Posts Tagged ‘clutter’

I’ve written before about hubby’s selective vision and his inability to notice even the smallest of details.  And, just last week I mentioned that hubby has a unique ability to ignore even the largest of details (like say, a 5 foot tv box in the hallway….)


But there are a couple of scenarios that repeat themselves over and over at our house and I have to admit… I think I’ll be forever baffled by them.


Today I’d like to highlight 2 of these situations and I’ll simply ask you.  Who’s the crazy one here?




On a regular basis I like to straighten up our house.. (I know, I’m freakin’ crazy like that!!)


One of my regular de-cluttering techniques is to make the rounds throughout the lower level of our house and grab everything that belongs on the upper level.  I then take these items and I place them on one of the stairs.  They then sit on the bottom stairs while they await their final journey to their proper place upstairs.  They are in plain sight and a constant, subtle (yet obvious) reminder for anyone heading upstairs to not head up with empty arms-a-swinging…. Or so I thought.


  • You’d probably assume that the next time hubby goes upstairs he’ll grab a few things to bring them to the bedroom…. BUT…. you’d be wrong.
  • You may therefore assume that the items on the stairs are too tiny to garner attention… BUT…. you’d be wrong.
  • You may also think that the items are possibly so few that they are crammed into a corner of the stairs and are easily avoided when walking upstairs…. BUT…. you’d be wrong!


It actually requires skillful avoidance tactics and deliberate, nimble footwork to ascend the stairs without disturbing these items.  This apparently is a skill hubby has honed without even realizing it.  It’s simply amazing to me how many trips he can make upstairs without carrying or seemingly noticing, the pile of stuff taking up 90% of the first two steps!  It’s a miracle he hasn’t hurt himself trying to step OVER these items to go upstairs!


Just a quick sidebar:  In speaking with others, I’ve heard that this style of “cleaning” is not that uncommon.  Many other women have mentioned that they too, place items on the stairs to carry up at a later time.  The interesting commonality seems to be that almost all men seem to be oblivious to the concept of carrying said items upstairs.    What gives men???




Our laundry room is in the basement.  The basement is also hubby’s man cave.  These 2 pieces of information are very relevant to this story.


It’s not all that uncommon for me to open the door to the basement and toss down items that need to go to the laundry room.  Now, just so you don’t think I’m stripping down naked in the kitchen and tossing down dirty clothes… I don’t toss down just anything.  I only toss down something that needs to be washed that isn’t going into our dirty laundry basket upstairs.  This would include things like kitchen or bathroom hand towels or maybe swimming pool towels.  These items wind up at the bottom of the stairs and they sit there until the next time one of us goes into the basement, when they get moved into the laundry room…… Or so I thought.


Since hubby’s man cave is the basement, he inevitably spends WAY more time down there than I do.  I really only go into the basement to do laundry.   So on any given week, hubby will have been in and out of the basement anywhere from 4-5 times more than me.  And, he must step over and maneuver his way around anything at the bottom of the stairs to get to his video games.  It’s simply mind boggling to me that he can literally step over these towels and never even think to pick them up.


So, one day I go down to the basement to ask hubby a quick question while he’s playing video games.  I get to the bottom of the stairs and lo and behold, what do I see – a pile of towels.  So I say to hubby “Hon, how hard was it to step OVER these towels to get to the couch” and what do you think his response is….. “Ummmm… What towels?”.  Aarrrrrggghhhhh.  So, ever-so-sweetly I respond,  “The towels that are sitting here, at the bottom of the stairs.  The ones that need to go to the laundry room. The ones that created an obstacle for you to get to the video games.” “Oh”  he says, “I didn’t see them”.  Annoyed at how oblivious he is, I turn around and walk upstairs.  Mind you… the towels are still sitting there.


Eventually hubby comes back up and we go about our evening.  A day or two later I head down to do laundry.   I’ll give you a moment to guess what I found……


Yep, you know it, those damn towels are still sitting at the bottom of the stairs.   This means that hubby stepped over them, not just on the way down but ALSO on the way back up, without ever giving one thought to picking them up and moving them.   Maybe just maybe, this has something to do with hubby not realizing that linens are indeed laundry (if you haven’t read that post you can find it here) Or maybe it’s a more basic and universal question:  Why is it that men, many of whom claim that they hate to dance, can swiftly dance their way around anything in the way on the stairs?


