Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Epic Family Room Clean Up

I have a confession to make.

I hate to clean.

There; I've said it. The truth is out, and I never have to hide from it again.

Before you judge me, know that I'm a master at straightening. In fact, I've got tidying up down to a science. Admittedly, it's a coping mechanism for lazy people who hate housework, but it works for a while.

When I'm expecting visitors, however, I usually cave and give the whole place a thorough cleaning (OK, maybe just the main floor).

That's how the Epic Family Room Clean Up began. All I really intended to do was put some things away, dust, vacuum, and spray a little Windex on the glass. It was easy and systematic, and though I started at 10 pm, I was more than confident I'd be done in half an hour.

Hours after I began the task, I was still at step one: putting things away.

There was just so much of it. Somehow, for months, I'd been stashing trash, knick knacks, games, cords, papers, office supplies, and a myriad of what-nots in this one neglected room, without even noticing the build-up.

Finally, when the path was nearly clear of all that stuff, I began to tackle the task of dusting. Again--it was a much, much larger project than I'd assumed. Vacuuming and Windexing didn't go quickly, either.

Four hours after the Epic Family Room Clean Up had begun, it ended. The place was hardly recognizable. Shelves were actually housing books. Cords of various lengths with uses unknown were tucked away, together, in a cupboard, instead of being strewn about on the floor. A couple of stains were even removed from the carpet.

When it was all said and done, I thought about the dirty room vs. the improved version, and the similarities in our marriage. Reconstructing us had begun with a simple plan, as well. A little dusting off of those wedding vows, a couple of dates, maybe a talk or too with a counselor. No big deal; all we were after was a more tidy place to put our relationship.

We quickly learned the rooms in our hearts needed far more work. All our stuff had to be claimed, taken care of, put away or thrown out. Some of the baggage just doesn't belong here anymore.

There was a lot of cleaning up to be done, too, and we'll have to work hard to maintain it. Chemicals aren't necessary, but it takes quite a bit of elbow grease and time. Reconstructing us involves a total commitment; no more dirty little secrets hiding in our house.