Wednesday, 26 September 2012

It Will Hit the Trash Can

Put it away or it hits the trashcan!

I say that a lot at my house. The other day I cleaned my big kitchen counter. We have a large kitchen, and it has two counters but the main worktop is one of those L-shaped counters. The downside to having this type of counter is the corner, especially if cabinets are over it. Everyone throws tosses, dumps, stores, etc., his or her garbage there.

I call it garbage because their stuff doesn’t belong on the counter or even in the kitchen—and most of it was junk! It took me two hours to sort, toss, and put away the crap on this counter. Wrappers, toys, nail polish, jewelry, pens, pencils, old school work, and just plain ol’ garbage that the family was too lazy to put in the trash can.

Why is it so difficult to file or put something away? Seriously, you just take it to where you got it and put back. If it’s trash, you just walk to the trash can and toss it in.

Simple, right?


My seven year old has no clue what a trash can is, and my youngest dau believes the coffee table IS a garbage pail. The hubby thinks the floor by his chair against the wall is for EVERYTHING.

And the space between my writing chair and the wall has everyone’s stuff crammed in there.

Hang on a minute. That is MY area. Why is everyone else's crap in MY area? I don't go in my son's room (that is a post all unto itself. At the moment I'm considering putting a sign up on his door that states "Danger: Hard hat must be worn at all times") and dump all my things in there. I don't go upstairs and throw all my stuff in my dau's room nor do I store or pitch all my belongings in the hubby's area either.

So why is the space behind my writing chair filled with items that belongs to everyone else in the house???

And yes, I chew everyone out over this problem, but it goes in one ear and out the other.

I’ve finally told both kids and the hubs that if I keep picking it up and putting it away OR I have to keep telling them to clean up their “garbage” areas, I will throw their stuff away—and I don’t care what it is!

The youngest--except for his room--and the hubby are doing better, but not a lot. The dau...oy! She has the attention span of a gnat, but that’s a teenager for you.

When I strike it rich, I’m hiring a maid! With my luck I'll find all her stuff behind my chair too!


chastityrose said...

Amen! I definitely think you should get a maid. One of those tough types that walk around with a stick and speak a foreign language so everybody's scared of her!

Your problem is universal though. Every house seems to have that clutter problem.

Except my mother in law. She wouldn't even allow books in her house in great quantities and they HAD to be on the shelf at all times. Nobody was allowed to sit on a bed. All dishes had to be washed immediately after a meal and I think she checked the bathroom garbage can 4 times a day, and knew exactly what you'd thrown in there. LOL You could find her underneath her dining room table dusting the legs and supports. Yikes! I wish I was so motivated and dedicated!

Good luck with your house!

Faith said...

Hi Lisa! So cool you stopped by! :-D

I don't see how someone can do that if they have a big family. It seems like the only way to keep a house super clean is if it's just a couple who live there. All of my children have moved out but two and I'm still struggling to keep the clutter at a minimum to dust, sweep, etc. And cleaning table legs, etc., happens maybe once a year.

Taryn Kincaid said...

OMG. Could you please drop by my place and help me? I cannot throw anything out. Especially if it is a piece of paper and has writing on it. Typed. Longhand. It doesn't matter. I live amid piles of utter crap. I may be a closet hoarder. I'm always thinking: Hey, I may need this some day. Then, when some day comes, I can't ever find it.

Jessica Subject said...

LOL Yes, we have this problem at my house, too. Just cleaned the entire kitchen on Sunday, and I'm hoping it stays clean for longer. Everything tends to get tossed on our portable dishwasher, or wherever there's an empty surface. Daughter is the worst, especially right after school. She tosses her stuff everywhere on the way in the door, and I'm constantly after her to put everything away. With her room, my hubby and I do go in with garbage bags to get rid of all the paper that somehow collects in there.

My office though is away from the hustle and bustle, so it only has my stuff, and some other things that belong in the spare room. And that stuff is only in there because the spare room is our room right now while DH is renovating our bedroom. And that's another story. LOL

Good luck with keeping your space neat!

Faith said...

You sound like my husband, Taryn, lol. He is the exact same way!

Jessica, my youngest daughter always brings a garbage bag of trash down from her room when she finally gives it a good cleaning. It appalls me that she lives up there with Poptart boxes, old magazines, etc. My bdrm room is cluttered, but it's mainly clothes because we don't have any storage room in it and not even enough room for an extra dresser for the clothes.

Jaime Samms said...

About thirteen years ago, my husband built me the most beautiful eight foot long harvest table. It's about...well, eight feet to long for the space it occupies in our house, but because he made it, and it's made from pine, so it breaks the scars of our life as a family, we refuse to be appropriate and get a small, round four person dining table that space should have.

The downside? Eight feet of table hold really a lot of junk and stuff. After all this time, it still amazes me how fast it fills to capacity and beyond. Most days, there isn't even enough space to sit and eat a bowl of cereal, never mind all four of us sitting down to dinner together....

Jaime Samms said...

Chastity rose....Faith.....people clean table legs?????? Really? *bewildered*

Faith said...

I know what you mean, Jaime. I really do. The clutter and garbage that lands on the kitchen table drives me crazy. The hubby is responsible for half of it, the two kids for 40% of the other half, and 10% of it is mine, BUT after a day or two I clean my stuff up or throw it away, especially since most of what I set on it is mail for the hubby to go through.

That same table has two large leaves that goes in it. It came with the house, so when we first moved in, it didn't take long for me to realize that it was gonna be a catch-all not to mention it took up half the kitchen. I removed the leaves and now the table sits against one wall still collecting the same amount of debris it did when it was full size. ((sigh))

Faith said...

