Household Rant

I know I am not alone in this: there are things that drive me crazy about the current state of my house. Things that make me so internally berserk that I have stuffed them deep into my toe joints just to make a pass through my house tolerable. Okay, maybe I like to pretend that I’ve actually let them go, but that would be a minor fib. Because, I mean SHIT O. Deer does it piss me off that my garden is still not put to bed and it’s the first week of November. And the hot tub– it’s like the most important room in our house (a family full of back injuries, afterall), it’s been broken for a year and a half, all for a simple, inexpensive, repair job which requires a board being unscrewed…and there it sits. There’s probably a dead racoon floating in it for all I know. But for some reason, that board goes unscrewed, and I’m damn handy with a Makita. What’s my problem??? Oh, and while I’m at it. Why do I tolerate mouse turds on my kitchen counter every morning? Why do I have a sponge that I designate The Mouse Turd Picker Upper sponge, and not call an exterminator to find the actual nest? Why do I just sometimes remember to set traps? Anyone wanna come over for dinner now? Ugh. And then there’s the mudroom. Are mudrooms actually supposed to be as truly muddy as ours is? Like mud from a few seasons ago? And should they contain a cat bed for a cat who disappeared uh– last spring? Again, it’s Novemeber. The cat is coyote food. Throw away his bed. You’re allergic to it anyway. Get rid of it. Sylvester Putty Tat be dead. Deep sigh. It’s giving me a near coronary episode just writing this, but there’s a point and I’m getting to it. Just hang on a second. Also, my office is a mess. There are paper piles all over it. Business receipts and random notes to myself that I can’t decipher but they say PRIORITY and Amazon boxes full of old photos that need homes in lovingly put together photo albums and and and. Isn’t there something called OFFICE MAX? And isn’t there one 15 miles from my very office, where I sit, ranting, sucking the oxygen from the universe with socks that don’t match and an inside out bathrobe? Considering pouring wine into my tea mug at eleven am because not only do I have no idea where my newest working copy of my novel is at the moment, but my computer is telling me that it may have a tropical viral infection, and my microwave is making a sound so weird that I’m pretty sure it’s going to burn a hole through my brain the next time I push Start, and there’s a pack rat living on my front porch, AGAIN (little untrappable fuckers), and I’m afraid to look under my bed, but there’s a certain smell and I’m pretty sure it involves food and a kid and a slumber party that occured when I was on the road promoting my book. That’s what I’m getting to: this house needs a mommy. Six months of being on and off but pretty much on the road is not working. I need to stay put. Welcome summer– oh shit– that’s right, it’s actually winter that’s upon us. How did I lose a season or two?

DEEEEEEEEEP Breath. Do you ever feel like this? Please tell me I’m not alone.

I need to put the garden to bed. That’s where I need to start. I need to write down the top three things that are driving me crazy and check them off. I need to stop passing by them and being overwhelmed. I need to look at them piece meal. Call the exterminator. Easy enough. Find my gardening shears and go out there and spend an hour. Maybe I won’t get the whole thing done, but I can do half, right? Half would be okay, yes? Feel me? What is driving you crazy about your house? Is it easy enough to fix? What won’t cost you a dime but will gain you sanity? Maybe start with a load of laundry. Not the whole Mount Saint Laundry. Just socks. Or maybe don’t do socks. Just find a box and throw the socks in it and grab a Sharpy and write: Sock Box. That’s what I’m talking about. Getting shit done. Solutions. We’ll see how it goes around here, but this girl has a weekend in front of her, and it’s gonna be all about un-driving myself crazy. The end.


Filed under Motherhood, My Posts

28 Responses to Household Rant

  1. Jen

    Oh, sister, I hear you and I’m humming along. One thing leads to another and suddenly I’m drowning in stuff and piles and paper. I used to be so organized, and am retentively organized about certain things. I have systems for some things, and am relentless about many things. Yet, everywhere I look there are a hundred things that aren’t under control. I don’t know how to keep up with the current days and also tackle all the backlog! I don’t sleep as it is, lol!

  2. Bonnie

    1. large cup of caffeine
    2. make a list that goes by section, put garden to bed, put away tools, wheelbarrow
    3. start in one corner, don’t look at the other things until you finish that one corner with the projects in it and then move to another corner.

