Don't You Judge Me

You might say I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend as I sat on my couch, taking in the mess surrounding me.

Me: “This…this…this is no way to live!”
Cor: “Huh?” [Looking up from his nerd show, with a look of surprised confusion on his face.]
Me: “Look. Just look. There are piles of chaos and disaster at every turn! This is not how people should live.”
Cor: “Calm down. We’re doing the best we can. Maybe you’re just extra emotional at the moment.”
Me: “Oh no you don’t. Don’t go and blame this on PMS. This is a problem and it’s time we take control of it!”
Cor: “We’ll be fine. Everything will be fine. Try and relax.”
Me: *Huff* *Puff* *Pout*
Cor: [Reengages with nerd programming.]

Okay, so maybe my reaction to the mess that is our house was a little drama queen, but it really is overwhelming. It’s gotten SO out of hand that it’s hard to even find a starting point. Check out Exhibits A, B, C and D.

WARNING: Viewing these photos may be hazardous to your health. (And don’t you dare judge me.) ;)

Exhibit A: Our Family Room/Home Theater—the place where we spend most of our time. It definitely has that “lived in” look, don't ya think? Yeah, if it were in a barn where the pigs slopped and wallowed, perhaps.

Exhibit B: Our Bedroom—Yes, we actually sleep in this filth. I'm lucky there's even a clear path to get to my resting place. By the looks of things, I'm doing a little more resting and a little less cleaning. And don't you just love my half-assed attempt at a made bed? Yes, that's the bed when it's "made." Don’t you dare judge me.

Exhibit C: My Craft Room—Believe or not, I do get things accomplished in here, and I'm not just talking about the accomplishment of filling every square inch with stuff.

Exhibit D: Our Kitchen—This is actually on a clean(er) day for the kitchen. Only a few dishes flooding the sink. Only a few boxes of food on the counter. And my sewing machine on the table. Since when did my kitchen turn into a sewing room? Maybe if "Exhibit C" were in a bit more order I could actually use it to, I don't know, craft!

Are you judging me? You better not be.

Sure, most of the…ahem, “clutter” is mine. I’m a girl. I shop. I have things. It’s what I do, who I am. But what the photos don’t show are little dog-hair balls the size of prairie dogs roaming the floor. Dust blanketing every flat surface. Candy wrappers and bottles overflowing. It’s a wreck, I tell ya. A wreck!

The Problem: Cor and I live at work. We’re both gone for most of the day. When we’re home, we’re either eating, unwinding or sleeping. This doesn’t bode well for our abode.

The Solution: I made a chore chart. I know this is very “mom” of me, but it was this or let the chaos consume me. I choose this. To make it feel a little less motherly, I titled the chart “Back to Balance” and the items on it are tasks. But it’s really a chore chart (though, I'll never admit that to Cor).

The Chart: We each have one manageable task to do when we get home at night. Ideally, this is done before the television is turned on, before the laptop is opened and before our heads hit pillows. If we can’t do a night, we know that means two tasks the next night. Plus, we each have one weekend project to attend to. Call me psychic, but I see many busy weekends in our future.

The Result: Well, I’m three days in and I won’t lie; this task stuff is hard work. It makes me tired. BUT, it’s working. I now have a clean bathroom, clean laundry, clean floors, clean sheets, paid bills and dusted rooms. Not too shabby for three days, eh?

The Catch: I’ve been doing double duty. Cor is literally working 17-hour days right now, which doesn’t leave him much time for chores. Rather than let them pile up on him, I’ve been stepping in and doing his. I know he’d do the same for me.

Why am I sharing this dirty laundry (pun clearly intended) with you? Well, I thought my confession might inspire you if you find you're running into "piles of chaos and disaster at every turn." Or, if order and cleanliness are more your things, I thought you could share some tips for how you manage the madness. Advice and help are always appreciated.

You’re not judging me now, are you?