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Getting Jiggy With Household Organization.

I consider myself to be a clean human being. My parents would strongly dispute this statement.

Oh HAYYY parental units, I know you’re reading! Wipe the look of hesitance off your face, I do actually make my bed now…I also still rock out to Will Smith, but that will never change.

Getting jiggy with it…na na na na na na…

On a scale of Monica from Friends to that lady on the show Hoarders who unknowingly had three dead cats buried underneath all of her garbage, I’m rated pretty normal for a twenty four year old. In the middle maybe? Maybe even a touch leaning toward Monica only because I’m allergic to cats and the show Hoarders absolutely terrifies me.

Seriously, between Hoarders and Intervention, Blake has been scarred for life. We were staying in a beach cottage right on the shore over Fourth of July weekend. Our horrible sunburns resulted in not seeing sunlight for the remainder of the day, followed by a night of “Hoarders” reruns. Nothing says romantic weekend getaway like watching professionals sift through three hundred porcelain dolls and seventy tons of old newspapers.

For all the foreigners out there who are wondering what is REALLY wrong with America, Blake will probably tell you it’s the show Hoarders.

I like things clean. Not “you could lick my floors and perform open heart surgery off my counters” clean, but everything has a place. The clothes get folded and put away in the dresser. The dishes go from the kitchen table, to the dishwasher, to our cabinets. We have a bread box, that we don’t put bread in, where our mail goes. There is a craft bin for crafts, a closet for our linens and towels, and under bed storage for out of season articles of clothing. I have my own laundry basket, for girly things like skirts and dresses that can’t be put through the hurricane setting on our washing machine. Blake has his own laundry basket for his stinky, dirty rugby clothes that I don’t want touching my pretty skirts and dresses.

See? Organized.
Except here’s the thing, every once in a while something that always seems so completely unavoidable happens.

We get lazy.

That’s right, we slip up.

Blake works in Boston and I work in Maine, and we share one car (except for this month, because Kate from Suburban Sweetheart has been kind enough to let us borrow her extra car while her beau is away…Kate, you’re the bees knees).

It’s also worth noting that Blake plays rugby, so on the average week night, he’s not getting home until 11:00 at night. After working from 8:30-5:00, by the time I get home it’s 5:30…and I’m STARVING. Then I’m exhausted. Then I’m overwhelmed by the fact that I still have deadlines to meet, articles to write, and blog posts to conjure up. Then American Idol/The Big Bang Theory/The Voice/NCIS is on depending on what night it is, and I am so desperate for a moment of nothingness, that I succumb to a half hour of staring mindlessly at the television. Before I know it, it’s 10:30, and I’m rushing out the door to pick Blakemeister up at the bus station. We’ve both had incredibly long days, and by 11:00, putting away the laundry that is sitting in the dryer, or cleaning the junk mail off of the counter just seems so unappealing.

I’m trying to come up with a new, refreshing system, one that I can get excited and motivated about. Don’t get me wrong, every Saturday when Blake has away games for rugby and I have the apartment to myself, I slip into a pair of gym shorts, bump Salt N Pepa, and crack down on kitchen cleaning. I’m talking more about general upkeep. Something to help keep my sanity Monday-Friday, that isn’t totally draining, but still fully functional.

Couples who live together, twenty somethings who live alone, people with roommates, and moms (or dads) who read my blog…UNITE! How do you keep your homes tidy during the week? What upkeep systems do you have in place? Do you have chore lists, specific playlists, or do you all secretly have a magical spell you cast on your loved ones to complete these tasks for you?

If that’s the case, sharing is caring, y’know?

[photo cred]

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25 Comments

  1. This post made me giggle. Last night, my boyfriend told me that when we live together, he hopes I can be as neat as him. HAHA! I have absolutely no advice. I still live with my rents and we all do a little bit of the common area cleaning. My bedroom gets to be pretty crazy from time to time, but I tidy up atleast once a week.

    • Always happy when I can make my readers giggle! Thanks Frankie! My room wasn’t clean when I lived with my parents either, but I do like having a clean living space now that have my own apartment. Blake and I are both clean people, but usually around mid week (Wednesday and Thursdayish) our lives become pretty chaotic! Ei yi yi!

  2. There doesn’t have to be a specific playlist, but there definitely has to be A playlist going on. Other than that I simply just try to do a few things a day immediately when I get home from work (as I am still a bit in go go go mode). That way I can wind down without feeling guilty. Then on Sunday’s I play catch up with a longer cleaning sesh. Voila! I am eating off the floors (yea right). Note: I am single with an 8-5 I understand this doesn’t work for all!

    • Ugh, I wish I was still remotely in go mode when I come home, but I know I have 2-3 more hours of writing ahead of me. I need like a clear cut system/chore sheet in place or something! Somethign that is a little more concrete that I feel obligated to complete, haha!

  3. I typically do it like this; every time I leave a room, I try to take any trash or dirty dishes (water glasses) with me when I leave. If I’m in the bathroom & the laundry needs to be done, I’ll at least get it in the laundry basket & off to the laundry room after I get me little hands washed. Basically, I just do shiz a little along until it’s all done & I can sit down & relax & read online (your post just now, whee!) for a bit.

  4. The best solution for my household, three boys and myself, would be disposable clothes (particularly socks and underwear) and a self cleaning floor.

