Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crisis Clean

Last month, when the weather was still warm and winter was oh so far away, I somewhat rashly volunteered to hold cold weather homeschool park days at my house, not realizing that my regrettable impulse toward hospitality meant that I would have to excavate our basement playroom.  You see, normally, we manage to use that room as is - the neighborhood kids are used to the flotsam and jetsam that ends up down there, and they are all old enough not to get hurt by the shop vac, say, that somehow ended up next to the exercise bike or by the piles of construction materials that Larry pulled out of the basement (guest room) shower because his sister was coming to visit.

Look, I never said I liked living this way, okay?

But park day - that meant numerous kids, ages 3 and up, visiting our far-from-childproofed basement playroom.  Aside from the public humiliation I'd experience should I leave everything where it was, there was also the possibility of liability lawsuits to consider.  So Friday morning the kids and I got to work.

Quite frankly, it was a horrendous experience - I mean, who knew there could be that many shards of plastic Easter eggs embedded in any one carpet?  And the pencils! Apparently, the basement is where all the pencils go to hide the minute the kids sit down to do any schoolwork. But the girls worked hard, putting away stray game pieces (SO MANY GAME PIECES), fitting all the games into the cabinet so that it would actually close (this is a Tetris-like puzzle, actually, that is quite difficult to solve), and neatening the bookshelves so that they didn't look as if a tornado had just hit them.

Brian did himself proud, also, hauling the 2x4's and panels of extra insulation and drywall back into the basement shower (shut up), while David hustled around, moving all sorts of myriad painting supplies and the shop vac I didn't even know we owned back into the laundry room whence they came. In the meantime, I labored over piles (PILES) of Larry's books which had been displaced from a bookshelf I gave to Anna months ago; I thought I had already managed to find homes for all of them, but apparently I was living a lie.

People, my basement looks so good right now.  And no one got hurt last Friday, when everyone showed up to play.  And, because I had to clean up and childproof the main floor for any babies who might be at park day, my house is almost all ready for Bunko tomorrow night.  I call that a win-win-win scenario.

But this question lingers in my brain - do any of you have to work this hard just to have people over? Or are we just hopeless slobs, as I have theorized before?

14 comments:

  1. You and I are not the slobs. It's our families. We can't beat back the sloppiness when so many are working against us. That's what I tell myself at least. We'll find out if it's true when all the kids have moved out.
    Crisis cleaning is a thing most of us do. Although your description of putting everything back in the guest bathroom made me guffaw. :)

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  2. Every person multiplies the mass. Plus, all normal people have STUFF. You are totally normal--and lucky you have a clean up crew to help you.

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  3. You should take a photo. Seriously.

    I don't think I could possibly prepare any room in my house to host toddlers. Bravo to you and your team for Getting The Job Done. I had my younger daughter clean our 'game room' (which has become the Storage Room for Old Relatives' Stuff) so that some teenagers can stay there over Thanksgiving. She did a good job, but I am afraid that if I open the closet, game pieces will come flying out at me.

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  4. Always, my house is so small there is no where to put things so it's always a struggle to straighten up for company. Plus I have to defur the furniture.

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    Replies
    1. Well, now you know - you can dump things in the shower. I'll bet you never heard THAT from Heloise!

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  5. I may or may not have had to relocate items from a bathtub during a recent visit by my grandson, and said items will so be re-relocated back to the bathtub to make room in the closet for hiding Christmas gifts. I wish I was making this up.

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  6. You volunteered to host toddlers AND Bunco??! You are miles and miles ahead of me. No one is coming over here til Christmas Eve and I really should get started now.

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  7. We to suffer from CHAOS Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. We have many boxes from cleaning out the in laws 2 houses that have not gotten sorted yet. They have been in my house for 4+ years. I am trying to get rid of the mess/papers, but hubby and the kids work against me.

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  8. We try to have people over once every couple of months to prevent us from descending into complete squalor. And we don't even have kids!

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    1. Exactly - it's all about squalor-avoidance. Thank you.

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  9. You are perfectly normal (or I'm abby-normal with you). Crisis cleaning works well with younger helpers, but I have to keep my husband away from MY stuff, lest he decide it all needs to be elsewhere... I'd never find it again!

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  10. I have items in the bathtub right now...leftover from having the carpets cleaned but if college son comes home for Christmas I'm going to have to move them.

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  11. We have lots of places to hide things in our house, so when company comes I stuff stuff in a closet or...under my bed. But the garage is another story. I was so excited that the hubby cleaned out his "studio" (really just a sort of walled-off portion of the garage), but the excitement faded when he just took everything out of his studio and left it in the garage...6 months ago. So no, WE are not slobs, THEY are. They being hubby and kids. But congrats on having a clean basement!

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