Something is seriously wrong with me.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said those words here before, but this time it’s really and seriously true.

How is it that a 30 year old college graduate, wife and mother of three does not know how to clean her house? What is the DEAL? The girls have been with my parents for a few days, so during the day, it’s just been me and the baby. I wanted to take advantage of the time without all the kids here to clean up a bit…you know, without distractions. But guess what? Turns out I AM the distraction.

Yesterday I go to the girls room and I’m cleaning: emptying the toy basket onto the floor and sorting out purses from wigs, Barbie shoes from baby doll clothes…you know, cleaning. I start to notice groups of things that go together. Like these baby dolls.
Look at them. None of them have clothes (except the littlest one upon which I took pity. Is it normal that my girls only UNdress the dolls?) As I continued to clean, I saw another grouping take shape.
I felt like I was doing something, making progress. Grouping like things with like things. Until I realized maybe this isn’t really cleaning. Did I change a sheet? No I did not. Did I windex anything? No I did not. Did I vacuum? Of course I did not vacuum.

I sorted. I organized. I rearranged. This is not cleaning, people. It is a component of cleaning, I know. But this is a problem, a compulsion to have all things that match be put together, a disorder of ordering. Instead of changing sheets, I took photos of naked baby dolls in a pile. Worse, after I took the photo, I stuffed all the dolls in a cabinet in disarray to get them out of the way. At least they were all in one place. What is wrong with me? That is what kids do when mom says “clean your room”. That is not what mom does when cleaning kids room.

I have another problem. I have heard of people who clean one. room. at. a time. How is this to be done?
I start here and almost get the bed almost made. But then I remember Oh yeah. I need to finish adding towels to this.
Then, I walk right by this.
…and turn my head the other way. On my way back to my room to finish the bed, I see this:
So guess what I did? You’re lookin’ at it.

Everything I’ve read about housekeeping talks about routines. What is that word? I think it is important, but I’m not sure how to have one. I did FlyLady for a while. She talks about baby steps and starting with keeping your sink clean and shiny. That worked for a while. Until it didn’t anymore (as you can clearly see).

So there you have it. I like to sort. I like to organize. And I really like to have clean clothes and clean dishes but I’m not so crazy about actually cleaning them. I would love to hear from anyone who has a routine and actually follows it. Because truth is, I really do sort of enjoy keeping house…I just want it to work for me and not against me. Any ideas?