    I am dealing with exactly the same make me crazy house issues you are, the garden is 90% put to bed, excess went to compost at the dump, then I finished the remaining 3 windowsills from my 3 year ago renovation, then I trimmed and painted the bar, 2 years in the doing, now I am finishing the steps to my downstairs room to be my office which has been a garage for tools and growing plants for 5 years.

    Deep breath, start with #1

    • lauramunson

      Ah but yours is the most beautiful garden in town, Bonnie! At least you can claim that! When I turned my perennial bed into a vegetable garden, the whole neighborhood of noxious weeds had a literal field day. So somewhere there were carrots and chard, but mostly wild snapdragons… Will have another cup of tea. Come on over! We can ignore my garden together and sit on the front porch in the rain. Thanks! ox Laura

  3. kim (munsey) klock

    We all have these Laura. I am also a huggge paper-piler, which drives my hubby crazy. :)

    • lauramunson

      I have a family member who will remain nameless who accepts this about herself. She just throws a table cloth over her kitchen desk and voila– no clutter. I love that about her. Thanks for sharing, Kim. May you and your piles have a lovely weekend. yrs. Laura

  4. Oh my gosh yes. I kept looking at the container where I keep the stuff to be carried out to the compost pile thinking I would take it out. First I didn’t because of the yellow jackets that lived too close to the pile. Then I started to think it would be too gross to open the lid on the container. Then it just became a science thing. How many shades of brown could it turn?

    I finally threw the whole thing out without removing the lid. That whole process took about 4 months.

    The shame. The ecological and personal shame.

    • lauramunson

      Lisa that is SO something I would do. Made me chuckle. I’ve got bags and bags of magazines and catalogues and wine bottles and aluminum cans in the back of my truck to take to recycling, and have I done it??? NO. It’s been months and I just ignore it all. Maybe that’s what a Surburban is for. A gas-guzzling mid-station between intention and result. Sometimes it’s just about the intention. Your compost pile, and all. yrs. Laura

  5. The first thought that came to me is how your book was about an unorganized marriage-how things felt so out of control and how you learned to breathe and stay in your “it’s all inside” Italy and such. I think there are similarities. Sometimes my house is so chaotic and I have to get it under control so I can relax. But I have messy teenagers and furry dogs that just keep making messes. “Can you pleeease pick up the towel off the bathroom floor after a shower!” Next time it won’t be as sticky note nicely put on the mirror but on your nose!” and why can’t my husband who helps organize large IT departments pick up his own laundry and put it away hint hint hint hint OK I’ll do it! grumble grumble But soon my teenagers will be moving on with there lives and there will be no mess to complain about. I talk to widows or women whose husbands have left them for a hotter chick and I look at his piles differently. Chaos is so damn annoying but without it I would not feel so important and feel better when it is in it’s place and all disinfected. So I am going to go vacume up this weekends layer of dog hair and smile.

  6. Patty Viers

    You are so not alone! I read a wonderful book maybe six months ago called “Clutter Busting” by Brooks Palmer. Oh I so highly recommend it. Here’s the thing, though: I was all pumped up after reading it – and did do some uncluttering – - I was even thinking to myself that Yes, this would be my calling to help people unclutter. Ah, only after I was done with my own house, right? I’m not there yet. My main (visible) area is my kitchen counter (and kitchen table) that I let things pile up on. Paradoxically (?) I make sure that my red paperback book “Clutter Busting” is always visibly staring me in the face telling me that I need to re read it to re gain my sense of cleanliness/order/control.
    If you happen to read the book before me – maybe you can help nudge me to do so, too. Thank you for honesty.

    • lauramunson

      Ooo, I’ll have to check that book out. Thanks, Patty. I used to have everything in its right place. I used to be highly organized. And now I find that I’m just organized in certain areas. But man is it hard to look past the unorganized areas. I guess it’s just a matter of what our priorities are. You can’t do it all. Or I guess you could kill yourself trying. I once heard of a woman who got cancer and the first thing she did was stop seperating her utensil drawer. Forks, knives, spoons all just got dumped in together in a mish mash. Love that kind of messing with our left brains. yrs. Laura

