Every Wednesday morning sees a phenomenal amount of housework being undertaken in our house. Please don’t let me given you the wrong impression – I am not a domestic goddess with a strict cleaning schedule and an immaculate house, oh no, I am a domestic slattern, and the only reason I tidy deal with my household chores on a Wednesday is that I have no choice.
As you know I have 4 children who, because of shared residence, spend 7 days out of 14 with myself and the other 7 days with their father. Whilst I miss them dreadfully when they’re not here, it does allow me time to focus on my work and attend craft events. However, what it also allows me to do is to create an almighty mess around the house without any pressure to tidy it away.
We live in a small Victorian house with only 2 bedrooms and when the children are here Richard and I sleep in the lounge; the moment the children leave to spend time with their father, the boys’ room switches to being our bedroom and from that point on, virtually all housework is forgotten. The lounge reverts to being a lounge or, more accurately, my workroom: Richard is used to returning home from work to find the floor and every available seating space covered in fabrics (no exaggeration) and is very tolerant as he sees the begrudging look pass over my face as I reluctantly move one or two things to allow him just enough space to sit down.
I would waste precious minutes clearing any of this away at the end of the day, so I don’t.
But then Wednesday arrives! Every Wednesday after school the children come home to us here, which means that I have to tidy up so that there will, quite literally, be space for them to move around the house. It’s always a bit of a shock to see quite how much mess has accumulated in just a matter of days: the lounge awash with half finished sewing projects, the weekend’s craft stall displays and associated paraphernalia still in the dining room, the children’s rooms littered with discarded clothing and toys, and in the hallway a laundry monster of epic proportions.
My routine for tackling the mess is:
1. Tidy lounge;
2. Put away craft fair stock;
3. Switch “our” room back for the boys;
4. Attempt to tidy the girls’ room;
5. Clean the bathroom and kitchen and restock the kitchen cupboards;
6. Tackle the laundry monster.
The laundry monster is always left until last and has been known to spill over in Thursday, Friday and even the weekend.
I realise that if I was this efficient every day then I wouldn’t have such a mammoth task every Wednesday, but that’s just not my style: too much time and I simply won’t do anything, not until the very last minute.
It was whilst in the middle of one such manic clear up this morning that I realised just how unobservant it was possible for a person to be…… I had tidied and reorganised the lounge, swept the floor with a dustpan and brush to rid it of the pieces of thread left over from sewing, and was standing looking out of the window whilst folding the ironing. Incidentally, you may have spotted the ironing doesn’t feature on my Wednesday morning To Do list: Richard does all the ironing…..I know, wonderful isn’t he?! :). Anyway, I was looking at my car parked outside and it dawned on me that I still had to replace the seats which had been taken out the day before and stored temporarily in the lounge. It was only then that I realised the seats were no longer in the lounge. I had been in and out of the room at least a dozen times that morning; I had even been down on my hands and knees sweeping the floor and yet had failed to notice that 4 bulky, space consuming seats had already gone, having been re-installed in the car before I had even woken up!
How is it possible that I didn’t notice they’d gone???
From now on I will have more sympathy for my children when they report that they absolutely, definitely can’t find something, even though it is staring them in the face!