Scattered, smothered, and covered

Posted: June 17, 2008 in Family, Perspective

Though that is normally my favorite way to order hash browns at Waffle House, what that phrase more aptly describes is my house.  Yikes.  Stuff scatterered, smothering, and covering just about every square inch.  We nibble away at the mess little by little every day, but simply cannot keep up with it.  Dirty dishes, dirty laundry, kids’ toys, church stuff, mail, electronic cables/controllers/remotes, shoes, soda cans (did I just use the word “soda?” as a southerner?), plastic grocery bags, and on and on and on.

But rather than doing the same old thing we always do (and getting the same results we always get), my wife and I are going to start – today – a massive cleaning project that will hopefully help us out, and an even more massive change in our habits so we can get it clean and keep it clean.

What needs to change:

  1. Too much crap.  We simply have too much stuff that’s cluttering up everything.  College text books, clothes we haven’t “fit” into in 10 years, toys that Kailyn and Z have both outgrown, enough shoes to wear one pair a day and not have to wear the same pair again for a month, a cabinet full of VHS tapes that are obsolete, stuff from as far back as college that we keep for “sentimental” value – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.  So we’re in “sell it/donate it/THROW IT AWAY” mode.  Heck, having a clean house alone would be more valuable than any particular item’s monetary value.
  2. Too much laziness.  Laziness is the worst habit in the world.  And it’s a sin (that’s what is the scariest thing about it).  Most of our mess could be “maintained,” at least, if we would get off our butts and clean it up, regardless of how we “feel” or what kind of a day we’ve had.  Even if the laziness kicks in for just one night, the mess quickly snowballs.
  3. Kids learn their habits from their parents’ habits.  My kids are messy because mom and dad are messy.  Why would they put their toys away if mom and dad don’t put their toys away?  Hmmm… 

I’ve hated living with an on-again/off-again mess for the bulk of my life, but I haven’t been truly sick of it until now.  Like any sin, it won’t change until you hate it as much as good hates it.  And the more I think about it, being messy is really a frightening testimony to how self-absorbed I am.  Regardless of my wife’s things and my kids’ things,  I’ve collected too much stuff for me.  I’ve been too lazy to clean it up.  I’ve  held onto things I presume are too valuable to throw those things away and make life easier for my family (and myself).  I’ve set the example of laziness for my kids.  This is the same “me”-absorption that has caused me to gain weight and get out of shape.  It’s the same “me”-absorption that creates things like debt and poor time management.


I also know that sin loves company, so I know others out there have struggled with this.  Any suggestions? 

  1. Anne says:

    Go here right now. Click on fly zones on the left of the screen. Each week you have a zone in your house you focus on. If you click on “Kelly’s Missions”, you will get a daily list of what to clean in that zone. It works. It’s all about baby steps. Don’t get overwhelmed! If you’re like me, you’ll hang out at this website for quite a while. She’s got great ideas. I’m going to start doing this again. It will really make you feel much better about things & get you motivated.

    “Soda”……surely you didn’t say that.


  2. Jason says:

    he’s a half yankee Anne. brother i am praying for you….

  3. Well, I did sorta marry into Yankee-ness. On the bright side, Stacey’s family laughs at her ever-increasing southern accent – so I guess that influence swings both ways. Woohoo!

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