Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chaos & Cookies

The last two years have brought big transitions to my family. A twelve year stay at home mother, I added a thirty mile commute to a private school, a teaching position and graduate school. Picking up the equivalent of three part time jobs on top of my parenting, household, and volunteer undertakings has meant a whirlwind of activities, a massive reduction in reading, and chaos reaching every crevice of our home. No formal classes this summer finally allowed time to reign it all in and restore order. Writing (and blogging) has taken a backseat to getting my house under control. 

First up were personal finances. I might have forgotten to balance the checkbook, um, since last summer. Despite a bank merger, the accounts had not been reconciled in almost a year and seemed a little off. Like lost on a gravel road miles from the interstate off. The first week of summer bit the dust under a pile of bank statements.

Next up was household organization. In April I posted a two-sided list on the refrigerator completed with areas of the house and family member responsible for cleaning it out by June. They thought it was a joke. Summer hit and not one line had been crossed off. At my prompting my twelve-year-old son began the task of the mudroom. After three consecutive nights of late-night sleepovers, kid was not a joy.

He tried “cleaning” like he would on any regular day. This meant piling any shoe in the room onto white wire shelves and slowly backing away. He was dumbfounded when I cleared the hooks of umbrellas, half a dozen backpacks, winter coats, and reusable bags and told him to remove everything else. He was less impressed with my instructions to both sweep and mop the floor. I tackled the dusty wood blinds with a damp sponge. After thirty minutes of trying to clean grimy fingerprints and filthy cleat scrapes off the walls, we switched gears.

A few minutes later, I reappeared with a couple of gallons of paint, trays, rollers and brushes. Then I rounded the kid up again and handed him a roller. He opted for the walls and I took the trim. The original shelf worked well seven years ago when my youngest son was three. Now the room is filled with mini-man shoes and the little shelf no longer got the job done. In came a new black cubby unit to organize the shoes and shin guards.

Fresh paint and a new system in place, it looks good and functions great. We started with a room scattered with dirty shoes. In true If You Give a Mouse A Cookie fashion, by the end of the day I repainted the trim of most of the first floor. And chances are if you show this mom a mess, she's going to repaint the house.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You are on a mission! Good luck turning your whole household around! Loved the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie reference. That's one of my favorite kids' books.