I rage cleaned today. Well, ok, it started as rage cleaning and relaxed slightly into stress cleaning.
I have been feeling overwhelmed this week by All The Things I have going on in my life right now: homeschooling two little ones, co-parenting them and two teenagers, my job, renovating a house, caring for animals…oh, and a global pandemic.
This week I have been walking through the house doing things and it seems like every place my eyes land, I see something that needs doing. That pile of laundry needs to be folded. That dust needs to be vacuumed. Those clothes need to be sorted for donation. That room needs to be cleaned and organized. That bill needs to be paid. Those toys need to be put away. That project needs attention. Those apples need to be made into things.
(My therapist reminds me that what I’m dealing with is, in fact, A Lot of Stuff and that it’s ok if I let some things go. It’s ok, she says, if the apples I haven’t made into applesauce or anything else end up in the compost. She is, of course, Wrong.)
So today I lost it. I got some age-appropriate back-talk from one of the boys and BOOM, ragey mama showed up and started cleaning. And by cleaning, I mean gathering all toys and children’s things not in their proper place, dumping them in boxes and bins and putting them away in the storage room.
I know I should have approached it in a better way. I have been meaning to do a toy purge, and I understand a lot of the mess is because there are too many toys and because of the renovating they don’t all have a place and…it felt really good. So much clutter, GONE, in ten minutes. And I haven’t hear one single peep about it yet, so maybe they were also feeling stressed by the stuff.
With the toys and major clutter cleared, and the boys dressed and moved outside to play, I was free to put my leftover anxious stress energy to work and tackle one room for a thorough cleaning. I removed items that had literally been sitting in there since we moved in last December. I washed walls which had grown mildew over the summer (pro tip: white vinegar works better for this than bleach). I used baking soda on the couch which had started to smell musty with all the humidity. I vacuumed and dusted and did a whole lot of sneezing.
And, oh. It looks soooo much better. It’s not totally done, but that’s to be expected during a renovation. Now, though, it’s a place my eyes and brain can rest. I can sit on the couch. There is space, and light, and emptiness. It is relaxing.
Someday, hopefully, our whole house will be like this.
Until then, one room at a time, one task at a time, one hurdle at a time.
And maybe next time, with a little less rage.