My Contribution to the Reality Project

My friend Mary Allison is hosting a “reality project” at her blog, in which people are invited to share pictures of the chaos in their homes as a way of truth-telling. She writes, “These scenes represent the new normal of modern motherhood where everything does not have its place.” There are some great photos there and I agree that humor is the best medicine when it comes to these crazy unrealistic expectations many of us have placed on ourselves.

I love the idea behind the reality project, but I have to come at it from a different perspective. The fact is, clutter negatively impacts my sanity. It’s not to say that my house is free of clutter—it is SO not. Nor does everything in my house have a place. But I cannot let things go more than a couple of days before I begin to unravel mentally. That’s when the White Tornado sweeps through the house. (My husband bestowed that nickname on me.)

So I’ve gotta let it all hang out in other ways.

But lest anyone dub me Ms. Hospital Corners, here is my contribution to the reality project. For those of you who say, “I don’t know how you find the time to do everything you do,” well… here comes some truth:

1. We have no mirror in our bathroom, thanks to a stalled remodel project from well more than a year ago. Also, one of the lights is burned out, and will remain so until they all go and I suddenly realize “Hey. It’s dark in here.”

2. Our Christmas decorations never got put away two Christmases ago. Instead they sat in our garage for all of 2010. Which made setup much easier last Christmas, so there’s that.

3. Our “magazine basket” has three-year-old reading material in it.

4. I’ve kept Netflix DVDs for the better part of a year.

5. On multiple occasions.

6. I use our minivan for temporary storage when I just can’t handle putting stuff away. Current items include a bag of hand-me-downs, a couple of winter jackets, and a broken princess tiara that I would like to Toy Rapture but will get in trouble for if I do.

7. One of our kitchen drawers fell apart, so we’ve got a big bowl of cooking utensils sitting in the corner of our blue room.

8. I haven’t balanced my checkbook in years. Years. Thank God for balance inquiry via ATM and online.

9. All of the booty that we buy from CostCo (paper goods, snacks) is stacked in a mountainous blob along one wall in our basement, such that there is a 2-foot-wide path to the washing machine…

10. …Which has some pillows and blankets in front of it that I haven’t washed for a year or two.

Wow, I came up with these 10 without even thinking hard. I could go on, but you get the idea.

It’s your turn. Tell a little truth today.

And anyone commenting that they have it all together, or recoiling in self-righteous horror, will be pelted by the alphabet magnets on my fridge that go with a LeapFrog game that disappeared five years ago.


12 thoughts on “My Contribution to the Reality Project

  1. Thanks for the link and the truth-telling, but most of all for that last sentance!

  2. Rachel Heslin says:

    We bought a really expensive vacuum cleaner with a shampooing attachment a full year ago (I know, because we just finished paying it off.) I think my husband used it to vacuum, once. Still haven’t used the shampooing attachment. I *have* used our old vacuum cleaner, twice, in the past year.

    I just went through and pulled out Hunter’s clothes from the To Be Mended pile which no longer fit him. There were a lot.

    I can’t remember the last time (months? has it been over a year?) I was able to access my piano, let alone play it, due to the bench being a Horizontal Surface upon which things get set down “just for now.”

    When I was pregnant, we bought a pair of hand molds where you and your child hold hands to make a casting. They still haven’t been used, and Hunter just turned 7.

    There is a lot more, but at some point, I can’t even break it down into specifics. The Chaos Monster is an entity unto itself. Sigh.

    • Rachel Heslin says:

      Oh, and the true extent of the lack of vacuuming thing can not be comprehended unless you know that we have multiple cats and three people with long hair in the household.

  3. sherry says:

    1. I have 4 years worth of backpacks with end of year binders, papers and supplies sitting in the garage.

    2. There are no curtains on several windows in my bedroom because the ones hanging were the same ones that came with the house (21 years ago) and I finally decided that the only way I would ever change them is if the light kept waking me up in the morning. 4 months in to that….they are not changed.

    3. I still have that Leapfrog game….and my children are 19 and 14.

    OTOH, I am considered very OCD by my family and friends. Go figure.

  4. Sue says:

    LOVE this – had to share her link on my FB.

  5. Jan Edmiston says:

    I’m totally with you. The only reason why I feel a little organized now is because we moved. Much tossing and shredding ensued. And I had to come face to face with piles.

    Blessings to you – from one mom of three to another. To quote the great Dan Savage: It gets better.

  6. Jan says:

    OMG – Thank you, thank you, thank you for #8! I thought I was the only one out there. I survive by my bank’s mobile app and the daily text they send with latest balance. I’ve even been known to close one account and open another with the intention of keeping the new one balanced. Who the heck has the time?!

  7. i am loving this thread! thanks, m.a.!

  8. anne says:

    my worst offenders are outside. there are several mulch beds with volunteer junk trees that are taller than i am. that’s how long it’s been since i weeded those beds. i almost need a chain saw to get rid of the junk trees!

  9. Amy says:

    I love the term “Toy Rapture”. 🙂 Oh, and I have the LeapFrog fridge toy, but have no idea where half of the letter magnets went.

  10. I practically did a spit-take over “Toy Rapture.” Thanks for that 🙂

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