Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cleaning Up

When Eric and I were newlyweds, we got into a big argument. It was tragic.

See, I had my way of doing things. I liked things neat and orderly. I even liked my towels to be folded and put away in a neat and orderly manner. You fold them in half, then half again, and then you turn it and fold it in thirds for a pretty little package. Then, you stack them neatly together so that all the pretty edges are showing. When you put them into the closet, you stack the towels neatly on top of the other towels that are folded just the same. Heaven forbid a towel enter my life that wasn’t the same size as the others.

Eric was decidedly not on board with this program. He folded his towels in half, in half again, and then in half one more time. They were stacked in no particular order and then put in the closet.

This was not good enough for me. There is a right way to do things, after all! I just wouldn’t give up and I couldn’t understand why he didn’t see the virtue of my system and change right away. Things got a little contentious.

Looking back, it seems a little (a lot) silly. These days I’d just be saying, “Oh, my! Look at all those clean towels and they are folded, too!”


This is the fate of towels in my house today. If you ever come to visit, you might want to bring your own towel as I don’t think any of the towels from early in our marriage are serviceable at this time. Perhaps it is time to put guest towels on the shopping list…

So, anyway… I think it’s safe to say that I have fallen far, far away from my rigid cleaning of the old days.

Having so many littles will do that to you! When my babies were babies, I took the approach of this poem.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ‘til tomorrow

For babies grow up we’ve learned to our sorrow

So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

I’m proud to say that I did just as the poem suggested. I kept my head above water (most of the time) when it came to house cleaning, but I let a lot of things slide in the interest of caring for my little ones. I don’t regret that.

Here I am for the first time in years without a baby to rock. Sam lets me hold him for a bit in the evening before bed, but during the days I find myself being needed less and less.

It’s time.

I want my house back. I want to have guests come to visit without cringing inwardly and hoping they won’t notice the mess.

I want to teach my children the discipline of keeping things tidy.

I want to find my craft room under the junk that accumulates there.

I’m taking desperate measures.

A few friends have suggested that I try out the FlyLady program.

I need all the help I can get. I’m trying it out. I’m doing the baby steps. I do, in fact, have a shiny sink and I even got up before the children this morning and took my shower and got dressed. I even put on lipstick. I did not, however, put on shoes as she suggests. I’m a country girl. I wear shoes when it’s cold, when I’m going somewhere I may step in manure, or when I’m going to town. I do not wear shoes in my house. Around here, sidewalks and pavement are luxuries. Shoes and carpet just don’t mix, so even our guests tend to ditch their shoes at the door.

Ahem… But anyway, I’m trying to do as she says and follow those cool baby steps. I no longer care how the towels are folded, but it would be nice to have some clean and folded. I want my house back.

Gotta go, ladies. I’m going to see what FlyLady says about baby step #3.

By the way, if you want to join in and share your progress, “like” my silly little blog on facebook. We can post about our progress there and encourage each other. Hope you’ll join us!


  1. I've used some of Flylady's principles. They really do work. I've been in and out of her system several times, now I know where to turn when I need help. I have to admit, I doubtfully tried the wearing shoes thing and I've been wearing lace up shoes now for almost 2 years. It really made a difference in how I felt. Of course I take them off to relax, but before I begin walking around again they are back on my feet. As a general rule we don't wear shoes in our home, but I do and my husband thinks I'm crazy. I just try to wear a different pair out when I think they might get into something dirty.

  2. I have used and enjoyed flylady's stuff too! Um yeh - shoes - not so much, but I also found this fun website too: Homesanctuary.com She is pretty neat and has some really basic and great ideas about scheduling and appropriately estimating your time in various areas. Anyway - keep it up and have fun enjoying the fruits of your labor! :)


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