Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things I Discovered That I *Never* Needed To Find


My house is an unmitigated disaster. I have no idea how it got that way. I mean, on the surface it all seems fine. Though, I will say, about 10 years ago I saw some episode of Dateline or 20/20 or one of those shows and they brought in scientists with lights and sprays and goggles and stuff and they looked at the average "clean" kitchen and it. was. horrifying. It looked like a crime scene of gross and bacteria and I was pretty sure that not only was I turning off the TV, but I needed to shower in bleach and then set my house on fire.

Even to this day, it gives me the shivers. Nanny will go to the grocery store and buy those Clorox Bleach Wipies and I use them up like some Howard Hughes crack addict. [Editor's Note: I'd sew them into clothing if I thought it would be fashionable. Oooh, Heidi! A new idea for Project Runway. Cocktail dresses that are self-sanitizing....awe.some. - Kate] And then she'll ask me where they are, and I'm always like "Oh, ummm...I think we haven't bought any in a long time..." and then I'm pretty sure she says something in Spanish about working for a crazy lady, and then I give her a raise. I'm starting to think every container of Clorox Bleach Wipies costs about six hundred and forty seven dollars.

So I made the mistake of opening the entry way closet last weekend, mostly because I get cold if the temperature drops below 80 [Editor's Note: I'm Texas, y'all. - Kate] and I needed a jacket. Now, a smart person would have whipped open that door, grabbed the first fleece-y thing you felt and slammed it shut. Nope, I investigated. Besides coats, there are bags of winter accessories, like hats and gloves and scarves. Which is totally reasonable to find in the closet where coats are. And then there's bags of summer accessories, like goggles and sunscreen and towels that. are. still. damp. from. the. last. day. at. the. pool. three. weeks. ago. Which is wrong. And then there's the old newspapers, bags and bags that are full of...wait for it...other bags, scrapbooks, film, old photos, a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" basket with tea towels and what may or may not have been chocolate chip cookies when we moved in FOUR YEARS AGO, unopened box of outdoor lights that I bought for our wedding three years ago, , one of Happy's diaper bags - that went immediately into the outside trash; there are some things I don't need to know - and a Troy Aikman poster that I want to have framed. Shut Up.

When the hell did all this happen? I am the Queen of Throwing Crap Away. But it seems that in the past year or so, the junk in my house has apparently been throwing Drunk Junk Parties while I'm at work or something, and making all these adorable little Baby Junks that are taking over my house.
  • The Toy Closet: Last Cleaned, May 2010. Status: Bane of My Existence. I loathe this closet. It's big and deep and we actually had someone come in and add shelves so that it could be "more organized" but really it just means that, in addition to toys being all over the floor, they now look like they're crawling up the wall. That's what our toys need: Radiated spider venom. I've spent countless days tackling this closet like some tragic Greek bastard, and yet, every time I open the door, things attack me. Last week it was one of those rubber squishy ball things that has those intestinal villi rubber hairs all over it. I screamed. And, because my reason for opening the closet was to free a toy that was apparently being held hostage by its own packaging [Editor's Note: Really? Is all that molded plastic and those zip tab holders really necessary? Are toy manufacturers actually concerned that the Hot Wheels will race away from their fancy box-into-a-racetrack packaging? - Kate] I happened to have a kitchen knife with me, and stabbed the little millipede-al rodent. He's still in there. I think the other toys are considering their options.
  • My Desk: Last Cleaned, August 2010. Status: Undetermined. Whuck?! I work here. And what's ON my desk doesn't even include what's under it, mostly consisting of 87 pages of newspaper with Sharpie notes all over it, six pairs of shoes, another swim bag with possibly moldy floaties and an opened bag of SunChips; my work satchel, my home satchel, my shopping satchel [Editor's Note: Yes, I've taken the wrong one on many occasions. Super fun to show up to work without a notebook, pen or office ID, but I do have gift cards to Williams-Sonoma and a 25% off coupon to StrideRite. Even more fun to spend 45 minutes forcing Happy and Lefty to try on dress shoes and then try to pay for it with my envelope full of receipts and pictures from a tattoo parlor in Hookertown. -Kate]
There's a coffee cup that's probably been there a month judging from the fact that's its adhered. itself. to. the. desk. and a Kleenex that's apparently applying for permanent residency, at least that's what the paper says underneath it. When did I print out an Application for Permanent Residency Status? Last time I checked, I already lived here...My old iPhone is still on my desk despite the fact that I have a new one. But then again, so is the box from the new one. There's a bottle of nail polish, a bottle of glue and a bottle of sand. There's also two catalogs from which I'll never order, receipts from places I've never been and address of places I've never gone. You know what there isn't? Two square inches of DESK.
  • The Junk Drawer: Last Cleaned, Two Weeks Ago. Status: Epicenter of Junk Storm. Everything I don't want to deal with gets dropped in this drawer. Fliers from school, mail, pens with no caps, caps with no pens, Sharpies that I think will suddenly spring back to life again like they're Lazarus or something, the Geriatric Gimpy Beagle's Medical File, which is so enormous now it qualifies as a tome; a Tupperware that's been appropriated to hold those little metal thingies that attach your kitchen sink to your kitchen counter. I took them off when I had to replace the faucet. Thanksgiving Day 2006. Ironically, the same day that the children learned how to say the f-word. Whenever I decide to clean out this drawer, I just wind up moving the sh*t into little piles all over the kitchen, with intended destinations: McGee's Room, Bathroom, Happy's Room, Desk, Lefty's Room, etc...then it's time to fix dinner and I just cram it all back in the junk drawer. It's so full now it's dumping out the back and into the cabinet below it. I pretend I don't see it.
  • The Weird Kitchen Cabinet: Last Cleaned, Never. Status: Scheduled for Demolition.  Let's see, there's the Crock-Pot, a Belgian waffle maker, half a set of dishes we don't use but I can't get rid of for some reason, a wine making kit that was a Christmas present like four years ago, orphan wine glasses from when I broke the rest of the ones that match it, more random Tupperware that don't have lids (again, maybe the trash?) and Christmas things I found after I packed up the Christmas stuff and didn't want to look at for 11 months. The only saving grace of this cabinet is that it opens from both sides, which, ironically, is also why I hate it. Because it's impossible to stash anything. Because if you put it deep in the back, it's really way in the front of the other side. And, if I try to shove in something that maybe is too big, then something else dumps out the other end. Strangely, it reminds me of the IHPs when they were babies; give them more food, count on a diaper explosion about 14 second later. Add to the fact that I am permanently bruised on both hip bones from hitting the corners every time I try to walk past this part of my kitchen, and I've convinced myself that I could just take a sledgehammer to this thing and not miss it for one minute. Except for that I'd then have an indigent Crock-Pot, and really, aren't there enough homeless things in my house?
I have to get out of here. I'll just tell Nanny I'm going to buy more Clorox Bleach Wipies. I think there's a coupon in the Junk Drawer. Everything else I'm just going to use as kindling. Except for Troy; you're heading to the framers. Just as soon as I remember where I put you. Which means I have to go on a search and rescue mission. I'm bringing the kitchen knife...

