Just the other day Husband announced that he’s going to make a more concerted effort to keep our house orderly. Okay. Sure. Sounds good.
It’s not that I don’t want an orderly house. I love order! I could spend an entire day reorganizing something just for the fun of it. Let’s see how this cabinet looks if I replace this container with that basket. What if I move my bathing suits to the bin in the closet and let my comfy shorts have their own drawer?
I would help someone move in a heartbeat if it meant I got to fill boxes and rearrange things how I saw fit. Packing a car for a trip is an art form and an efficiently-loaded trunk is a thing of beauty, a satisfying achievement. (It’s the small things in life, remember?)
The problem with our house isn’t that it’s disorganized, though. Everything has a home. The problem is our current pace of life and the surrounding structure that it demands. There’s an appropriately-sized space on our family room shelf for my purse, but wouldn’t you know, when I get home from work, my bag’s going straight on the kitchen counter. I put it there right after I place my computer on the floor to give my daughter a hug. My shoes have already been removed and are left lying one in front of the other in the mudroom, right in the path of the next person who enters.
My kids get dropped off at daycare at 7:30am. If we’ve changed socks from the ones with the polka dots to the zigzags at the last minute, the neglected pair is most definitely going to hang around the floor for a few days. Similarly, bedtime prep starts at 7:30pm. If we’re cutting it close to getting our daughter in bed before she implodes, the toys can stay on the floor. Let’s just get this little spitfire in the bath without any tears falling.
My child’s artwork is in piles in almost every room (and my car). She draws a line on a piece of paper and daycare deems this worthy for the archives. On the way home from preschool, I ask her what she did that day, to which she always responds, “I don’t know.”
Do you think she’s going to remember the paper with the purple circles she scribbled the other week? I just have to get around to discreetly throwing them out. If she sees something she made in the trash, Mommy will be getting the silent treatment for at least fifteen minutes.
Another thing I’ve noticed about our house compared to others (besides the repurposed Melissa & Doug box – see image), is the ever-present laundry basket.
I’d like to remove this from my bedroom floor someday, but there’s always something in it. Always. Similarly, the doors to the laundry machines are always open. Why close them when I’ll just have to open them again tomorrow?
So, yes, our house could stand to be a little more orderly, and I certainly encourage my children to clean up after themselves. But if order gets in the way of just plain ol’ enjoying life, I can live eyeing those crayons that rolled under the couch for another day. And I can walk around the baby bouncer that takes up seventeen square feet, knowing that it’ll soon be stored away when my son begins to move on his own in a matter of months.
Order can wait. I can always clean up tomorrow.