  5. The only solution for our household, three boys and myself, would be disposable clothing (particularly socks and underwear), and a self cleaning floor.

    Loving your blog!!! Thank you!

  6. Love it. I have my moments where I need to de-clutter things. Both my wife and I work, and it is uncanny when you look around at one point and nothing is where it belongs. Sort of discarded or thrown to the side when we werent looking. We always ask: How’d that happen? So its a purge of clutter on my list- with music inspriration from a variety of artists that can make me push to get everything back in order. My wife is pretty good with some stuff, and I get really passionate about things getting back where they are expected. The funniest part is if you don’t – how much time you will spend looking for things the next time you need it – which could be a post of its own I’d guess. Music keeps it real- probably listen to more of it when I am cleaning than any other time. Love the post- totally get it though.

    • Seriously! On Saturday, everything is sparkling. It gets to be thrsday, and I’m like…Why is such and such not where it should be, and who put THAT there? Sigh. I agree, music keeps it real. Music keeps everything real! Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for reading!

  7. allenavw says

    Hmm, I don’t have many tips because I do live with my parents and naturally I feel that once I move out I’ll have way more freedom to do things how I please and organize to my hearts content. One thing I do (which is really more out of lazy convenience) is immediately when I get home from work I go straight to my room, change and leave anything I need to remember to take care of that night on my bed. The theory being that since you need to sleep in the bed, you will be forced to clean/do whatever it is you need to do before you can sleep. Of course this only works if you aren’t someone who will just pick up the pile and put it on the floor haha. But, it usually works for me.

  8. Whenever I am trying on clothes, the ones I decide I don’t want to wear usually get thrown on a chair… okay I am not fooling anyone, they get thrown everywhere and just stay there and the funny thing is I love my clothes and hate clutter, riddle me that?

  9. I do become a little Monica Geller-ish when I see a mess where I just cleaned. But living with stepkids every other weekend, I guess I just have to deal with it. Signs and “please dont’s” don’t seem to do the trick…which is why I clean just once a week now instead of everyday like I used to, and really just focus on keeping my bedroom neat and clean. 🙂

    • Ah yeah, well, I mean when I was a kid signs and please don’ts didn’t work with me. Kids will be kids. I mean, it took me having my own apartment that I pay for to really get it!

  10. Your post made me smile. I understand your suffering. My husband was way more of a neat freak when we married. It rubbed off on me to an extent. He’s more hardcore about laundry and dishes, and I’m more about making sure things are dusted, the floors are mopped or vaccumed and bathrooms are cleaned on a regular basis. He never has to worry about that, but it does become crazy. Usually during the week, as long as we are keeping things picked up with our little one, and there is not a science experiment in the sink, that is how we keep clean.

  11. Well my husband and I sort of divide up responsibilities. But then we also hired a cleaning lady to come twice a month and that basically changed our lives. I would give up eating out any day for not having to dust or do “deep cleaning.”

    • I keep going back and forth between a cleaning lady! I think you may have just helped sway our decision! It’s so hard to keep up with full time jobs, long commutes, two dogs and also still being young enough to still want a social life outside of work 🙂

  12. Diana & Emily, I have SERIOUSLY considered hiring a cleaning person. Not even on a regular basis, just here and there when life gets super hectic. Something liiiike bimonthly! Just to get the nooks and crannies that I always seem to miss. Then I also realize that chocolate chip cookie dough icecream is on sale at the supermarket and that my car needs new breaks. Priorities, priorities! haha!

  13. Its interesting becasue right now I live with my dad who is a mess, and I just can’t keep up. However he is building me a bsmt apartment in his house (I am his caregiver so I have to live at home) and I am so looking forward to letting my clean (Monica) side come out and organize and clean the crap out of it!

  14. A few years back I came up with a system because through the week I’m too busy trying to stay on top of everything else to be bothered with certain things (such as cleaning up). It is the “paper/plastic plates and cups” method. It started from having excess of these items left over from a party (which I did clean up from the afternoon after…).
    This method now saves me quite a bit of cleaning up surprisingly enough.
    In regards to clothing… I am hopeless. I have a “closet boyfriend” who grows bigger as the week progresses and by Friday night I can throw my leg over him as I sprawl across the bed. He goes “home” on the weekend only to build up again over the week.

    I like the idea in the picture – turn the lights out.

  15. recently wrote a post about this as well, especially about what makes us men slightly different to the women. 🙂

  16. Hi Carley- this post made me giggle, as I too recently wrote about my love for throwbacks like Salt n Peppa (http://somekindoflovelyride.com/2012/04/12/growing-up/)
    I hear you on the staying organized front- it is super hard to find the time. Lately, I’ve been forcing myself (in partnership with my fiance) to do small things like *not* leave the dishes in the sink overnight (as painful as it is- we don’t have a dishwasher), clear off the table after walking in the door, and try not to leave random things sitting out. It’s easier to deal with things on a case-by-case basis, rather then let it all pile up and face a daunting task when sunday rolls around!

  17. I need to read all of these suggestions more than once. All I can say is to try to get on top of a system while you’re still in your 20’s. I woke up in my 40’s to find that my house had suddenly exploded all around me. I didn’t see it coming and now I have to do something drastic to deal with it, and change bad habits that I have developed over time.

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