xoxo Kate



(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad that someone else's desk looks EXACTLY LIKE MINE.

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  2. I have a fledgling organizing business and I live in your area. Just sayin'......

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  3. I love it. I cleaned out my junk drawer this past weekend, because when I put my hand in it last week to grab a pen I ended up with a needle in my fingernail! I'm happy to report that 98.5% of the contents were either trash or books that needed to be re-shelved.

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  4. Since Lydia is always commenting on the deplorable state of her home, here's what the two of you need to do: "TRADE-CLEAN"!

    (My neighbor and I did this seven years ago, and it's a LOT more fun and effective than you might think.)

    1) Pick a day where you both can devote at least 3 hours to cleaning the other person's "evil areas" (I'll skip the dirty joke here). It has to be at the same time, because neither of you is allowed to interfere in the cleaning of your mess.

    2) Now, you each choose 3 problem areas that you want "eliminated" (you have to draw the line somewhere).

    3)You both agree to abide by the terms which must include "no going to the garbage can to retrieve a 'precious item'".

    4) SWITCH AND CLEAN! Each of you spends the allotted time cleaning the other person's problem areas in her home. It really goes quickly, because someone else's "precious junk" does not hinder your cleaning abilities --- to you, it's just "plain junk".

    This worked out wonderfully for my neighbor and I --- mostly. She decided that I had one too many margarita glass sets, so she "relieved" me of two of them. I felt that it was selfish and miserly for her to have that many Kate Spade bags, so I helped myself to one of them. To the victor, as they say.

    Honestly, since she moved away 3 years ago, I haven't had that kind of "help" and my closets and I could use the help.

    Also, if you and Lydia actually do this, it has the potential for producing TWO awesome posts!!

    Good Luck!

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  5. That is so totally my desk...and my closet. I have a back bedroom that I won't even go into because you can barely get the door open for all the STUFF in it...and theoretically it was SUPPOSED to be the 'nursery'. Needless to say...Baby sleeps in our bedroom*lol*

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  6. You must have been taking pictures at my house. Desk, toy closet, junk drawer all look like a crapalanche.

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  7. How dare you sneak into my house and take pictures? Actually, in my house you really need to step back and to the side when opening any kind of closet/cabinet door, lest you be hit by falling junk.

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  8. holy crap. HOW did you get a picture of MY desk? And AMEN on the neat piles that just get shoved back in the drawer

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  9. I thought I was going to feel better about my house, but no, my home is still wwwaaayyyy worse. So sad.

