There’s a story about a wife who got the urge to clean out and organize one day. Drawer after drawer, shelf after shelf, closet after closet, she pulled it all out and purged all day long. Pile after pile, bag after bag she gutted. She became so engrossed with her task, the kids were left to their own devices, left to fend for and feed themselves. They were sloshing copious amounts of cereal all over the kitchen when the husband came home and drank in the disastrous scene before him. He called out to his wife, “What in the world have you been doing all day?”


Things have to get worse before they get better. That’s the theory anyway. But it seems so unfair that my house is messier now than what it was not 24 hours ago before we took a big load of miscellaneous stuff to the thrift store.

Yesterday my husband and I got the clean out bug and finally dove into the recesses of our closets, drawers, shelves and toy chests and purged.

Among other things, I finally got rid of that skirt that was just a half inch too short I was always tugging at, he let go of shirts he courted me in, and the kids “made room for Santa.” But by the end of the day, after the big thrift store drop-off, we all sort of petered out and now I’m living in a world of piles. There’s the “see if you can get this stain out” pile. The “I’ve been looking for this, please have it dry cleaned” pile and the “needs mending” pile. Not to mention our “undecided” piles.

Then there are all the toys the kids rediscovered on their journey to the center of the toy chest that have now taken over three separate rooms. They have been so delighted to be reunited with forgotten birthday presents and missing in action figures, their reunions can’t seem to stay confined to the playroom.

I’ve been so busy “cleaning” that the kitchen has become a mess. Cereal is indeed everywhere and I’m all out of clean spoons.

The logical law of physics would tell me my house would feel lighter with an entire minivan full of “junk” out of the way, but it doesn’t. In fact, this feels more like a post-op experience. Like we’ve just cut out a huge section of clutter from our system and now we are convalescing, dizzily trying to resume our residential version of homeostasis.

If only sipping Sprite and watching TV all day would help to solve the problem. I’d better take two aspirin and conquer it in the morning.