Lately I've felt like my shoulders are up in my ears. I feel cramped, overwhelmed, and like the Legos are closing in on me! Everywhere I turn, there is a mess. Of epic proportions, usually. There are papers, books, shoes, socks--I am not kidding that I find 10-20 socks in weird places every single day!--and Legos everywhere, constantly piling up, making me crazy!
I have always been very, very neat. I had a perfectly-picked up bedroom growing up, and clutter makes me cross-eyed. However, I am married to a man who does not have the same bent (He's the baby; I'm the first-born, can you tell?), and his offspring have all taken after him, not me. That means there are four people who thwart my every attempt at order, neatness, and margins! It's not that they mean to; they just simply don't see the messes. On the one hand that's good--Chris has never, ever mentioned that things could use a little picking up. On the other hand, that means I spend a vast amount of my waking hours walking from room to room, picking up and mumbling under my breath about how if somebody would notice things left on the stairs--would close the toilet seats--would not drop books and socks and Legos everywhere . . . I feel like a supreme grump and complainer a lot.
I've tried not caring and just going with the flow. That works really well for about a day, but then when five people don't pick up, the house looks like a bomb has exploded, and I just have more work later on. It doesn't help that four of us are here nearly 24 hours of every day, and that homeschooling brings with it about a million books, markers, papers, and math manipulatives. (Those one-inch colored tiles multiply like Gremlins. I find them everywhere!)
My other response is to tackle the chaos head-on: I buy bins, organizers, binders, calendars, laundry systems. I label things, put little reminders on the inside of the toilet lid (Mod Podged, so tinkles can be wiped off!), and continually dump large loads of stuff at Goodwill.
Nothing is helping. I'm going crazy. At least once a week I just put my head down on our school desk, sigh dramatically, and moan. The schedules, activities, books, socks, and Legos are getting to me! I can't do the obvious: cart off the Legos to Goodwill, make everybody go sockless, quit our activities, or send the kids to school.
So, does anybody have any sage words of advice? Especially on this one: what to do with all the Legos! (We have bins and keep them in an understairs closet across from the boys' room, but they seem to spread like a virus.) Now, if you have two little girls who like to sit and color, your husband was in the Army and still lines up his shoes by color and type, or you have live-in help, I'm not sure you can help me. But if you are outnumbered by boys, have a creative (read: not super neat) husband, and homeschool, please let me in on any little secrets you've come by.
And in the meantime, I'm off to fight the paper mess in the schoolroom . . .