If you think about it - cleaning is a pointless task. Blink and you've missed the scent of newly-polished gorgeousness, as someone's mucked it up and the house looks as though it's never seen a duster.
Here, it isn't the cleaning that takes the time - it's the non-stop return of scattered belongings to owners bedrooms. This, I've decided is a game I could play all day - if only I had the time and energy.
We used to tidy up once a week when we had a cleaner. I'd have hated her to think that we lived in a hovel, and so, the night before she came - we'd spend a frantic half hour running all over the house and flinging stuff back where it came from. Sadly, the cleaner left a couple of weeks ago and since then, no one has done their frantic half hour fling.
The girls think it's hilarious when I ask them to tidy up. I have to admit to feeling as though I'm the mother of the three little pigs in the fairy tale (although obviously, there are only two of them) and that my daughters seriously need to move on. Which incidentally, they will be in just three weeks time. And I will be squinting to see just how their rooms look via Skype in their new accommodation at uni.
Essentially, we have too many belongings and I'm trying my hardest to rectify that. I'm always taking stuff to the local charity shops, but the trouble is - it's only me that does it. Everyone else is fixated on keeping every single thing they've ever owned! Just today I've spied a pair of pyjamas in Olivia's room that are age twelve. She's going to be nineteen in two weeks time.
Blink, and five minutes later there will be another twelve pairs of shoes to trip over in the hall. And there's really no excuse - we have three shoe racks!
In fact, I've flung so much stuff through Sophia's bedroom door recently, that the carpet is now invisible. And, we can only walk upstairs on the right-hand side as the left is cluttered with abandoned coats, bags and sports kit.
All of the additional supplies for university currently entering the house is only adding to the chaos. Just today one of my daughters has been whinging that she has nowhere to put anything. It was ever so tempting to reply with something sarcastic.
We have given our daughters an ultimatum - either they tidy and declutter their rooms before they leave - OR WE WILL DO IT FOR THEM.
I find myself constantly questioning just how much stuff one family actually needs?! If it were up to me - I really don't think we need that much. I'm fairly strict about decluttering with my own belongings. If I buy something new, then I make sure that it's fabulous and ensure that an equivalent something gets donated or recycled. Or, if the cupboards are overflowing, I'll donate two things.
Hubby and I would really like to move. So, what better incentive is there? I might start off filled with enthusiasm, but when each and every member of the family seems hell-bent on causing more chaos - first I get stroppy, then I wonder why I bother and lastly, give up and let chaos reign once more.
Friends think that my house is super organised. They are so wrong. Should you ever pop round to mine for coffee, please don't open anything - I promise you'll be deluged by falling stuff escaping from the confines of whatever hidey-hole I've flung it into.
There are pangs of genuine envy when I see a house on Grand Designs, Restoration Home etc. Do people actually live there at all? Or, do the owners actually own nothing but tasteful furnishings, flowers, and walk only on their hands?
Even when I've made the effort and tidied up - it narks me immensely that the house stays that way for all of ten minutes. Seriously, what's the point? Questioning anyone about the whereabouts of something that's buried amongst the chaos, provokes one of the three following responses:
"I haven't seen it."
"I don't have it." Or,
"How would I know?"
I've taken to hiding essential supplies after failing to track down a pencil sharpener the other day.
I used to work three days/ week and it was always a complete mystery how life unravelled as the days progressed. On day one - I'd open the post, recycle the junk mail, put shoes and coats away and take a few armfuls of stuff up and down the stairs.
On day two - I might pop the post unopened in the letter rack, put away a couple of pairs of shoes, fling the coats on the stairs and take an armful of stuff upstairs and leave it on the landing.
By day three I'd be completely exhausted. I'd make dinner and collapse in a heap on the sofa with a bottle of wine. I don't know why, but clutter is invisible after wine. And that is exactly why I'd wake to such a complete and utter mess the following morning. For some bizarre reason, it'd take me the next four days to piece everything back together and then it would be time to go back to work.
Since starting to work from home in January - its been grim. The clutter is always there to tiptoe over and it irritates the hell out of me. I used to be quite organised, but then I had children. I'm going to admit defeat for the next three and a half weeks and then I'm going to get busy with the bin bags.
Of course, I could always just drink more wine...
Until after my daughters have left. After that, I guess I'm going to miss them and their mess more than I could possibly imagine...
Copyright ©2013 Izzie Anderton