I’d venture a guess that 1 out of every 5 or so times, hubby will actually recognize that there are items that need attention.  And while I really do try to celebrate small successes, this one is just to small to warrant celebration!


Ladies…. please share how you’ve successfully “trained” the men in your life to pick up those items on the stairs??  Obviously I could use some suggestions!


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…. all of hubby’s clutter that is…..  But I bet I got your attention!   🙂

I was going to post about something completely different today, perhaps more vacation stories, or about hubby’s “work out” digging holes this past weekend but….. I decided that I would take a moment to solicit a bit of help from all of you.


As you may have previously read if you’ve been following this blog for a while,  hubby’s definition of clean and my definition of clean… do not necessary overlap.


If this statement is not sounding familiar, please take a moment and read this post:  Clean Is Not Always Clean.


Ok, now that you’re back.. as you read that post, maybe you had a few moments where you gasped, or sighed or possibly even chuckled because either:


  1. You can’t believe that hubby could stow away that much crap in his drawer
  2. You wondered why anyone would have that much nasal spray
  3. You have your own secret drawer in your house that looks almost exactly like hubby’s
  4. Or, – and if this is you, I’m sorry – your spouse has a drawer somewhere, that you’re now thinking about opening, but you’re afraid because you are seriously worried about what you might find!


If answer #4 applies to you, I truly feel your pain.


As I mentioned, hubby like to employ the “sweeping method” of cleaning.. meaning if he rids a surface of items (no matter where or how they disappear) the surface is now “clean”.  This method of course, carries no concern about the condition of the area where the items have been “swept into”.  You saw from the drawer that the consequences can be significant.


Why am I rehashing old posts?


Well, it’s because hubby’s closet bears a certain resemblance to his drawer.  Please see my evidence below:



And, more importantly, I have found a possible solution to this issue:

Custom Closet Organization.

Imagine my elation if we could have a storage solution in our closets that would provide “a place for everything”. This way all of hubby’s items would have a designated spot.  I’m sure even hubby could put items away if he felt that there was a special place for all his stuff.


Now, you might be thinking.. but you have a “place” for the recyclables and hubby still puts the soda cans in the sink.  And yes, you’d be correct with that statement.  So, while I’m not certain that custom closets will solve this little marital challenge… I can only hope that it would take us a step closer to a solution!!


So my dear blog readers… I need you all to go forth and find me someone who wants to make over my closets…. FOR FREE!   Yes, I said for free.   Since I can easily make a direct correlation between closet organization and marital harmony, I thought perhaps there’s a company out there who wants to use me as a great example of the benefits of organization??!!!   I’ve even thought of a new slogan…  “Saving marriages one closet at a time??”  No?

Oh well, if you can’t help me out…..hopefully I at least provided you with a little chuckle for the day!


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Ok, I’m about to admit something that is probably common knowledge to those who know me but, I’m about to say it out loud (or, at least, via the internet to a group of unknown blog readers).


I am anal.  I like structure and I’m a bit obsessive. And, everything in my house has a “spot”.  When things are “out of place” is actually causes me stress and I feel the need correct it as quickly as possible or it will literally wear on me until it’s completed.  Now, I’m certainly not Monk, but I like things to be de-cluttered and I like the feeling of being in a clean home that is free of extraneous stuff.


I often find myself walking through my house right behind my dear hubby picking up things he’s put down, to place them “where they belong”.   In our house, you should know that you can’t place anything on a counter expecting that you can go back in an hour and pick it up because, if I’m in one of my clutter-free-moments, it’s likely already been moved.  Some weeks are definitely worse than others. If you’ve caught me during a particularly rough week, where I’ve had a lot of work and I’m feeling exhausted, you may have a shot.  Because, while I can feel my anxiety mounting about the things lying around the house, I’m just too tired to attack them.