Yeah, I do it because we live by a gravel road. You wouldn't believe the amount of dust that turns into thick dirt on the nooks and crannies of chair and table legs, especially if it sits by a door and window like ours does.

LKF said...

Wow, can I relate.My children are grown, and on their own. My kitchen now stays clean and the laundry actually makes it in the hamper, instead of the floor beside it. I found time to write once the last one moved out because I had more time, I wasn't constantly picking up someone elses stuff. But when I get sad they return and its like they never left. My son and daughter came home at the same time. Her stuff ended up in the dining room and his suitcase was dropped on the love seat, now they still have rooms of their own. But instead of taking their stuff there, they rooted through their bags where they landed the whole time they were home. My house looked like a tornado ran through it for two weeks. So they might move out, and keep a clean apartment but when they come home their stuff is everywhere. I asked them why they did that and my son told me it was because he was home. So old habits never die. :)

Faith said...

I had a similar conversation with the oldest daughter. I asked her why she would mention her and the kids would be down after they ate lunch or supper and then would walk in our house and go straight to the fridge or to the counter or stovetop where I had food out. How can you possibly be hungry so soon?

She said it's because everything at home tastes better, lol.

Dawn Chandler said...

My husband and I have 7 children between us and five that were living with us. It was a hectic mess most of the time, even with the rule, if it is yours it goes in your room, there were still piles of everyones stuff everywhere. Now the two youngest are living with their mom and two are in college. There are three living at the house and you would think that because they are adults (two of which work for the family trucking business and one who is disabled) they would pick up after themselves. Rod and I are on the road in the semi most of the time and when we come home there is usually piles of stuff on the counters and the table. I have thrown stuff away before. After the third time I have to tell them to pick up the same thing, well it goes in the garbage. If they want it, they know where to find it. They are starting to get the idea and things are no where near as bad as when all five were living with us (three teenagers and two almost teens who all thought they were adults). Now my writing area is off limits to everyone so there stuff is not there. I have enough of a mess with papers and folders and notebooks and notes and binders and....well you get the idea. I am lucky most of the time if I can see the top of my desk. I get so excited and clean it and file it and organize it and then....I don't know what happens. I think it explodes.

Jude Mason said...


I lived with that problem for years. Everything had it's place, on the floor, on the counter tops, under the table, on the table, behind my chair, under my desk...well, you get the idea. I ranted and cursed and was at my wits end until one day I told the entire family that if it kept up, I was going to through everything that wasn't put away, in the trash.

I didn't go quite that far, but I did put everything in trash bags. Every two or three days, I'd grab a bag and do the rounds. When the house was clear, I'd add a twist tie and stick the usually full trash bag in the garage.

It didn't take long for the family to notice they were running low on stuff. I reminded them of my rant and how I'd told them all I'd had it and was tossing it all in the garbage.

Well, you could have heard a pin drop. That was before the explosion. I just stood there with my arms across my chest and waited for the uproar to wind down.

I didn't tell them where anything was that day. I let them all stew and moan about the things they'd lost. I just kept reminding them about my rant and how I was fed up with picking up their crap.

Well, two days later I relented. They got their stuff back and for about a month afterward all went well. Then it began again.

So, I sat em all down and told em, I'd been kind the first time. Then I asked them if they'd like to try for not so kind.

The lesson was repeated a few times. Quite a few actually. Some things did get tossed out, but I really was that fed up.

Yup, I'm one very mean mom. But, when they left home, the places they moved to were tidy. LOL

Faith said...

Dawn and Jude, I've actually bagged and tossed things, too. Trouble is I don't have the funds to replace some things, lol. Although those get put away where only I have access to them for a very long time. My youngest was lost without his Monster Trucks, but now he's better about putting them away than he was before. He gets a li'l leeway since he is only 7.

Jaime Samms said...

Oh no! No leeway here! My youngest is nine, and we started him young. It's a slippery slope to chaos. Okay, granted, we sort of failed, because he still leaves his stuff everywhere and has no clue about cleaning up after himself...hmmm...maybe we need a new strategy....or a box of Glad hefty bags

Faith said...

Well, I gotta admit that Wee Man broke my heart over it. He seldom cries, but losing his Monster Trucks for a while really upset him. After a coupla days, he got them back.

Anthology Authors said...

I told Lily's friends that if they didn't start putting their snack wrappers in the trash, they were no longer welcome to eat here period. Lily is good about throwing away her trash. Putting her stuff away? Not so much. We have three or four pairs of her shoes lying around the house (not in her room). We were unable to find her ballet shoes today. They are somewhere in the mess she calls a room. I cleaned the dining room table off. She thinks it's her personal suppository for her books/coloring/crayons/crap. (sigh) She does have enough toys that if we threw a few away, she'd probably not notice for months.

Yeah, the clutter drives me nuts. One of these days...

Faith said...

Ugh, my youngest dau is terrible about the shoes thing, too. I threw four pairs of shoes up the stairs to her bdrm door the other day: a pair of slip-ons, two pairs of flip-flops, and a pair of sneakers.

Valerie Mann said...

We have a bar in our kitchen that is a catch all for mail, papers, keys, school work, you name it. If something is lost, that's where I tell people to look first. The other spot where crap gets thrown is my bedroom. It's a first-floor master, and since I rarely go upstairs to the "DANGER KIDS LIVE HERE!" zone, I tend to stick whatever I don't feel like dragging upstairs in my room and shut the door. Otherwise I go upstairs and want to either cry, gnash my teeth or throw up in my mouth.

Faith said...

LOL, I feel the same way every time I see the areas I am always sorting through.