one, when we're in a hurry to get to church or dance or gymnastics or whatever we don't have time to go digging through a trashed room for that missing shoe.  That is a very stressful spot to be in with a big family and it's easily remedied with good organization.  Two, when they have access to all their toys at once they make messes that are so huge that it is overwhelming to their little minds to clean it all up.  If just, say, dolls and one kind of blocks are out they can totally pick up their room on their own.  Which is good for them and me.  

At the beginning of the summer, they figured out how to get the latch open.  They completely trashed their room and closet.  I put everything back together during one of my precious few times of feeling well and the Badger bought a new lock that had a combination.  It was frustrating to have to spend my time on a mess that never should have happened to begin with when there are plenty of other, ordinary, every-day messes to deal with.  

It didn't take them very long to figure out the combination and we were back to a disaster again.  One day recently I got up with the determination to do one thing and one thing only that day: put the girls' room and closet back together with a different combination on the lock.  

I started into it with great gusto.  About an hour into the project I started getting really tired.  I kept on as long as I could, but I eventually reached a point where I was too exhausted to continue.  I could barely lift my arms.  At that point I had gathered up all the clutter from every corner of the room and sorted it, but I had not yet put it all away.  

I had to go lie down.  I hoped to be able to get up after a few minutes and finish the job, but it quickly became apparent that I was not getting up for awhile.  And I started to cry because I knew that by the time I felt well enough to get back in there it would be a mess again and all my hard work with my precious, limited energy would be in vain.  

And that's exactly what happened.  The picture above was taken after that cleaning session.  And just imagine their bedroom floor completely covered in clothes and papers and toys.  (I had a picture of that too, but I think one of the kids accidentally deleted it off the computer.)  And last time we went to dance, guess what?  They were ten minutes late because we had to dig through mountains of clutter to locate their shoes.  

This, too, shall pass.  The babies will come, the babies will grow, and my home will be organized again.  The girls will get better and better at taking care of their own things.  This is only a temporary frustration.  But I guess I wanted to blog about it to remind myself down the road... either to remind myself that this was a really really tough period of my life in many ways and I need to be grateful that I am past it, or to remind myself that those things that seemed so hard then weren't really that big of a deal.  Time will tell which view I take.  


Tanya Armstrong said...

I can sympathize with this post. I hate cleaning because I know within a few minutes, everything will be a mess again. It always seems like such an exercise in futility. I just started homeschooling and I feel like I will have even less time for cleaning.

Simplymom said...

I can relate!!! I especially get stressed when we have company (in-laws) coming, like for the baby blessing this weekend. Since I have been in the family, their home is spotless and very organized. Stephen reminds me that it wasn't always that way when he was growing up, but I sometimes wish I could see some pictures with a nice, big mess in the background! So maybe these pictures are to show a daughter-in-law someday so she knows you understand. :) This season will pass! At least that is what I keep telling myself!

Jesse Stanford said...

What's that blue thingy? Is it a hanging laundry basket?

Birrd said...

Jesse, it's a hanging storage thing you buy at Ikea. We call it the blue snake. It has been very useful.

Birrd said...

And Tanya, one of my biggest challenges when I was homeschooling all of them was finding time to clean. It gets easier as they get older and can really help more and more. Good luck!