It’s the middle of summer, edging toward the end.
I can’t tell you how sad this makes me. As much as I lament my own ability to keep the house under control without routine, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything in the world. I treasure every moment that my kids are “all mine.”
But since this blog is about my desire to somehow find the balance between the joy and craziness of being a mom and the desire to have a non-disastrous home for my family, I thought I’d give a report on how I’m doing, now that we’re in the middle of a normal(ish) summer week.
I’d give myself a C.
Maybe a C+. But that would be on a sliding-scale type of grading system. While someone else would be teetering at the edge of failing if their home looked like this, I get some special considerations.
As I said yesterday, I’ve found much resistance from myself over getting back into a housekeeping routine after our vacation. While that frustrates me about myself, it gives me the opportunity see again how much of a difference every little bit of effort makes.
Monday morning I had a doctor’s appointment, and yesterday we had a day out with friends. Today was our first full morning at home. But I’ve made an effort to do something each day.
Monday I did laundry. I thought about not doing it because I spent last Thursday, our first day home, doing laundry. But I decided that since there were only two loads, it was silly to not do them, and if I waited until next Monday, it would add two extra loads to what will be a very full/normal laundry day. Make sense? Besides, with our 7-days-worth-of-clothes thing going on, we’d either be forced to go commando, or I’d have to cheat and pull out some extra clothes.
Tuesday, I started back to sweeping the kitchen. This is supposed to be a non-negotiable daily task, but it hadn’t even occurred to me since we got home. (A little reminder for myself of why it is a non-negotiable task.) It’s not something that ever enters my mind naturally. Also, on Tuesday, we cleaned bathrooms.
Wednesday, today, I tied up loose ends. In my initial plan for the Summer of Clean, Wednesdays were supposed to be a day off. I haven’t earned a day off. There were several things that needed to be done that didn’t fit neatly into our weekly tasks.
I gathered the kids before the heat became unbearable and we cleaned out the Suburban.
From our trip.
From our trip that was over . . . . a week ago today.
While there were definite flare-ups of their hereditary blindness/selective vision, they did better than last time. Everyone having his/her own trash sack, and throwing everything that was non-trash onto the driveway to be sorted and taken inside was now familiar. Not a routine yet, but the start of one. (Lesson for mama here.)
I swept again (go me!) and then I set about folding laundry. Actually, re-folding a lot of it. Multiple times in the past week, I’ve started folding, only to get distracted and quit. Then, I don’t remember that the folded clothes are on the bed until . . . . bedtime. At that point, I dump them back into the laundry basket, thinking that I’ll put them away in the morning. But then they don’t seem so folded the next day, and I repeat the process.
This morning, I dedicated an hour to folding them, and catching up on an episode of Design Star. Then, I used a great trick that my friend LeaBeth uses all the time with her kids. (She’s totally organized, but reads my blog anyway.) I call it the “Let’s do this, and then we’ll do that” trick. Meaning, let’s put these clothes away, and then we’ll have lunch. Or let’s pick up the living room, and then we’ll watch a show. Or let’s clean your rooms, and then we’ll have a snack.
So, once I was done folding and knew who had been eliminated on my show, I called the kids in and gave them small stacks of their own laundry to put away. Every time, I said, “And come back for more!” Everything was put away in a flash.
I have so much room for improvement in my quest for organization this summer. I’m definitely not progressing, just surviving. I’m probably even going backward. But if I compare my home and my mindset now to the same point one year ago, I can see how far I’ve come.