Spring cleaning?

I’m having one of those days. Everything was fine until this morning when my son (Tom, 4) drew a portrait of me. It was actually kind of cute at the outset…long hair, a friendly smile, big bright eyes. Then I saw the fangs he drew coming out of my chin, followed by: “Mom, those are your big teeth.” Great. My son thinks I look like a cross between a Rottweiler and the Big Bad Wolf. For the last couple of days, I have been feeling really irritable. Maybe he is right. Maybe I am going to grow fangs if I don’t snap out of this.

I just feel like I am living amidst a constant mess and I can’t fix it. Every year at about this time, I tell myself it’s time to get more organized. I’m supposed to be spring cleaning right about now and my house looks like I am running a thrift shop. I’ve contemplated putting a sign out front that says SHIT FOR SALE. I’m looking to move inventory though, so after a couple of days if I don’t have some takers, I could cross out the SALE part and write in FREE. I did receive a postcard from Big Brother Big Sister the other day, but I what I really need is a very large dumpster. However, I would have to order one during a week when my husband is away on a business trip. His mother should have named him Hector since that rhymes with collector. I figure if I can start by cutting down on the amount of items in my home, I have a shot at tackling the actual organization next.

To give you a sense of some of my more casual organizational systems, let me fill you in a bit more. Tonight I was heading out for a bit, and was desperate for a lipstick. Like a homeless person looking for coffee money, I rifled through every coat pocket in the closet. All I came up with was a chapstick, but since I was running late, it had to suffice. I have a junk drawer in my kitchen, and that is exactly what it is full of. My handbag is worthy of an entire blog entry of its’ own, but let’s just say that it is truly a bottomless pit. I seriously should line it with a plastic trash bag. Tonight I noticed a diaper, some expired coupons, old receipts (loose), change (loose), some Brach’s valentines heart candies (loose), and a broken pen.

I’ve often thought of hiring a personal organizer, but what would be the point? I am often so unorganized that it is very possible that I would miss the appointment. Or, if they came, they would zip around my house and cause me to have an anxiety attack when I realized just how much of a disaster area this place really is. There is a chance they would condemn the home, and wrap hazard tape everywhere like when a crime zone is sectioned off. I can envision them checking off a client profile card in a box that reads “can’t be helped.” Or better yet, maybe they would send me on a shopping spree to The Container Store or one of those places. We’d get a cute little system in place, and I’d feel like a new woman. The weight of the world would be lifted, and Martha Stewart would be writing to ask me to appear on the show as the perfect example of a happy housewife who finally got her act together.

Think again. After about a week, the mess would start all over again. By the end of a month, I’d be waking up again in a cold sweat after having one of my usual nightmares: a dump truck is backing up on my front lawn…beeep, beeep, beeep. Oh no, it’s dumping another pile! Random Polly Pocket shoes, loose legos, unmatched socks, old baby clothing, broken umbrellas, tupperware with no more matching tops, and more. The driver would give me a friendly wave because he would know this is the one place in town where no knick-knack will be left out in the cold. Do you see where I am going with this?

So here I sit, once again contemplating spring cleaning and where, if anywhere, I can begin. I’m going to sleep on it, and hopefully when I wake up, there won’t be any fangs growing out of my chin to make matters worse.

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