Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tip O' Me Hat To: The Happy Housewife and Her Itch to Pitch

If you've never heard of The Happy Housewife or visited her blog, now is the time to do so. Especially if you've got a messy room or two that is in desperate need of organization. She is a SAHM home-schooling mom & Navy wife of 16 years with 7 (yes, 7!) children ranging in age from a few months to 14 yrs. The Happy Housewife recently started a series called Itch to Pitch. She's a lot like me, in that a messy house = a disaster for a wife. When the clutter starts piling up, I get sick to my stomach, nervous, anxious, irritable, and stressed-out to the point that I can't stand it. And then I'm so distresssed that I can't even start to clean up the disaster area because my motivation goes right out the door.

It gets really bad when hubs goes on the warpath and remodels a room...a slow process we started when we moved into & bought the house nearly 7 years ago. We've been working on one room at a time, literally from floor to ceiling. We are currently on our 2nd remodel of the dining room (the 1st didn't turn out quite as we expected, so we "tolerated" it until a few months ago when hubs got the "itch to remodel." So when it's remodel time, it tends to be pile-up clutter time too. The whole house. Not just the room that's being redone.

Our worst room is currently the kids' room. With them being only 2 1/2 and 5 years of age, it's not reasonable to expect them to be perfect at keeping a clean room. But I'm partly to blame for slacking off and not helping them out. My son will "clean" his room about once every couple of months. He does it on his own without any prompting, but his version of cleaning is to throw all the toys into a giant heap on the closet floor.

Like this:

Note that there are two toy boxes inside the closet (difficult to see because they are in the back corners behind the doors) and the toys still end up on the closet floor, not in the toy boxes. I can't get mad or upset at my son for his version of "cleaning up" because it is a sincere effort and he's always so pleased with the results and excited about showing me what a big boy he is each time he cleans. My goal right now is to steer him in the direction of putting toys into the toy boxes and books on the bookshelf, and to do so in a manner that is encouraging to him. The last thing I want is for him to feel like his version is not good enough.

Here's the rest of the bedroom. We had an indoor camping night that lasted more like a week, and now the tent is still sitting in the middle of the room--not where it belongs, of course.

And, sadly, here's another view...
I am quite embarrassed about how the kids' room is looking right now. I promise you that it's never been this bad. But between the remodel of the dining room, our son in baseball (he has only one game left, hooray!!!) and everything else that's been going on the last couple weeks, it has been extremely difficult to keep up with the day-to-day household chores. I've tried to stick to the bare minimum--dishes, laundry, and bathroom--and not worried too much about things like putting away toys.

But it can't stay this way forever. It can't even stay this way for another week. So I've got the Itch to Pitch and will be participating in The Happy Housewife's campaign to de-clutter. I'll be spending a little bit of each evening for the next week or so (or however long it takes) and will be creating "keep", "sell" and "pitch" piles, starting with the kids' room.

Thank you, Happy Housewife, for helping me get my motivation back!


  1. I have been reading (and trying to be inspired) by various blogs that have home organization ideas. My two kiddos rooms often become a disaster, too (sometimes within hours of us just having cleaned it). We have a daily chore chart for Emily now that we check off at the end of the night and one of her chores is picking up her room. We check off everything at the end of the night and she gets "paid" (10 cents per job) at the end of the week. It has made her feel much more accountable for helping to keep her room clean because in the past, seriously...it has been a disaster! I'm going to check out the Happy Housewife site, too :)

  2. Hi Melissa! I think you'll really enjoy The Happy Housewife. She amazes me with her organization skills. I guess she has to be organized, since she has 7 kids! I think you'll also enjoy her "Our Story" series. Really, really engrossing! Just like reading a novel, except it's a true story. I can't wait until her next post because I'm hanging by a thread right now. You'll understand when you read them. :)

    She has a few posts about "a day in the life of..." and describes a typical day in her family's house, incuding home schooling & so forth. It's really helped to inspire me to get motivated. I've let things slack off so badly the last month or two. Not good!

    We've got chore charts for the kids, but we've been so busy since we bought them that we've not been able to fill them out! One of these days...eventually everything on my "to do" list will get checked off. :)


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