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Katy England Katy England
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edge staff writer


Take back the house

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I've never been the most organized person in the world, and I never will be. My house will never be look like a curated museum, with gleaming floors and dewdrop dishes. I'm cool with that, truly. I just want you to know where I'm coming from when I say I'm taking back my house. I'm not a neat-freak, I'm not a germaphobe, and I live well within the realm of my own reality.

That being said, I'm bringing the beast under control. When I had triplets it was like organizational boot camp. Organized people have less of a learning curve than slobs like me. Suddenly, I had to develop and stick to a schedule and though it came naturally to stick to the schedule for the kids, I was giving my own life the short shrift. That's what I'm taking back.

Now, Lent is upon us, and I find this religious observance to be the perfect time to try to engage in new habits. And though 'taking back the house' may not at face value seem to be giving something up, I know that sacrifices will be made to get where I want. What do I want? I want my bedroom back.

I want my bedroom to not be the place where all the extra clutter goes when people visit. I want my bedroom to be able to fit all my clothes even if that means I have to go to unload a bunch on a thrift store. I want my room be a good example for my kids, so when I ask them to clean their own room they have a decent point of reference and I'm not such a hypocrite. Mostly, I want my room to be a relaxing environment soothing and restful after a stressful day. A sanctuary of order and coziness, where my nice things are displayed, and my favorite books are housed. And mama is going to get what she wants.

I have a plan. You see, one of the biggest obstacles in cleaning on a large scale is the kids. You have to be in the general vicinity of the children in order to at least prevent a few catastrophes (or at least mitigate hos catastrophic things can get). This typically means being on the same floor, if not the same room (depending on how often they are hitting each other). Since my room is not on the same plane of existence as the kids most days, that means I need to strategize. Nap times, early morning, after bedtime - those are my times to shine (figuratively and literally). I dub that 'big project' time.

Little maintenance stuff will still be done during my on-hours while the kids are up (dishes, swapping out laundry, more dishes, sweeping, trying to remove dried-up milk from all of the places the kids have hidden it and so on). One of the best things that has come up since the kids became mobile is they're inclination to help. Sure, they are quite bad at it, but they want it. Spilled your milk? Have a paper towel wipe it up and throw it away. Mama is sweeping, want to help? Go nuts, but try not to bean your sister with the broom handle. No seriously, don't hit her with it. Fine, I'll sweep; here's another paper towel.

The plan is also to not just have a one-time cleaning gig and forget about it. It doesn't work. There's too much going on on any given day. So part of the plan is to keep planning. Hopefully, 40 days and 40 nights will help me build a decent habit and keep it up long after Easter. It's going to be worth it. I can feel it.


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