Cleaning the Attic and Other Crappy Jobs

January 30, 2014 · 9 comments

in Bad Things, Cleaning, Good Things, I'm Not So Great, Mister, Why Hildie's tired

According to all the stores. January is the time to organize stuff. And you know what? I agree. After the mayhem of the holidays, it feels good to clean and organize everything. Mister has been getting very put out with the state of clenliness lately. Let’s just call it “laissez-faire housekeeping”. It all came to a head a few days ago when I came home from . . . . I’ve already forgotten. But Mister was having a meeting with his Boy Scout committee and as the house was in disarray, he had cleaned it nicely. Or so it seemed.

This is the main difference between men and women, I think. Most men (mine included) think cleaning up generally means shoving stuff in baskets and boxes and putting it somewhere less visible. I walked into our bedroom while Mister’s meeting was happening and what do you know? There are three laundry baskets piled with everything from shoes to my glue gun to actual clean clothes.

Meanwhile I had several boxes of Christmas decorations sitting in the mudroom because I couldn’t put them away. The attic was a complete mess due to kids looking for winter clothes. Every person woman knows that you can’t put stuff away when everything is already disorganized. First you have to organize, then you clean. And if you don’t have time to organize everything? Well, that means the cleaning kind of grinds to a halt.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve done my share of stash-and-dashes when we’ve had company coming over. Having a master bedroom on the main floor means that there is always a place to put things in a hurry and feel fairly safe that nobody will see anything. But if I’m going to clean–like, really honestly clean, I’m going to do it right.

Or course there are superwomen out there who always have things organized and clean. These women perplex and slightly frighten me.

But I’ve been working hard on organizing and especially throwing things away/giving things away (been to Goodwill a whole lot lately). You cannot fathom the huge amount of receipts that I have been storing in every nook and cranny. But you can’t organize clutter, so I’m jumping on the January bandwagon and cleaning out the hidden spots in my house first. The attic is done. My closet is in progress.

Two weeks ago Mister chided me for having two grocery bags full of canned goods sitting in the garage (they’d been there for oh, a week or so). “Put these away already!” he said before he left for work. They were all meant for storage, not the pantry. But the food storage room/closet was thoroughly disorganized and stuff was all over the floor. So I spent the day dragging everything out, cleaning the weevils out of the carpet (thanks to a ripped bag of flour. It’s as gross as it sounds), and reorganizing all the food. Of course this took a million hours longer than I had hoped. Half an hour before Mister got home from work, the grocery bags still hadn’t been unloaded. But I made it just as he pulled into the driveway.

Deep cleaning and organizing is partly satisfying (yay properly organized stuff!) but nobody ever appreciates it like they ought to. (Would it be too much to have one of my kids say, “Wow, Mom, you did a great job placing all the spice jars in alphabetical order, and in order from oldest to newest ensuring we rotate through our supplies wisely.”? That’s all I ask!)

I still have to unload my new shoe shelves from the car, but once I get that closet cleaned the world is going to look a lot shinier.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

suburbancorrespondent January 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

There is NOTHING more satisfying than a properly organized closet/pantry/ storage room. Too bad I only feel that satisfaction intermittently.

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Hildie January 31, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Too bad it’s taken me two entire days just to clean out my closet. Sometimes it sounds easier just to burn my house down.

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Jennifer B. February 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Ha! That is how I feel! Sometimes a fire feels like a viable option.

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Tanya H January 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm

I agree. With all of that. But I prefer the stashing he does over the tossing he does… :) I am really hoping to get a shoe rack with the next pay day, actually. :) Can’t wait to tackle our closet!

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Hildie January 31, 2014 at 7:30 pm

I don’t think my husband has ever thrown anything away ever! I spent two whole hours today just going through his old receipts. Oy!

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Iiona January 31, 2014 at 5:28 am

Cleaning is like the death of me but it’s also nice to have a very clean and organized house. I’m doing that now in the spare bedroom I decided to turn that room into my office/craftroom. I’m slowly buying furniture and storage things to fill the space so it’s taking longer because I don’t want anything else in there until the right things are in there to store it…

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Hildie January 31, 2014 at 7:31 pm

I would love my own office/craft room. Although I know it would turn into a disaster in a matter of weeks. Good luck!

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L. January 31, 2014 at 11:05 am

I’m still laughing over your “ideal child’s” compliment on the alphabetized spice jars! That’s “all you ask?” Why not wish for World Peace?

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Arianne March 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I just have to say that cleaning in our house goes exactly the OPPOSITE as it does in yours! Big Daddy is the one at our house who, an hour before company arrives, decides it’s time to organize the silverware drawers, or tidy underneath the sink, or otherwise do some (albeit needed) totally ill-timed deep cleaning. It makes me batty!

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