Organized v/s Clean

I’ve never claimed to be a clean person. I don’t fret that my carpets are stained or that my baseboards might be dirty. I don’t have to wash my sheets regularly (or ever). I don’t need to scrub the tub (I do scrub toilets, however) or the sink. I don’t care about dog slobber on windows or hairballs on floors.

But if my counters are cluttered? I can’t go to sleep at night.

Well. I might be able to go to sleep, but knowing they’re cluttered will make me wake up at 3am so I can make sure they’re clean before I leave for work.

My point? Clutter does not last on my counters more than 24 hours.

The “trick” everyone tells you to keeping your house “clean” when it’s on the market is to have baskets/buckets/drawers where you basically hide everything. Places the kids can throw things so that they can clean up after themselves quickly. Places where you can put things that might normally have spots out in the open (like pen jars, I’m not allowed to have pen jars anywhere other than my desk) now have to be hidden. All of this makes it easy to keep the house ready for a showing, BUT IT MAKES A PERSON WHO NEEDS ORDER DOWNRIGHT CRAZY.

There are now “junk” drawers in every room. I HATE JUNK DRAWERS. The kids now have baskets in several places to throw the miscellany they get out or accumulate throughout the days. I HATE BASKETS OF DETRITUS. While it makes it so that my house looks “clean” at a moment’s notice, it makes the organizer in me totally insane.

I have been REALLY tired lately as my schedule and my stress are keeping me at about a 6-hour-a-night sleep maximum and I’ve documented that I go insane without 8 hours of sleep regularly. I almost dozed off driving home from work yesterday. I have no problem going to sleep at night (I feel asleep before 8pm last night) but once my body gets a “reasonable” amount of sleep (usually 4-6 hours) then I’m awake for the day. This means I’m up anywhere from 1am to 4am, depending on when I fell asleep and whether my mind decides to give me 4 hours or 6 hours. (NEVER 8. NEVER EVER 8 HOURS. I even took drugs to help sleep the other night and still, 5.5 hours is all I got.)

ANYWAY. So, this “morning” my body/mind woke up at 1am since I had the GALL to fall asleep by 8pm. FIVE HOURS! TIME TO GO!

So, I took the time to tackles some of those clutter baskets that have been making me CRAZY since we started selling our house.

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These were the places where the kids stash papers/art/school stuff when they’re done with it or when they’ve needed to clean out their backpacks. One area is in the kitchen, one is in Nikki’s room. I spent two hours this morning going through all of that stuff (including backpacks since school is out) and organized it (or re-organized it since it was, at one point, organized) and labeled it and I think I’m going to tell them if they can’t keep it in some constant order all summer, no one gets new school supplies. BECAUSE WE HAVE ENOUGH TO SUPPLY A SMALL SCHOOL.

And that’s even AFTER I created 1 whole garbage bag of broken/useless clutter from the baskets and piles.


And while I know today is going to suck royal donkey balls because I basically woke up at 1am, I’m glad I can at least breath easier knowing some of the hidden chaos in our house has been organized. Maybe that knowledge will help me sleep as late as, I don’t know, 4 am tomorrow?

A girl can dream.


  • Alli

    Confession: We have boxes in our garage from our move in 2010 labeled “Clutter.” Have I gone through them? Nope. Will I? Maybe, one day. I’ll let you know.

  • Bobbie

    Have you tried forcing yourself to stay up later (I’m a night owl so it’s easy for me to say)? I can’t imagine being up for the day at 1 a.m.!

  • Karen

    I spent about 30-45 minutes this morning going through all my makeup bags (thank you, Ipsy) to separate all the items according to purpose (lips, eyes, face, etc.) I now have several empty bags (can you say “gift bags”?) and a plan for a small drawer system to store them on my bathroom counter. No more digging for what I’m looking for. Maybe I’ll actually wear more makeup now.

    Now, if someone would come help me do the kitchen and office…

  • Leisa

    I have the opposite sleep problem – I can’t get to sleep at a decent hour, but have no problem sleeping for 8 hrs once I am asleep. So when you are waking up, I’m probably just getting in bed.

    For the clean vs organized – I can’t stand visible dirt or clutter. Both really stress me out.

    We moved recently and a lot of the unpacking involved taking stuff from a box and shoving it somewhere. My husband doesn’t care if it’s cluttered as long as he doesn’t have to look at it. I am slowing making my way through closets and under sinks to purge and get some order in place.