Friday, March 24, 2006

All Better Now (Kinda)

First of all, I would like to define irony. Irony is when your brother gives you a hard time in the comments about not having an organized house, when your brother has a maid at least twice a week as well as a super-organized wife, as well as 6 walk-in storage closets in his upstairs hallway, as well as an island in his kitchen that is nothing but storage and approximately the size of my dining room. He has a butler's pantry for all his silver and serving pieces, a temperature-controlled room for his collection of "special bottles," :-) and a full wall of built-ins in his den, the bonus room, and the playroom.

So in the sweetest way possible, I just want to point out that perhaps he's lacking just a wee bit of perspective about what it's like to find room for all of my family's stuff in a 2400 square foot house - when he has (at least) three times as much room. Just a thought. When you have a mudroom AND a special bathroom with a shower off your backyard entrance so that your boys don't track dirt into the house, things can stay a bit, um, tidier. When your laundry room is bigger than most people's kitchens, things don't get quite so cluttered.

In other words, when you open his closets and cabinets, things don't fall on you.

Just a little perspective on all that.

On my end of things, I won't get into why this organizational thing bothers me so much, because it is a long, complex tale, so suffice it to say that it ain't just about the cleaning, people. David said essentially what Liz did - that none of this stuff matters a hill of beans to Alex, and the days with him are few - but because of the way my mama kept house when I was growing up, I have a VERY high standard in my head. And when I don't meet it, I feel like a failure. Please don't even address that statement in the comments, because I can't take a pity party, but that's how I feel.

This battle is not a new one for me, but it came to a head this week because I came back from Mississippi with all of Alex's birthday presents and realized that there was nowhere to put them. So they're all still sitting at the bottom of the stairs. But y'all have given me some good ideas, and I imagine we'll be at Target early in the morning buying all manner of Rubbermaid products. My main thing is that I AM SO SICK OF LOOKING AT BASKETS THAT I COULD SCREAM. All those cute Pottery Barn fabric-lined baskets with which I was so enamored when I was pregnant? I could throw them in a pile and burn them. SICK OF BASKETS.

So, I really am going to clean out this red chest in my den, buy containers to go in the bottom of it, and put Alex's toys there. That way he can put them in there at the end of the night, I can shut the doors, and I won't have to look at them anymore. I think that'll be helpful.

David had a great idea, too. He told me to make a list of everything I want to do in each room - and we'll just knock out one item at a time. My list for the kitchen was a full sheet of legal paper...and I got about 1/3 of them done today. Some of the items are a little more there won't be any quick fixes, but hopefully we'll be in better shape in a couple of months than we are right now.

Lea Margaret asked me why I don't try to get on "Mission Organization" - but we're just not that far gone yet. Everything looks relatively orderly on the surface. I just don't think we're using our space well...I don't think our set-up makes much sense, and that's what I want to fix.

Oh, am I ever ready to talk about television again. :-)

In the meantime - PROGRESS!

Lovely clean kitchen floors and baseboards.

BEFORE: Crazy pantry that had obviously experienced an explosion.

AFTER: Orderly pantry that doesn't make me want to scream.

See y'all tomorrow. :-)


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