Posts Tagged ‘housework’

I have been accused of multiple personalities. My husband claims there are seven, and has them named (Roxy, Tuesday, TJ, Willow, Sparky, Oscar, and iAm…someday I’ll write their bios). I’m not sure which personality is the PackRat, but she’s there…and the nemesis of Oscar, the one with OCD.

It makes for an interesting combination.

Oscar vs. The PackRat

See, the laundry HAS to be clean. Absoposilutely, no getting around it, GOTTA be washed…then it can sit in the laundry basket until we wear it again.

Dishes? Must be washed. Then they get used right outta the dishwasher until it’s empty enough to set out the two clean bowls and a spoon (on top of it) and it gets loaded again.

The floors are non-negotiable. They must be swept and mopped every two days…and I still wear shoes and/or socks even to get up at night to pee. The bed is in the same obsessive category. I cannot function with a messy bed, it gets made with military precision every day.

My desk, on the other hand, is a full-scale, war-zone disaster area…and Heaven help the person who moves so much as a pen.

General clutter can stay out in full view, but must be stacked neatly and without flaw. Shopping bags are perfect for storing junk, but cannot – CANNOT – sit on the floor. They are hung. Anywhere, everywhere, but they are hung.

Things We Will Never Use but Must Keep

Those things go in the garage, the spare bedroom (dubbed the eBay room), or in closets. They are usually marked for sales and get occasionally listed on eBay or some random trading site, or traded off for other things that we’ll never use.

Except for that compulsive Oscar-Fit twice a year…

Those are the days the PackRat dies.

The Day the PackRat Dies

I tell myself (or rather, Oscar) that the clutter in the corners in its neat stacks and hiding in its shopping bags can stay. That the “sale stuff” isn’t hurting anything hidden away in the various Outta Sight-Outta Mind areas…

But I’m lying.

I cope, I deal, and I ignore…about 362 days out of the year.

That handful of days happen at complete random, when Oscar becomes homicidal and slays the PackRat in the middle of the night, and I wake with a sole purpose in life, to rid the house of any extraneous item.

Junk gets purged out of all the corners, closets, and hiding spots, clutter gets dumped on the rug in the living room, and the Guru usually gets asked to leave with his own PackRat.

Everything of value over about $25 gets photographed, labeled, and listed somewhere to be sold.

Everything else disappears into black trash-bags never to be seen again. Some are bound for charity, others are bound for the dumpster. My kids look on in horror as stuffies, Happy-Meal trinkets, and clothes they never wear (but suddenly love) go poof.

If I manage to get the Guru out of the house, his things get raided for stuff he never uses and will never miss…but that is happening with less frequency, I think he’s on to me. Lately he stays to “help,” meaning he hangs around on the fringes “rescuing” things from the bags and hiding them when my back is turned.

No, I don’t throw out the Good Stuff!

Meemaw’s jewelry and silverware are forever safe. So are the kids’ baby keepsakes and all their t-shirts with interesting or memorable logos (for a quilt someday, if I ever figure out the sewing machine again…btw, anyone know what to do if it’s breaking strings and/or making loopy/BIG/ugly stitches on the bottom side?)…

The Guru’s collection of thousands of PC CD’s are safe (hey, he IS the Guru…apparently the loss of a single disc means my computer might not get fixed next time I kill it).

The photos and letters are exempt, as well as the wood carvings Pop made.

The rocks can stay.

Rings and necklaces that were gifts will forever remain in the jewelry box.

Guns are safe…but only because I might find myself divorced for selling those.

When it’s all said and done…

…the truckload (I don’t stop until the Chevy is STRUGGLING) of stuff gets cleared out of Oscar’s universe, the house looks great, I am sore and tired but elated, and you know what?

No one misses a damn thing.

WOW…if any of you people that know me well happened to pop up on my doorstep right now and attempt entry into my house, you would be in for a BIG surprise…

You know I’m fairly organized, as I have OCD and I like to have room to walk around (toys aside, that is a battle Oscar cannot win). Therefore the fact that you can’t get into the front door because of the big pile of dresser drawers might come as a surprise…along with the drawerless (yeah, made that one up) naked dresser in front of the couch where the coffee table usually resides.

There is a coffee table in the center of the room with an upside down end table on top of it, accompanied by another random drawer. The North wall is lined with a baby swing, bouncy seat, and car seat that neither of my kids fit into anymore. Fifteen (yes, fifteen) wicker baskets are scattered about the floor, and the vacuum cleaner cord snakes through it all like a skinny anaconda.

At random intervals, the Princess prances through with a limp (she has stitches in her foot) wearing a neon green dress, a tiara, and purple flip-flops. The Prince tears through at equally random intervals, naked, pushing a doll stroller filled with a book, a sippy cup, and a terrified and resigned kitten.

There are no curtains on six windows of the house, and there is a pile of rugs in a corner.

The dryer is running, the dishwasher is running, and I’m pretty sure (thanks to the Prince) the bathtub is running. This very computer is playing a mix of new country and old rock, and the TV is (for once) silent. Oh yeah, the coffee pot is brewing, too.

There used to be a loveseat and a blue recliner in here, but they have given way to a giant pile of clothes bound for the local thrift store (with all the baby stuff), and an assortment of jackets, coats, and sweaters. The couch is still visible, if you can scale a blanket rack and jump. The back cushions are in the floor, though.

"The Mess"

What my normally pretty and inviting living room has been reduced to.

 

I’m pretty sure even the goldfish is peering through his glass picture window in awed terror.

Thanks Mom, for the theoretical protocol that pulling out and disassembling the entire home in the endeavor to “clean it right” is the “only” one that works! You’re right about one thing…if I ever find my living room floor again, the feeling of accomplishment will be overwhelmingly wonderful.

Or else I’ll have lost my mind by then and just be grateful for a solid surface in which to sit and rock.

Ok…my break is over, I am going to go dive back into the fray. If you don’t hear from me in a few days, send over a garbage truck and the people in the white coats with the giant butterfly nets…