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  10. try flylady.net works if u work it

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  11. If I had a dollar for every time I read your blog and screech (in my head so I don't set off a deadly chain reaction of kid noise) "I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES THAT?!?" I could build myself high quality headphones so I could screech, put on a Katy Perry CD, and block out the noise so that I didn't have to care about the chain reaction! Ah, the circle of life... I need to find some sponsors for a screech-a-thon. And apparently not make comments before having coffee, as I just confused myself.

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  12. Get out of my house crazy lady with the camera!! This is my house looking GOOD, why do you have to go and say bad things about it?? Now it will get its feelings hurt and all the junk will start to migrate again (assuming it can find any place it hasn't already overtaken).

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  13. Oh I hear you. No matter what my intentions, I always have lots of problem areas. I tried Flylady twice and failed miserably both times. (How does one obtain a shiny sink by bed time if a teething baby is up until 1:00 and a toddler pees her pants at 1:30 and the cat wakes up the other kids at 3:00 and someone barfs at 5:00?) So yeah, big disorganized mess all the time! You are not alone.

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  14. I keep my junk in boxes on my dresser (or beside the dresser, whatever) and oh, about once a year, "sort" these boxes...which just means throwing out about 10% of the stuff, and reorganizing the rest of the junk to yet another box (bigger) and then shoving that whole mess into the closet. Empty diaper boxes are wonderful for this filing system....eventually they make their way up to the attic, where the mice build homes in them...

    As for the Trade-clean, good concept...except I'd have to "pre-sort/clean" so as to remove anything really embarrassing and/or precious treasure that I know the other woman will see immediately as junk and tossable...

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  15. This is my house to a tee! Sooo glad I am not alone

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  16. Once again.... you've made me feel like I'm not an epic failure as a mom/woman/person. My junk drawer has begun spilling out the backside too.... and I also refuse to acknowledge it.

    I have several places in my house where I stash things when people are coming over... the entry closet, the little storage closet behind the laundry room door (it's under the stairs --- I'm worried that I might find people under there) and my master bedroom closet... which is massive... like it could be an extra bedroom massive. There is about a 3 foot square area that is clear and safe for moving around. I'm not kidding. I can't believe I just admitted that....

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  17. I love you ladies. I say that every time I post. Thank you for letting me see that it doesn't matter if the dishes have been piled in the sink - which by the way drives me crazy because I say specifically, when the dishwasher is empty - "Put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher. I'm going to run it tonight" and I still end up with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. When the dishwasher is empty! Arrrrrrrgggg!

    I don't have a junk drawer because everything ends up on the counter in the kitchen anyway. I don't have a toy closet because there is no room in there because the 80 pairs of shoes that no one wears are in there taking all the room.

    Thank you mommies for making me feel like it's ok.

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  18. Am I the only one concerned by the huge tube of ointment on the desk??

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  19. how did you get in my house?

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  20. We just moved to a different state for the third time in four years thanks to the US Military. Your post helped me find something positive about all the transfers - I purge with each one. ;) (p.s. that is not to say within 2 weeks my house will not look like yours... just not yet...)

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  21. so i just did one drawer today and found 20 bucks separately 2 fives and a ten!) , electrical bill due 5 days ago, and a bunch of sharpies, and stamps. i thought i really did something of value here. put it all back nice and neat... then my husband needed the cash as he was running out the door to buy a used copy of the P90X. so much for finders-keepers! i thought about buying something to organize all this garbage!

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  22. Holy cow - I am so glad to know I'm not the only one who house looks like that and from the comments not the only one who can't get with the Flylady system! Not even when I was on maternity leave - and now that I'm back at work....fuhgedaboutit.

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  23. I'm a little late to the game, but I've read this entry three times now and I have to ask: WTH is growing in that Gatorade bottle?


    (p.s. From experience: be careful when you pitch it--they explode.)

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  24. I think thats the bottle of sand.

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  25. Can tell I've been looking at too many ISPY books, I kept searching the pictures for the objects. Thanks once again for making this once OCD mom feel better about the disaster site I now live in, thanks to two plus one 'helpers'.

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  26. Thank you thank you thank you. I was having a terrible day thinking about all the things that need to get done until I worked myself up into a fit of hyperventilating that tired myself out so much that I can't do a thing. My back closet has tons of jackets and coats - coats with working zippers, coats without working zippers. Backpacks full of mismatching mittens and toques. Life jackets - not just 3 life jackets for the children that belong to me... 7... and theyve been used all of two times. Tackle boxes, fishing rods, hockey skates... paint..cans... shoes. kites. crazy carpets/snow sleds. Need.I.say.more. I don't just have a toy closet, I have a toy room and I spend a day organizing and cleaning it all and in 5 minutes in all goes to hell in a handbasket when all the toys apparently decide to throw up on each other (because obviously my little cupcakes wouldn't do such a thing!). Thank you. You are awesome.

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  27. PrincessPumpkinPantsMarch 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    Not only is this rant comforting in that we can all commiserate on the state of our homes, it doubles as a hidden picture game! Not gonna lie, I was a little dissapointed that I could not find the bottle of nail polish on the desk picture...

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