Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Struggle with Entropy

Photo by Stuart Miles

For the most part, I have no beef with the natural laws.  I mean, gravity and I get into it every once in a while, but we tend to just keep a healthy distance and respect each other.

Entropy, on the other hand… entropy is my mortal enemy.  I do battle with it on a regular basis.  Sometimes I emerge victorious and you get several pictures of how nice the house looks, other times I take a break.  As soon as I do, that sly little bitch sneaks in and invokes chaos when I’m not even looking.  Then I take a peek around and wonder what happened to my nice clean kitchen.

How do people do it?  Without constantly cleaning, day and night, how do their homes stay neat?  How does entropy stay beaten back?  I’ve tried a number of schedules to get both the housework and my writing work done and caught up, but one or the other always seems to suffer. Limited number of hours in the day and all that.   My most recent attempt has been taking 15 minutes at the top of every hour to clean up, but I never seem to get any further than a load each of laundry and dishes and maybe the kitchen counter get cleaned up.  And the next day, that same area is trashed again.

It doesn’t help that the kids go behind me actively undoing everything I’ve done.  Plenty of systems are out there, but they never seem to take MY life into account.  The problem is that the people who developed these systems (think Flylady) now have lives that completely revolve around these systems.  Keeping their homes clean is actually their job; they are quite literally being paid to pick up!  I think the Flylady system started out really practical, but it’s gotten completely out of hand.  Her website is (ironically) a cluttered mess, her emails primarily pitches for her products, and don’t get me started on her philosophy (I’ll bitch about nobody helping me as much as I damn well want to, lady).

This blog is essentially about the steps I am taking to get organized and get my life in gear.  It started out just being about the financial aspect of that, but over time it has emerged into something larger.  Getting organized really seems to be at the heart of it.  And there is actually a financial aspect to this as well.  Being organized will save me money and allow me more time to get my work done – I’m sure of it.  But getting to that point is costing me a fortune in time. 

So here’s what I want to know:  How do you do it?  How do you keep up the house AND keep up with your work?   What are your tips for me?  How can I make this work?  


  1. I do feel like I'm constantly cleaning. Between housework, errands, and shuttling kids around, I have little time left for anything else, and I STILL have to bring in help every couple of weeks, because I never manage to get as far as floors and bathrooms. Paper clutter is a constant battle, and I'm currently on the losing end. I can't imagine how people do all that AND hold a job, unless they have really well-trained kids and spouses (neither of which I have) who do their share around the house. Creating a housework schedule for the whole family is something I'd love to gradually implement, but I have yet to find the time to plan one!

    1. I can create schedules like nobody's business, but actually getting anyone to stick to them is nearly impossible!

  2. Ha ha! Ok, the first problem is your perfection! :) Learning how to let go of it will help you immensely. I'm not saying live in a pigsty, but you have to realize that you're doing your best and that's all you can do. I live in a house with three small children and a perfectionist hubby who was raised with a different mindset than I was. But, I thrive and so do the kids because of FL. FlyLady's site has been revamped and isn't as bad as it was. The great thing about her system is that it's completely adaptable to your life and your needs. And I've found one thing: when I ask nicely for help it gets done faster than if I scream and complain. HOWEVER, it doesn't always get done, but it helps. Also, taking the kids by the hand and showing them what they need to do really helps, too. My house is not sparkling clean, but it's picked up at the end of the day. Also, we're never more than 15 mins from clean when we find out we have guests coming. (Don't just pop in though, you'll be in for a shock lol.) Anywho, I'm ranting. But, the FlyLady system works only if you make it work for you. (BTW, I scheduled to get her emails in a digest, but I don't even read them...I just delete. LOL)

    The takeaways: Let go of trying to do it all. Get a notebook and schedule it. Then, stick to it. Once you have a system in place, the others will be able to help more. 15 mins at the time.

    Love the post. Totally agree that it's frustrating when you feel like you have to do it all alone. Hope you find what works for you!

    1. People do love Flylady, don't they? Maybe I'll have to give it another shot. I've gotta find something that works with me instead of against me!

      Thanks for reading :)