Shovelling Snow

Tidying up whilst the children are growing is like shovelling snow whilst it’s still snowing.

The Gluestick household, by its very nature, is cluttered and messy. I would love to live like my sister in a house with clutter-free surfaces, carefully arranged objects of interest and a neutral colour palate without it being a magnetic draw to chocolate smears.

I do try. I have pretty boxes in which to pile paperwork (although I’m buggered if I can ever lay my hands on the right bit of paper at the right time). I have baskets for shoes, racks for magazines, more boxes for paper and yet more boxes and baskets for toys.

Ultimately though we have too much stuff.

Part of the problem is that people don’t recognise my decanting systems. So I will decant the box of tea into the tea caddy. Someone else will assume we’re out of tea and buy more, so that we end up with a full caddy and a cardboard box of tea. Or I will decant a ream of paper into a pretty box. Grandy will then liberate a second ream of paper from the stationery cupboard…and then a third for good measure. They don’t post about that on Pinterest!

Just how much paper does a family need?!

The other problem is that we are a family of dumpers. Husband will moan about the surfeit of cushions on the sofas that means he can’t ever find a seat. I would argue that the lack of seating is more to do with them being covered in any combination of the following:
– coats
– jumpers
– bags
– paper (yes, more paper. So much for things being paperless)
– magazines and newspapers
– work stuff
– shopping
– plates
– electronic items
– toys…

Come in. Take a seat…if you can find one.

So this week my mission has been to repatriate objects back to their rightful places. A.k.a. tidying up.

Is there any activity less rewarding with children around than tidying though?

Yesterday I concentrated on the kitchen and the lounge. By the time I went to bed (just after Noodles) the lounge floor was once again covered in toys and crumbs. ‘But I’ve been wiping surfaces all day,’ I lamented to Husband. ‘How can it look like this again?’

He didn’t even think to sweep up the crumbs as I went to bed, so I came down to them still there (amongst the toys) this morning.

Today’s focus was the kids’ bedrooms. I’m not quite sure why I was even bothering. Boo’s got more than 2 weeks off school for Easter. Her room is going to be a pit by the time she goes back. I’ll not just be back to square one, the entire game will be put away. Which will be more than will be said for her clothes and toys. And why do girls’ toys come with so many teeny tiny pieces, that makes any vacuuming a precarious challenge that ultimately comes with the clink clink clink of a miniature, yet vital shard of plastic disappearing up the nozzle.

I always feel mean ‘executively filing’ a pile of her drawings. I also chucked out dried-up felt-tips, broken shells and plastic tut from Happy Meals. ‘Only keep things that you know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ I’m going to have to drill the quote into Boo. She is the next generation of hoarder. But then she might wonder how come I’ve allowed Husband to stay so long.

A couple of hours in though and the room was looking viable. The bin bag was full, clothes were put away and the teddies looked less like a plushies orgy. Aaah.

All would have been good if there hadn’t been Noodles playing alone in his room, practising Newton’s third law. Yep, indeed it seems that every action (my efforts tidying) does have an equal and opposite reaction (Noodles’ toy distribution). It’s possibly not what Newton was getting at, but still…AAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!

So, I set about clearing up Noodles’ trail of debris. At which point he went into Boo’s room and emptied the second shelf of the bookcase. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Finally, miraculously, but long after the time I would have finished had I not had Noodles’ intervention, the rooms were done. Apart from the vacuuming. That can wait until tomorrow, in the small window of opportunity between breakfast and the playing of toys with teeny tiny pieces (Lego, Sylvannian Families, Aquabeads, I’m looking at you).

I feel better at having things organised, even if the effect is only temporary. If only it would stop ‘snowing’. Some hope. I think I’m going to need a bigger shovel.

I see Noodles is awake. Marvellous.


6 thoughts on “Shovelling Snow”

  1. Cherish the thought that the mess is sign of a happy family life. I well remember weekend mornings when I would clean and tidy and enjoy half an hour with a coffee relishing the pristine condition of my home (it was just mine for those brief moments) then the family would return, drop onto the sofa and dent the cushions and the decline would begin! Now they are all on the other side of the country and my home is tidy, but I would love them to burst through the door and mess it up again!

  2. Oh I so relate to this post, ha ha. It is IMPOSSIBLE to tidy with conscious and mobile toddlers and our house is in a permanent state of disarray, bordering on squalor. I aim for one clean room a day – but unfortunately it is always the same room, the play room (it’s supposed to be a dining room but because of the toys there’s no space for a table), and I never seem to get around to doing the kitchen or bathroom (both of which also now contain extraneous ‘stuff’) 😉

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