Boxes on Counters and Warm Woolen Undies

Empties on counters and wrappers beneath me
Dull, crusted skillets and Wet Wipes on Wheaties
O’erflowing garbages dumping on me
These aren’t a few of my favorite things.

What is so difficult about cleaning up? Did I put the recycling bin all the way out the door that’s three feet away? Do you assume your hot cocoa mix dust will evaporate? Will dishes wash themselves?

I get it. -Especially when you tell me.

“I don’t want to.” “I didn’t do it.” “I don’t feel like it.” “I’ll do it after _____________.” “There’s no mess!”



One time I asked the other adult in the house, “Why do you leave the empty cereal boxes on the counter when you use them?”

“So you know we need to buy more,” he answered.

know when we’re out of cereal. The kids tell me. The empty pantry shelf tells me. Heck, he could simply tell me. He could also go buy more. My less-than-tactful suggestion of where he can shove the cereal box when he forgets to take it all the way to recycling doesn’t give me the result I really want.

And so, as usual, cleaning up the house is me relocating junk. Their junk. It could have been done at the time of deposit, but that would have actually required effort.


One time, the other adult in the house asked me, “Why do you keep all the dishes in the sink? They would be easier to clean if you rinsed them off and stacked them. Or, you could put them right into the dishwasher.”

“They’re there so I remember to wash them. I’ll load everything later tonight,” I lie. Later tonight will see me fighting to stay awake while telling children to get back in bed (repeatedly). Those dishes will finally get washed when (A) visitors come over, (B) we run out of even the backup utensils, or (C) he finally gets fed up with the state of the kitchen and capitulates.

It works. The poor man just doesn’t understand my system.

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