The past month or so has been filled with holidays, birthdays, parties and more time spent inside, because it's chilly out there. And that means a massive mess in my house at all times.
If you're like me, you've lived in the moment and tried not to sweat the small stuff. And by that, I mean I wasn't on my kids to clean up after themselves every second, I didn't have time to worry if I vacuumed on the regular and there was no room for cleaning out closets to make room for more things.
"We can worry about that stuff later," I said.
"I can do it some other time," I said.
"New year, new me," I said.
My pantry looks like someone hosted a pig scramble in there.
Everyone has given the hangers hanging in our coat closet the middle finger because throwing coats on the floor makes more sense. At this point, if I saw a dust bunny, I would think it was cute. Dust gorillas are living in my home and they won't leave.
I always feel a rage-clean coming on after the holidays or one of my kids' birthdays. You neglect, ignore, tell yourself it's not important and that you're cool with it. Until one day, you have zero chill: You start to see the dirt and dust multiply before your eyes, and if you don't get to it right that very second, you might just take a blowtorch and burn the house down because it would be easier than trying to make sense of the clusterf*ck at your feet.
If you try and look for something one more time and it's not in its place, you swear (out loud) you will take every drawer, empty their contents in the trashcan and start over.
Before we know it, we are armed with Magic Erasers and Pledge, and we aren't afraid to use them both on every surface.
There are days when a mom desperately needs to rest her eyes, and look at stark walls and floors. She wants to put her hand on a doorknob or appliance handle without feeling a mystery substance. She gets a surge of energy that gives her the strength of 10 men and feels as though she could scrub paint off the damn walls.
Dirt be damned, because after "letting things go" and thinking "it's fine, it will be fine" for months, it all catches up to a woman—and she is about to blow.
Moms can only take so much until we realize that trying out a more laid-back persona, in hopes other family members might step up and help, doesn't work. Not even a little. Instead they think, if Mom isn't riding my ass about this, I don't have to do anything and I love my life.
Before we know it, we are armed with Magic Erasers and Pledge, and we aren't afraid to use them both on every surface. Then our family stands back. They know what our rage-cleaning face looks like, but apparently it's not scary enough to make them help out and actually clean up some crap.
It always fascinates me how my family wonders why this happens. Why they are mystified how dirt, grime and clutter that hangs around while everyone ignores it can lead me to throw a temper tantrum with the feather duster?
I'm beginning to think they'd rather endure my half-day of threatening to get rid of everything in their rooms and never buy them another thing for the rest of their lives then actually start to pick up after themselves everyday. Perhaps some day, I'll actually follow through and toss it all, but after a good rage-clean, I feel like a new woman and extend my apologies for my behavior. And the vicious cycle continues.
This is why moms will always rage-clean until the end of time.
To get started on a clutter-free lifestyle, go through your home with a basket or paper bag, room by room, and return everything to its rightful location. Found the drill and a bunch of screws? Return it back to the garage. Kid's shoes, toys and the like should go to the appropriate place. Remove dry-cleaning from the front closet and so on. You won't be able to move onto the next step if you continually run into objects that belong somewhere else.