But then there are the weeks where stuff’s getting tucked in drawers, moved to the basement, hung in closets in a mad dash to wipe away my stress.  The challenge here is that hubby is not impacted at all by clutter.  He could walk past the same coat hanging on a chair 100 times and not notice it.  He can ignore the crumbs on the counter for days.  He can decide that the appropriate long-term-spot for the drill charger is the kitchen table.


I don’t understand his ability to ignore the stuff around him, but it’s a skill he’s truly mastered.


Then there are the days, where I’ve moved something  to where it belongs  and hubby’s trying to find it where he left it.


One of our most common conversations:


Hubby:  “Hon, I can’t find my keys”

Me: “Where did you leave them?”

Hubby: “Right here on the counter”

Me: “I probably moved them to where they belong”

Hubby: “Oh”

Me: “You do realize that we’ve had a key holder hung on the wall since the day we moved into this house.. right?”

Hubby:  “Yes.”

Me: “How come you never use it?”

Hubby: “I don’t know”


As I mentioned, everything has a place in our house.  And, these are generally not secretive places where I choose to hide things from hubby.  They are designated places, that hubby is aware of, where we put all the keys…  or all the electrical cords…  or the tape measure or the (fill in the blank)…  I could go on and on.  And, I can say with almost certainty, that if it’s missing from it’s designated spot, it’s because hubby was the last one to use it and it never found it’s way back to where it belongs!


If I was running around the house behind hubby moving things to hidden places, I could understand how my obsessive straightening up would be a challenge, but I’m really just placing things where they belong.  So, why oh why, does hubby have such a hard time finding things???  And, he could always choose to put stuff away himself .. which might help him find the things he’s looking for.  But then again, I’ve written about how he can’t even find the items he, himself puts away


Since I’m not sure what the solution is here…. I will continue to clean up my house and move stuff on hubby… and, even though the keys will never be anywhere but the “key spot”, hubby will probably never be able to find them!

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Ok, I’ve never tried this before but I’m going to ask for some reader participation.



There is frequently “reading material” scattered all over my bathroom vanity

It’s not uncommon to see a Maxim or Sports Illustrated magazine opened on the countertop.



I wake up and enter the bathroom to shower.

There is a Calvin & Hobbes book opened on the bathroom counter (in the midst of other clutter)



Do you stop what you are doing to read the Calvin & Hobbes book or…..

Do you completely ignore it and grumble about hubby always leaving crap lying around the bathroom?


Like many men, hubby likes to (ahem) read in the bathroom… books, magazines etc.  It’s actually pretty common for him to leave whatever he was reading most recently on the counter next to the sink.  I love it when he does this as there’s always something easy to grab when I need to smack him in the head for leaving crap lying around to clutter the already too small bathroom… but I digress….


So one evening not long ago, hubby says to me.. “Did you see that cartoon I left for you?”

Me:  “The cartoon you left for me??  Where?”

Hubby:  “The Calvin & Hobbes one”

Me:  “Huh?”

Hubby: “I left the Calvin & Hobbes book open in the bathroom, I thought you’d like the cartoon”

Me: “And, how exactly would I know this?”

Hubby: “I left it right on the sink opened to the page.. don’t you go in there every day?

Me: “Yes, I do go in there every day… and every day I wonder why you’ve left some sort of reading material on the sink”

Hubby: “How could you not see it?”

Me:  “I did see it.  I saw that you left a book and it was open.. but I didn’t get the telepathic note that I was supposed to read it”

Hubby: “I thought you’d think it was funny”

Me:  “Ok, that’s great but how would I know that the open Calvin & Hobbes book is different than oh say, the open magazine with the article about Jessica Biel?”

Hubby:  “It was open to the page, I figured you’d read it while you were getting ready”

Me:  “Honestly, I had no idea I was supposed to read it”

Hubby: “I don’t understand..”

Me: “Well, I guess that makes two of us…..”


And yet again, another wonderful display of our stellar communication skills at work!   Hubby’s heart was in the right place, but so much was lost in translation!


By the way.. this was the cartoon he was trying to share with me… and, you know what?   Hubby was right….. I do think it’s friggin’ funny! 

What do you think??? Maybe it was a subliminal message from hubby that he needs one too??


So, my dear blog readers… help me settle a debate.
Without having any idea which direction this vote may go, please let me know….

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