Cleaning, Managing Life's Stuff

The Easy Mess Versus the Hard Mess

Our weekend was busier than normal. A rare (for us) burst of social commitments combined with the normal chaos of kid sports and activities and errands had us pitstopping at the house just long enough to dump gear, change clothes, eat, and sleep. Oh, and the kids had some window long enough to dump out every bead and pompom in the art box, scatter the Shopkins collection, and recreate the Battle of Verdun with army men in the basement. Come Monday morning, we had a mess. 

It was the kind of mess that elicits a heavy sigh and takes some effort and time to clean up, but that doesn’t really bother me. It doesn’t bother me because it is an easy mess. Or lots of easy messes piled on top of one another.

What is an easy mess? Something that isn’t hard to clean up because you know where everything goes. The shoes and dirty clothes and sport gear all have homes. The clothes that piled up in my bathroom and bedroom chair can simply go back into the closet or drawers. The kids toys (with a bit of yelling and nagging from me) will go back into bins and onto shelves. It’s Tuesday and we’re not quite there yet, but it’s getting done.

If there is an easy mess, then there must be its evil twin the hard mess. What is a hard mess? A hard mess is the kind you stare at without knowing where to begin, but knowing that there are tough decisions to make and lots of steps involved.

My toughest mess right now is in a basement bathroom that was roughed out in a recent renovation, but not finished because patience and budgets had already been exhausted. I have a handful of college friends coming my way in June to attend our class reunion. I’d sure like to have that bathroom ready by then, but the first step is clearing out all of the stuff that has been shoved in there over the last two years.

If it were a simple matter or donating or throwing out, that would be an easy hour, but it’s not an easy hour. There is the bin of old electronics to sort through, including two video cameras that have footage of our first two kids as babies on them. The cameras were long ago replaced by smart phones, but I need to rescue those videos. Once those cameras are cleared out, they can go in the with the pile of electronics that need to go in for recycling. Another stop is needed for the paint cans and batteries and the lightbulbs that need a hazardous disposal site. Then there are the spare tiles and grout from another bathroom project that it’s surely wise to save, but I don’t know where to store them. There is the light fixture that I ordered and loved, but didn’t fit in the space I initially had in mind for it. You get the idea.

The goal here at Bright Blue Weather is to get through the hard messes. If you’re just down to the easy messes, you have half of the housekeeping battle won. I’m going in after my hard mess this week. Where are yours?