  7. wendy


    I have been home for the past six months AND still have clutter! With Sunday papers piling in the bathrooms and living room because “honey don’t throw away the coupons, I’ll get to it later” has never come. I think if I see a great deal on hair color or lipstick I can purchase one more (and use my coupons no less) I will never use and then put it under the bathroom sink. Why do I bother with four kids, a dog, and a husband? Everytime I do the dishes they just keep piling more? Doesn’t anyone know how to load the dishwaher? Then…. inevitably when I finanly decide to mop the kitchen floor “someone” will break a glass, drop the strawberry milk powder, or worse the salt shaker only to have the dog attempt to lick it before I distract the little bugger from wilfully (and happily mind you ) attempt suicide!
    Let’s get started with basics…
    Every morning make your bed. Why mom? I’m only going to sleep in it later? Okay then… shut the door so I don’t have to be reminded on how I waste 2 minutes of my life everyday actually making mine. How about actually hitting the hamper when you toss your clothes and they miss.
    Speaking of bad backs and having to bend down every time to pick up dirty little socks. OHHHHH the sock monster as we call it in our house. I have a friend who only buys the same colored socks so that when he loses one….. he will always have a match! How smart! Why didn’t I think of that? But when you love cashmere and angora and florals and penguins you can’t have only white or balck socks. SORRY… no can do! So they become puppets or mitts for cleaning or better, mitts for washing the dog because let’s face it, wouldn’t we all loved to be bathed in cashmere?
    So Laura….
    You are NOT thee only one and who has time to read a book on how to clean and be oraganized? However I do LOVE Nate and he is been a bit of eye candy and help these past few weeks. Also, my cousin did send me her favorite book from the fly lady. She is a goddess in her own right.
    Hope this helps and thanks for letting me rant as well.
    Good luck withe book and it was wonderful meeting you last month!
    Wendy (:

    • lauramunson

      Ahhhh….another ranting sister. Thank you. Now I’m going back to bed to edit a book, and will happily ignore the dead fly that has been on my rug for two weeks. Maybe I’ll throw a lone, single sock over it. Thanks, Wendy. Great meeting you too! yrs. Laura

  8. Alleluia sister! Wow, so glad I am not alone. I have friends that you walk into their house and it is pristine – stepford wifeville. It KILLS me. I have to run around cleaning just to have the pizza delivered and not be embarrassed. Altho- mostly it is things like curtains that need a new rod, or cat puke that has hardened in a place that isn’t easily seen…. oh, oh here I go!

    • lauramunson

      YOU ARE SO NOT ALONE! Cat puke– once left it on my porch for an entire summer. I used to be Martha Stewart jr. What happened???? I did make that pear torte last night though I blogged about. And homemade chicken soup. I think I’m just realizing what I care about. Yes? yrs. Laura

  9. How about I help you with your house, and you help me with my writing…;-)

    I say this because other than my new California house being the size of a two-car garage, I can’t find anything that bothers me about it. This is because I usually fix those annoying little “disasters” instead of writing.

    I must clean, put things in order, fix everything so it is working because then, and only then can I write. Seriously, though I am getting much better. I am making the writing priority. So, although I do understand the things which frustrate you because I would feel the same if I were gone for awhile, I do admire where it seems you do give priority- your love and talent of writing.

    Your idea of picking the three that most bother you and checking them off- great idea, and I am sure you have checked them off already.

    • lauramunson

      Ahhhh…so interesting, Nikki. Priorities. Writing has always been my safe place. Maybe a clean house has always been yours. I just think it’s helpful to know that we can’t do it all. Maybe blow off that clean house for a while and get to the writing and see how you feel? yrs. Laura

      • You are so right- a clean house has always been my safe place. It comes from childhood chaos. I read, I journaled, I spent time alone- to feel safe, but mostly I cleaned, rearranged furniture, decorated and organized.

