The Sad Reality of Cleaning

Love the smell and look of clean...hate to do it!

Love the smell and look of clean…hate to do it!

There are few things I hate as much as cleaning. Coach can attest to that. It’s not that I don’t like the house to be clean. I do. It’s just that it all seems futile. The moment one corner of the house is clean I find another three rooms that my typhoon and tsunami-like boys have wreaked havoc in. It’s never ending.

I have tried all sorts of techniques for making it easier, more efficient. I’ve done the timer game. Clean for 30 mins and then stop. I’ve done the clean one room every night of the week, so your weekends are free. I’ve done the chore list, engaged Coach and kids. All EPIC fails!

We recently repainted the playroom, but I haven't found the time to clean, sort, and fill it again. So here it sits...

We recently repainted the playroom, but I haven’t found the time to clean the toys and shelves, sort out the toys we no longer need, and reorganize everything. So here it sits. At least the TV works.

All these techniques are drastically flawed! 30 mins is not enough time to make a dent in any mess in any room in my house. Could I get a 30 hour timer? Then we’d be in business. And the one-room-each-weekend-night game is great if you have time and energy each night to do it. VBS week, not a chance. Conference crunch time, think again. Two-a-week under 6 soccer practices, yeah right! And who I ask has just five rooms in their house? I mean, seriously!!! The chore list, please. Don’t get me started! It takes me 15 minutes to get my two-year old to pick up 100 foam blocks. My six year old throws tantrums any time Coach and I suggest he clean his room or playroom by himself. Coach is great at his chores, but during the school year he puts in around 70 hours a week. What energy he has left I’d prefer he spend with the boys. I think I need to use a chore list with a cleaning lady. That might work, if only I had the disposable cash.

So where does that leave the Heinemann Haus? Chaos. Pockets of clean. And more chaos.

The Sad Reality of Cleaning is that  you must first make a mess. Wanna clean a bathroom counter and mirror? Here’s the rundown in our house: You have to take all the stuff off of it. The toothbrush holder, cup, soap, basket of shower poofs, and the 27 bajillion little toys that just had to watch Monkey brush his teeth, not to mention the fish that grows in water (into a slimy creature that you don’t really want to touch or even play with).

What are these creepy things made of?

What are these creepy things made of?

The toys end up in a pile on the steps, the first leg of their journey to the playroom, (and a few chewed-up, broken ones in the trash with a little luck.) The legitimate bathroom stuff neatly stacked on the window sill and precariously balanced on the toilet back, while I scrub hand-prints, dried toothpaste, water spots, and some unidentified gooey substance from the mirror, counter top, and sink. Sometime during this process someone yells. I go running never to return. And then it’s bath time. What happened in here? Coach asks. I can’t go potty. Monkey complains. A hasty finish and rearrangement and bath time begins. The toys on the steps. MIA. Likely in the couch, under the bed, or tucked in a pocket from which they will swim free in the washing machine. The clean sink gone the minute they brush their teeth for bed. Me, whipped, wiped out. Ready to crash on the couch in utter defeat. But there’s another mess calling my name…somewhere…in one of the rooms I thought the monkeys weren’t in…and then there’s…laundry…zzzzz

Anybody else with me on this?

The Sad Reality of Cleaning is it never ends. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, unless you can get about a week alone in your house without your kids and husband. Where you can make the biggest mess possible and slowly work your way back to organized without any screaming, stopping and starting, or little people (sometimes big people) moving your stuff. And since that ain’t gonna happen…it’s just a sad reality of family life.

So like a person dealing with addiction, it’s baby steps. Rejoice in the corners of cleanliness. They will be short lived.

Just one corner of cleanliness...hold on to it!

Just one corner of cleanliness…hold on to it!

There’s no encouraging, uplifting message here to ease your cleaning woes, or mine, but let’s just say

we’re not alone in this either!


One thought on “The Sad Reality of Cleaning

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Signs of the Apocalypse… | Encourage One Another Daily

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