Redneck Review

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spring De-cluttering

Springtime means spring cleaning. Well, for most people. Not
at my house. I am not a good housekeeper. There's that saying:
"Her house is so clean you could eat off the floor." Oh, you
could eat off my floor--there are enough crumbs for a 7-course

I live in this house with a husband and two boys. If (who am I
kidding?) when they drop food, it stays there until Mom picks
it up. They will walk around it, step over it, kick it out of the
way, or step on it. Sometimes, if it is really a mess, they will
even draw attention to it by stating (in mock disbelief), "Hey,
somebody dropped a (choose one: chicken wing / spaghetti
noodle / fried egg / bowl or pudding / popsicle) on the floor."
But they won't pick it up.

They clutter. My husband carried an end table from the basement
to the living room. "I don't want that here," I told him. "It's just
another junk collector." And there it sits, with a Gameboy, games,
a digital camera, battery charger, and two chocolate Easter
bunnies (still in the boxes--we are rednecks, not barbarians).
Forget the top of the bookcase. It holds assorted books that
they can't be bothered to actually put in the bookcase, a watch,
Gameboy games, magazines, Happy Meal toys, printouts, pencils,
and change.

I am not exactly the Queen of Clean myself. Laundry gets away
from me. The clothes are clean, but they don't quite make it back
home to the drawers. They vacation in the clean clothes basket,
or, folded, they bask on top of the dryer until called back to work.
Around Christmas time, I managed to put them all away in time
for #1 son to have his birthday sleepover. #2 son took his dirty
clothes to the laundry room, looked around, and said, "Wow! I
don't think I have ever seen it look like this." He was six.

Occasionally my husband gets fed up and "helps" the boys clean
their rooms. This consists of lining everything up around the
baseboards. He means well. He does not understand why I
can not monitor every single item in the house. When nagged,
he will say, "I'm going to put that up in the attic." The metal
bunny-shaped Easter egg holders, for example. Last week, I
finally had #1 son take them up. Five weeks after Easter.
Oh, that's nothing. We still have the artificial Christmas tree
all boxed up, sitting in the basement beside the pool table, instead
of in the top of the garage where it belongs. One more month,
and we might as well keep it there until next Christmas.

Now don't get me wrong. We are not walking through 8-foot-tall
stacks of newspapers, or climbing over old pizza boxes, or walking
around on dried cat vomit like on those shows Life of Grime and
How Clean is Your House. People watch those shows to say, "At
least I'm not that bad!" We are not dirty, white, trash-hoarders.
We are just organizationally-challenged rednecks.

And we leave our Christmas lights up year-round, too.


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