        Very interesting…

  10. Janis Schmier

    Yet again you are a woman after my own heart. You see we live in a 50 year old house that has been in various forms of updating since we moved in 4-1/2 years ago. Every project that has been tackled up until this point has paled in comparison to the last one. Prior to then it wasn’t the greatest, but I felt it was home. Since the end of July, I have cried many tears over my house. That was when our Great Remodel started. It began innocently with wanting new carpet in the living room. Then it turned into removing the ugly tumor from and refacing the huge stone fireplace and putting a pellet stove inside. It ultimately turned into a total demolition from below floor level up through the roof. Three months of clouds mortar dust from removing layer after layer of brick, one at a time, filling the city’s dumpster three times to the point where they said not to make it any heavier. Then we figured out how to rebuild a new fireplace to accommodate a gas fireplace featuring a stone exterior with a slate hearth and pine bark beetle-killed pine log mantle. It is an absolutely beautiful feature to our home and brings it up-to-date; one we are taking a great deal of pride in. Now that winter is here (and there is no longer a 3 x 6 foot hole in the roof) it provides an amazing amount of warmth and ambiance.
    But, getting back to your Rant! During this project all of my housekeeping and organizational duties have gone to absolute hell. We have clothes piled everywhere—mostly clean ones, but there are some dirty ones in the piles, too. Bills have gone unpaid just because I can’t find them in the mail that has piled up. There are tools in the kitchen and shoes in the bathroom, not to mention dog and cat hair everywhere. There are still accumulations of mortar dust in everything. The basement is full of unfinished painting projects. We can’t get one car in our double garage, let alone two. I used to pride myself in my organizational capabilities, but no longer. These duties feel overwhelming and undoable. I am feeling overburdened with the sheer amount of stuff in our house. Not the stuff I treasure, but the stuff that is getting in the way of life. It’s a heavy load and I wish that I could make all this peripheral crap go away. I remember the days back when my husband and I first married, we made a point in nearly starting from scratch with very little from each of our former lives. Everything in our brand-new house was “ours.” Everything had its place and it felt great! But over the eight years (and six moves), our house is filled with stuff that we’ve accumulated that no longer has a place. The trouble is: a lot of it is no longer important to me and where I want life to take me.

    • lauramunson

      Ugh. Sorry about the chaos. Sounds like you managed to cross off a BIG one though– a new chimmney, mantle, stove! That’s pretty darn huge, Janis. This summer I wrote down a list of things I actually HAVE accomplished. It’s here on my blog someplace. And it felt really good. Maybe that’s a good place to go with this. Stare into that glowing stove and smile with hubbie. The bills have a way of re-occuring when you don’t pay them, yes, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Hope if felt good to rant a bit. It did me, that’s for sure. The weekend was massively fruitful, actually, once I just started to tackle one little thing at a time. Deep sigh. Thanks for saying hi. yrs. Laura

      • Janis Schmier

        Yes, ranting was good. So was finishing one project and seeing the fruits of all that labor. My plan now is to take your advice and tackle one little thing at a time. I’ve been so busy looking at the big picture, which affected my entire house and life, that I couldn’t look at the small stuff. Even though there is so much more to do, I can relax a bit and accomplish even more one bit at a time. Thanks for listening. Take some time to enjoy the snow.

  11. Reading this blog and the comments has left a big smile on my face! All sounds so familiar. I have just returned to school. I am now gone from early am to dark – sometimes. My house does not look like I live there. It looks like my teenage sons and husband does. I keep breathing, cleaning one thing at a time, and know that it won’t last forever. I will actually miss these messes one day. And even the chaos…

    • lauramunson

      Glad for your big smile, Stephanie. And good for you for going back to school!!! Yes, one thing at a time. I think we’re all in this together– love the chaos. Go slowly. Go gentle. yrs. Laura

  12. I read this post a few days ago and all I can think of is “how smart she is to have a mouse-turd dedicated sponge. I am wasting too many paper towels” That lets you know the state of things in my house. You are so right that we can do it all, just not all at once!

    • lauramunson

      Oh phew! I’m so glad I’m not the only one, Karin. Thanks for letting me know. I never knew just how much Sylvester was earning his keep! Good luck with your sponge. ewwwwww. So gross. Every morning. Even when we catch one. There I am– me and my sponge. yrs. Laura

  13. Adding another “amen sista!” to the chorus. I keep saying “this house is a DISASTER!” and my family says “where?” Crazy making. I’ll also add to the rant with – why is it that no one else notices when we’re almost out of toilet paper or paper towels? We had company for dinner on Sunday, and the 3-old guest comes out of the bathroom saying “Tweeeeeenaaaa…why don’t you have more poop wipes?!” ::sigh::

  14. This is hilarious. And not hilarious at the same time because I know how you feel. But, I do believe you have my pack rat trapper and if you use peanut butter, it truly does trap them. xo- B.

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