"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
May 31, 2012
Household Organization
by Hannah Bird

I love the subject of household management. I find it fascinating. I could talk about it for hours. I have books and little notes and even a planner. I go over them every now and then, like an archaeologist examining treasured relics to determine the nature of a culture long gone from the earth. I read and re-read. I shuffle and discuss.

Because I have no idea what it all means. Group like things together? Seriously? If I thought in groups of like things, work with me here, they would already be together. Yeah.

It's like writing a map to a different country in a language that I don't speak. You know where I put things? Down. Just touch things once? No problem. I'll put it down. It will be lost. I will never touch it again. Can I count that as a success? But I keep assembling those darn tools just like the idiot tourist who just keeps talking louder and louder as if volume was the universal translator. Power through.

But the idea that befuddles me the most is, "Do a little bit every day." How is that going to help? You know how much I can see of my bedroom floor? A little bit. I don't think five minutes a day is going to get it done unless I set 2024 as the ETA for this project. And I have a really short attention span.

I have an alternate plan I put into use whenever I get too crazed. It's called, "Wildly Overreact." The basic theory is that if doing a little bit of planned action every day is good, doing a whole bunch of random things all at once in the most chaotic way possible is better. There's probably a mathematical formula that expresses it. I'm pretty sure it involves fractions.

I have also discovered the joys of child labor. Truly, nothing makes me feel more confident of victory in the trash wars than the sight of my numerous progeny armed with garbage sacks trading hours of backbreaking labor for some cake. Betty Crocker is the only reason I have ever seen any part of my floor.

So that is how I found myself barricaded out of my bedroom. Because if you haven't cleaned up anything for months, the most rational course of action is to assign a child to each room and have them get everything out of that room that doesn't belong. That's why I buy hefty sacks in bulk.

As I sat there, barred from my bedroom by the hefty bag moat, I made the same deal with myself that I always make. "We will never do this again."

The problem with making deals with myself is that one of me is saying, "Now promise that we shall never, ever do this again." But the other part of me is saying "Yes, yes, I couldn't agree more, we should have something chocolatey right about now." And it's always that second one that decides that the whole house has to be clean right now and the best way to do that is assign a kid to each room and hand out the Hefty sacks.

I hate her and I'm beginning to think she's the reason we're fat and it isn't really just a food allergy like she says.

One week later I have mostly removed the evidence of my latest folly. I only slept on the couch one night. So am I doing a little every day? Are you kidding? I am exhausted and I have to conserve my energy for the next time I am beguiled by a fresh roll of trash bags.


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About Hannah Bird

I am me. I live at my house with my husband and kids. Mostly because I have found that people get really touchy if you try to live at their house. Even after you explain that their towels are fluffier and none of the cheddar in their fridge is green.

I teach Relief Society and most of the sisters in the ward are still nice enough to come.

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