Mess free

I am often more than a little envious looking at magazines or pictures of other people with kids' homes that do not seem to have the trail of kids passing through that my house often does.

Now we do live in a regular size home, built in the 30s it is not the spacious McMansion of today, but I swear no matter what I seem to do, what I ask them to do they leave a trail.

So how do people do it ?  I mean I put away things all the time but the amount of paper they come home with is bit overwhelming, I try and go through it within a day but that is one small pile that seems to shrink only until they return from school -  why does the school feel the need to send me everything these kids no longer need ? I mean I know I try and stay on top of them by reviewing homework but I am not reading every worksheet done in class.

They are past the point of playing with toys but somehow cards, like deck of, seem to be everywhere.  There are Pokemon, playing, FIFA, Football cards and though they are placed in little ziploc baggie somehow at night they come out and poof one is left behind like a calling card for me to wonder how it happened.

Then there are books - books that in the progress of being read - left open because unlike cards bookmarks disappear never to be seen again, I have suggested using errant cards as bookmarks but got the strangest looks.  There are books that are started and not well liked so they languish in one place in the living room until I put them away on weekends, there are finished books that get put on coffee tables no matter no how often I point out that the bookcase and shelf designated for read books is only a foot or two from said coffee table.

Pencils that somehow seem to leave a trail as if it is evidence left behind so I know work was done.  They put 3 away and leave out 2 -- why ?

There are socks hidden in places from my lovely younger child who loves to take his off and instead of using one of two options, take upstairs to hamper or take downstairs to laundry room, prefers to hide at least one of them as he is walking around.  This has led to some serious arguments and it stops for a while but he has a weird little obsession with doing this.

Do other people have this problem or am I only one that wakes up earlier to straighten up even the places they swore they straightened before ?  Are others living in those magazine perfect rooms while I battle clutter daily?

I remember my own apartment before children it was neat, bed made, small space, everything put away couch cushions set before I left the house.  I have not seen it like that for more than a few hours in here, beds do get made every day though, in years.  Yet I also know that my apartment did not hold the funny conversations that my kids choose to follow me around house with leaving a pencil here and a book there while they are animatedly telling me a story.  I did not have those little feet of my sons rubbing mine to get some warmth.  There were no books with stories from the Weird but True series that now resides ready to pass along the next bit of info that is read.  I am working on getting them mess free but maybe a little mess and less magazine pictorial is not so bad when it comes with such great kids.

Our house is clean and somewhat organized before I leave daily and while I would love to have a better system at times I have also come to accept that having kids and taking the time to listen to those stories is more important to me than stopping them and just cleaning up all the time.


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