When it comes to keeping our house tidy, my husband and I both seem to be laboring under the impression that some mysterious third party will float along behind us and pick up the things we leave behind. Lately we've managed to keep the kitchen semi-presentable by virtue of never eating at home, but the rest of the house is strictly off limits to company unless we have at least a couple of hours to prepare. Thank goodness we have someone who cleans twice a month; otherwise, our house would be messy and filthy both.
Our big, annual effort to keep the mess under control involves hiring a gigantic trash container to be placed beside the driveway for a week. We set aside an entire weekend and just start hauling junk out of the house and dumping it in.
You'd think that a 2-and-a-half bedroom house would not hold enough junk to require ever-larger dumpsters to clean it out every year. However, that would be underestimating our ability to set aside giant piles of detritus for a whole year, always with the thought, "We'll put it out on big trash pickup day."
We mean to put it out on the first Monday of the month when our trash service will theoretically take just about anything you leave for them. However, we have an unfortunate tendency to forget about big trash pickup day until 11:30 p.m. on Sunday when we're already shoeless, pajama-clad and sleepy. We'll say, "That's okay, we'll put it out next month." Eventually we require the big dumpster.
I'm ordering the trash container for this weekend, so I'm working to get other chores out of the way before it arrives. So far I'm on my second load of laundry out of, oh, maybe 20. Something in our basement is giving me uncontrollable sneezing fits (probably the dirty laundry itself), so you can imagine that I'm really looking forward to the rest of that project.
We have no illusions that we'll ever be able to keep our house straightened up, even with the yearly purges. It's all about maintenance and fleeting moments of presentableness. Still, I'm looking forward to being able to walk across our office/studio room after we've cleared a path this time. It seems like a worthy and reasonable goal.