I hate housework. I really do. I keep thinking it will come to the point that I enjoy it, find it soothing, blah blah blah. No. I just hate it.
Especially the dining room. Seriously. It is the bane of my existence. It will not stay clean. Last week, I spent four hours - four hours! - just sorting through the CRAP piled on the table and tall cupboard.... That FOUR HOURS didn't even include the stuff on the floor or sweeping and mopping. It was the recent crap, like junk mail and schoolwork, and two-months-old crap that I had stashed in a box when we were having company over back in June. Part of the reason it took so long is because (with the exception of filing old bills) I put everything where it belongs.
But seriously. The dining room. I could spend an hour cleaning just that room every day. Ugh. EVERYTHING ends up in that room. It's the crossroads of any activity in the house. To get to any other room, you have to go through the dining room. Besides eating there, it's also our schoolroom, office, and craft room (and kind of our back porch as well). Our most-used door to the outside is there (even though I'm trying to change that). Dirt, food, pets, toys, clothes (the socks!), shoes, schoolwork, mail, dishes, blankets, hats, baby bouncy seat and/or exersaucer, laundry baskets, burp rags, shopping bags, to-be-returned things, my purse, the diaper bag..... GAAAH! And that's just from one day. (Keep in mind this is not a large room - maybe 20x12?) I try to get the boys and Paul to put things away, but apparently this concept doesn't compute in the male mind. Stashing it somewhere or shoving it to the side, for me to put away later doesn't help me at all, and in fact, makes me grouchy. And I'll admit: it's my own things laying around, too. (Especially the shoes.....)
I'm trying something new...... It's called the "touch it once" policy. If I pick something up off the floor or table, instead of stashing it, I go put it away. This is not the most convenient, as anyone with kids knows, to go put something away when breaking up a fight or soothing a fussy baby, but it does help my sanity at the end of the day. I don't always manage to get stuff put away right away, but I'm getting better. And I'm trying to instill it in the others that live here - but as I said, it's not computing, and just coming off as ungrateful nagging and "Mommy's mean." I don't get it completely clean every day, but at least the pile doesn't grow every day.
Please tell me that this is "just a stage" - that it gets better as the kids get older! How do you train your kids in orderliness? Not just the "how to" but the "want to." I don't need the room to be shining every day, just not buried under clutter.
Now I need to go finish it up before bed.