Heaps & Piles & Stacks…Oh My!

by Lisa on January 12, 2009

The girls are wanting another drink of water. David is off looking for Maylee and Cutie the stuffed dogs. The baby is crying and I’m trying to locate his binky. It’s 9:00 p.m.

Time to scrape the bed.

Dirty clothes shoved to the pile on the floor. Clean clothes to the stack on the changing table. All those fancy pillows? To the heap in the crib. Yep. Welcome to my world. You might say I’m not the “tidiest of tidy-tidersons”.

dirty-laundryNot for lack of desire. Nor for lack of trying.

Weren’t those piles there just last week? How did those stacks sneak back into my room? Didn’t I pick up that heap yesterday—or was that just an hour ago? I can’t remember. The hours, the days, the stacks, the heaps, the piles…..they meld into one. It’s never ending. One mess cleaned up while another one is simultaneously being made. I’d like to blame it on the fact we have three young kids and a small home, but that won’t work. It’s not the children’s fault their mother is a closeted heaper/piler/stacker, i.e. pig.

You’d think I wouldn’t have such difficulty. I had a good teacher. You will never see a pile, heap or stack at my mother’s house. She’s not only tidy, but hospital-clean. As a kid I thought you could have done surgery on her kitchen floor. As a matter of fact, you still can.  My mother diligently scours and scrubs every surface and every counter. Sometimes twice. Compared with me…she’s compulsive. So what happened? Did she fail in passing on the clean gene, or did I rebel?

I have a girlfriend (she knows who she is) that is also a heaper/piler/stacker. I was visiting her last week and went into the inner  sanctum while she looked for socks and pajamas so she could send her kids off to her mother’s for the night. She was digging through the pile of clean laundry on her bed looking for socks…not matching socks mind you….just any two socks that seem approximately the same size. Resigned not to find any, she pulled her own socks out a a drawer and put them in the kids bag. “They’ll work,” she said. Gosh, I love to go to her house. I’m comfortable. It’s easy. I feel at home.

I have another girlfriend (she knows who she is) that will barely step foot in my house without a hazmat suit. When she comes to town she’ll only stay the night if she can stay at my mom’s. She’s ultra-tidy too. She professes that she’s not bothered by my mess, but I see her unconsciously check the furniture before sitting down. Like a little dog hair is gonna hurt. I’ve even caught her washing her wine glass before she pours her first cup. She’s not being rude. I just push her comfort level…to the edge.


So the big question? Which way is better? Or is it even a “better” thing? Where’s the happy medium? Is there one? My husband would opt for the tidy stacks. I’d like it tidier, but how does a heaper/piler/stacker turn into a tidy-monger? Should I? And should I even care?

My kids are happy. We’ve read fifteen books so far this year. They get to go on walks with me. I talk and hang out with them. My family has three squares every day. Okay, I admit it would be better for my children, husband and my own sanity if I were able to prepare a meal without doing last night’s dishes first. And have matching socks and clean underwear in the drawer.

And be able to crawl into bed without scraping it first….

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashleigh Carnagey January 15, 2009 at 7:35 am

Great article! I can relate. Not only does the time fly with kids but we can also miss the precious moments if we do spend ALL of our time tidying-up. Thank you for allowing all of us to skip the “to-do’s” and save them for later while we focus on more important things like our own children.

Joan January 15, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Sounds like your heaper/piler/stacker friend is some kind of nut job (the craziest of crazy-crazersons).

Keep up the writing. It’s good.

Ashleigh Carnagey January 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Ok Ok! I must have breezed over the anal-retentive “friend”, who I know very well because it’s me! You are too funny.

Lisa January 25, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Ash, I love you! :) I’m glad you put up with all my heaps, piles & stacks and still want to hang out with me!

And the craziest of crazy-crazersons is a woman after my own heart!

Leave a Comment