Monday, November 29, 2010
Room of Doom
Either way, they were gone. I was sure I could handle it myself. I have two big strapping children and a helpful husband, right?
Now, looking back, I want to kick myself with this insane thinking. Husband was once in the mindset that a cleaning crew was necessary our existence. I mean, he had one before I met him! Before I fired them Husband had no idea that wives actually could clean houses. Now? No longer.
So that leads me to this week and the Hannukah party I'm having here on Sunday. And the absolute ruin I live in.
Since I can't really handle all the mess in all the rooms at once, I've worked out a method over these last two years of being the housecleaner. I call it Room by Room, similar to Anne LaMott's Bird by Bird. I only tackle one room at a time. I don't get sidetracked. And one caveat: once I'm done with that particular room, Bar Mitzvahzilla and Daughter aren't allowed to walk into it again until the party is over. Even if it's, like, their bathroom and there are three days till the party. Go to the neighbor's house.
Now I know I've got five days still but right now our house is basically a tear down and I need to use my time wisely. So I plan to start with the rooms no one uses at all, like the dining room, my art room (haven't used that in awhile), the den (where I can easily clean around Bar Mitzvahzilla sitting frozen staring at the TV screen with only his thumbs moving on his Xbox controller), and my office (thank goodness for my months-long writer's block!)
The rooms we really live in - the family room and kitchen - I have to treat carefully. I can't completely move the kids out, right? And once they're cleaned I don't want to be chasing the kids around and watching each cookie crumb fall to the floor with a wild-eyed look in my eye. So I'll hold off on that and use the kids wisely. Have them do their own rooms. I'll assign chores to them that will be done badly, all in a mad, crazed dash to get to whatever's been promised them in return for those chores.
Then, in one last herculean effort, I'll unclutter the rest of the house and move every last piece of remaining junk, by putting it all into my bedroom - the Room of Doom. Then I'll blockade the door so no one can get in there.
When I greet my guests on Sunday night, our house will look like a house that actual human beings live in. I'll demur when the few people who've never seen the house before ask for a tour that includes my bedroom (Sorry! It's kind of messy right now!) and then wait for the inevitable outcome of the Hannukah party: a destroyed house. Wrapping paper everywhere, food sloshed and dropped, ground into the floors, babies running and drooling.
And then I'll clean it again. Maybe in time for next Hannukah.
Do you clean just to let things get messed up again or leave them messy and clean afterwards? Do you have a method for cleaning? Do you have cleaning people or do it yourself? Ever have one "Room of Doom" where everything bad is hidden?