After several weeks of summer my house has settled into complete chaos. Frightened I may have lost something important in the disorganized mess (like a few library books, all my bowls, or maybe even a neighborhood child), I decided to spend the first three weeks of child reduced bliss deep cleaning my house. I divided it up and every morning I let Phineas and Ferb watch the boys while I tackle yet another room. Then, after I send Joseph off to school, I recover from my cleaning blitzes.
This has been an adventure. Wrought with games like "That is where my masking tape/mascara/camera case have been all summer?" and "What kind of food was that originally, and how long does it take to grow that sort of fuzz." Not to mention the ever entertaining "Why would anyone even think to stuff underwear there? I would rather throw it away than check for cleanliness."
Knowing my cleaning drive would begin strong and quickly diminish, I started with the worst areas and am working toward the easier ones. That means I've cleaned, in my first 3 days of school: the girls' room, the 2 boys' rooms, and all the bathrooms. You read that right, by virtue of the order I listed, the girls' and boys' rooms ranked above the bathrooms in nastiness.
It's been a blast, I tell you. Or rather, my house looked like it had been blasted and I am in the process of post-war reconstruction.
For your reading enjoyment here are some of my finds so far (enjoyment may not be the best choice of words here):
- I couldn't figure out why there was a can opener in the boys' room. Until I started finding the empty cans of olives in there bathroom. If memory serves there were at least 6 cans (and one in the girls' room).
- No wonder I kept having to buy more printer paper over the weeks, there must have been 200 folded airplanes stuck in my boys' closets. And another 200 stuffed on a shelf in their bathroom.
- Couldn't figure out what that was, stuck to the bottom inside corner of my daughters' bed stand, till I realized it was an old spider nest. Explains all the webs full of dead flies I found in every corner of their room and bathroom.
- Took a while to place the odd smell permeating the girls' room: it was coming from their carpet. Carpet removed, their room no longer smells like a mold fest. (I've told them not to bring water in their rooms at night!)
- Completely unrelated? 3 huge cups (1 still full of water), 4 water bottles, and 3 small cups in the girls' room.
- The new trash can I bought for the boys' bathroom: the good news was they had filled in partway with garbage, the bad news was they had also filled it with something else (use your imagination- but in case you have boys and therefore a vivid imagination- it was liquid something not solid).
- I was able to fill an entire (small) rubbermaid container with the pens I found in the girls' room while I found the smallest K-nexs pieces along the border of both boys' rooms. Also under every bed, chair, toy, piece of trash, and laundry.
- Enough garbage to fill an X-large U-Haul packing box (that had been "borrowed" and covered in fabric to create a Webkinz home to match their virtual one). I am not kidding, when I was done the box was FULL and I threw it out before Elise saw because I'm sure she would disagree with me on what qualified as garbage in her room.
Everything has been cleaned out, disinfected, and made to look neat. Today we are having a combined youth activity at our house, so I am suspending the worst to best order for a day to concentrate on bookshelves and countertops. You know, things people are actually going to see if they come into the house. As long as I don't add anything to my list, my reclaim-the-house-daily-in-the-4-hours-before-afternoon-kindergarten-starts project should last 3 weeks (Yes, I actually wrote down a list and cross it out with a note of how long it took to clean. Underneath the chaotic outer layer of a mother of 6 children was once a list-making, organized freak.)
I bet you'll enjoy your housecleaning a little more today knowing what it could be like...