Have you ever heard of Sisyphus?
He’s a poor sap from Greek mythology who was condemned to a life of rolling a boulder up a hill almost to the top, only to have it come rolling down again. The term “Sisyphean task” was named after him, referring to a job that seems impossible to complete.
I will assume that the person who coined this term was a homeowner with a spouse and growing children.
The holidays are, at least for me, a perfectly good excuse to accomplish something I’m always meaning to do: de-cluttering and reorganizing my house. Sounds simple enough, I’m sure, but don’t be fooled, it’s a challenge to my sanity, since I am the only person in the house who shares that goal.
The children are willfully blind and think everything is perfectly fine. “What are you cleaning; you just cleaned the whole house yesterday!” They don’t see what I see. They can dig through a cluttered media shelf to look for a disc and it doesn’t bother them a single bit that they’re not stacked neatly (like they used to be, for the record). And though my husband is great to clean, you’d never know it from the slew of disorganized tools downstairs – next to, under, and on top of the fancy tool box we bought him a few birthdays ago. I could hyperventilate just thinking about it.
I don’t mean that to sound like we live in filth, as we surely do not. I’m not talking about dirt on the floors or piles of laundry, what I mean is the “one of these days” stuff. I’m talking about a toy room that needs to be rid of all the toys for five-year-olds, since none of those live here anymore. I’m talking sorting through all the cleats to see which ones fit and which ones don’t. I’m talking cleaning off the computer desk to organize all the papers that need to be filed in my cabinet.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I have to go through every bedroom closet to determine what fits and what can be discarded, and then go through the discarded pile and decide what can be thrown away and what can go to the consignment shop, instead. Then I have to go through my youngest son’s “It’ll Fit Someday” drawer, to see if he’s grown into anything yet, and move it from that drawer to one of the regular drawers.
Then I have to go through the hall closet and organize the rotation of winter and summer clothing, making sure all the summer garb is on clothing racks in the basement (behind the seasonal transition wear), and also making sure to restock the hats/mitts bin at the top of the closet. Because the snow is coming and there is nothing worse than racing around in the morning five minutes before the bus is due with, “Mom! I can’t find any gloves!” ringing in your ear, am I right, moms?
Then it’ll be the basement’s turn. All the boxes of holiday decorations have to be repacked and restacked. The clothing and shoe racks have to be reorganized. All the “I don’t need this but it’s too good to throw out” items for that yard sale I’m never going to have, have to be donated or thrown out or otherwise dealt with, so I don’t have to stare at them anymore.
The linen closet needs to be contended with. Old sheets and comforters need to be thrown out or cut up for rags, and the rest needs to be refolded. Maybe even rewashed to freshen it up.
Next up: the kitchen. Before I even get to cleaning out the fridge and deep cleaning the oven and the dishwasher, I first have to organize all the pots and pans and anything else in the cupboards under the counter. And that’s not even including the china cabinet, which, at present, holds just about every single thing in the world other than china.
The cupboard under the vanity in the main bathroom could definitely use a good purge, as could the countertop where all manner of hair/skin/shaving product have taken over.
Sadly, I could fill about nine weeks’ worth of overdue housekeeping projects into this column, but I think you get the point. And now, with Christmas fast approaching,
I’m on a crusade. It’s fix-up time or bust.
Wish me luck, I’m goin’ in.