As I was running my wonderfully delicious Kirby vacuum that I've had for almost 8 years and I wouldn't doubt could suck up a small child or animal, also known as "the big vacuum" by my kids.... (the kiddlly-dinks use the Shark or "little vacuum" to do floors everyday and then I use mine when I see fit)... I came to a realization that I'm a bit odd. Shocking, again, I know!!
Okay, I do have more cleaning to do, so I'll "come clean" about this quirk and leave it be.... I have a few rooms that I refuse to have look like children live in the house. Impossible?? Nope, not when you're as crazy as me and have a husband following on the crazy train. The rooms in question:
If you're not careful, little people tend to stealthily creep through the house leaving little toys EVERYWHERE. It's quite the phenomenon, and I'm sure you've experienced it. Do to our recent move these little people have had the opportunity to wreak such havoc on my house, which is made all the more lovely when people come to your door! Well, now that things are a little more in order and mommy is wearing here special googles, I can see the little critters and they've been cut off from their littering!!
It's vain, but I like to have a comfortable home that people feel like they can just walk into and relax. One comment I personally hate to hear, but nonetheless mean when I say to other people, in response to home order "you have little kids, don't worry, things look great considering...."
So, how does this crazy person make it look like she doesn't have a 4 1/2, 3, and 19 month old?? The kids earn their keep!
-They're responsible for NO TOYS IN THE KITCHEN. Seriously, no one needs to be tripping over toys in a place where you're transporting hot things, and they can very well play somewhere else (no, that doesn't apply to babies). I can't handle clutter, and toys spilling out of bedrooms is not an option.
-They take all the toys/trash out of the living room. The only tip off in the living room that kids live here, besides the fact that they're in our family photo's, is that the lower levels of our bookshelves contain kids books and those books aren't always standing upright.... which I can handle... until I can't... at which time I organize them again.
-No toys cross the threshold of mom and dad's room period. That's our space, if the kids are in there watching a movie with us, or we've brought them in because they're sick, or we're being selfish and want to cuddle, they should pretty much feel privileged. I think having one room to call your own when the rest of the house is open, is more than fair.
-Their bathroom has a few toys in the tub, but is decorated to receive guests and so we never have to change decor as they grow.... I know "boring," but seriously, do they really care about all the kid prints? Who knows! Anyway, it's kept clean and they're in and out and shut the door so we don't get random things in their courtesy of the youngest gremlin. I hate a yucky bathroom, I can actually visualize the germs! Never helps when it's smelly too. I do everything I can to stay away from restrooms outside the house, and that includes other peoples houses. You know what I'm talking about! While I don't use the kids bathroom at our house, I do make sure that it's kept securely under my thumb because that'll be the one other people use... constant upkeep means no drastic cleaning when someone does happen to stop by.
Currently the kiddly-dinks are making beds and cleaning their rooms. This chore ends up number 2 on the morning "to-do" list," just below 'get dressed, brush teeth, and do hair.' I'll tell yah, it's not always easy to get kids to pick up toys... our daughter regularly likes to scream at the top of her lungs how she can't put them away, and our oldest boy is in this "sulking phase" (that he may not survive), where his response is "it's going to take FOREVER." Well, I'm a helpful person. Anything left on the floor goes in a box. I like a clean house, this is true, but if I'm putting away things for capable children, it belongs to me :-). Currently sitting in my garage are 3-4 boxes of toys (that I've collected at different times), and I gotta tell yah, it's a BEAUTIFUL thing!! It makes toy putting away more manageable, reminds me why I don't want to buy them anymore toys, and will make for great birthday and Christmas presents! I also have motivated children when their task is taking too long and end up setting a timer until Mom comes through to clean for them. :-)
Now, before you hate me too much, hear me out here. Kids learn better when they're younger, they're less "set in their ways" and easier to mold. Sticking in and teaching them good behaviors now and responsibility for their things is going to be way easier now then waiting until they're teens and can't understand why you aren't just doing things for them, or why leaving things wherever they want like before and reclaiming it later doesn't work. My kids have their own spaces and make a good "kid" mess on a daily bases. That's fine with me! Cleaning up after is part of the fun! However, I notice they respect things a lot more. They don't just go around breaking their toys... which is what other kids that come over and do to our things, but that's another story and not one I revisit often since "play dates" are so low on my list of this to do it's basically nonexistent.
I also think you shouldn't hate me because I genuinely do try to support other mom's by saying "you've got a lot going on right now etc." Like I said after every move is when chaos enters the Jorgensen home, (it's just that I want to pull my hair out when people say that to me). lol. Also, I don't think you can deny that a clean floor is a HUGE deal. I like seeing my floor, it's pretty, and I like knowing that when my kids go running around they aren't trudging through a bunch of junk, dirt, papers that should be in the trash etc. Especially if you have an infant... clean floors are important to their health and safety!
Okay, so, now you know my quirk... making a home of kids look like kids don't live here. *laugh* They are happy and adjusted, but I think that's a lot because they have boundaries... they don't get to just run amuck. We can all enjoy sitting in the living room and comfortably read and "read" books, I get to come home from being out and just relax without having to run a laundry list of things to do through my head, and without clutter/toys in every room messes are few and we can just have fun!
To each his own, but I'm a better mom and wife for not having to be the sole cleaner and taking care of everyone else's junk. We also love that we can have people in at a moment's notice and they can feel at home and not overwhelmed by junk too.... it happens quite frequently here! Our family has grown exponentially in the last month and I'm glad we can offer hospitality to those that frequent us while living life as usual! :-)