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.