The worst punishment my mother could use against me when I was younger was to go clean my room.
I lived like a tornado in a trailer park. Crap everywhere. Clothes, toys, papers, odd lego bits, solitary Barbie shoes, cookie crumbs, pen caps, and mutilated stuffed animals filled every available space on the floor and in my bed. It was a minor success when I was able to actually find the pillow at night.
I hated cleaning my room. Making it a mess was ever so much more fun and I really did have my own system of organization. I could find something if I really need to. As I often did when looking for my precious blankie or a school shoe.
The only real positive for me was that I had a huge, narrow walk-in closet. I could throw stuff in there by the arm load and not see it for years. The hanging clothes I couldn't reach in April, I was able to look down on by October.
My mother would go balistic every once in a while and demand that I clean out the closet. The worst of all possible things. (Almost as bad a cleaning up the dog's poop, I might add.) By that point, the closet it had become a black hole, as scary as the closet in Poltergist but it was my own stuff trying to attack my ankles and drag me deeper into the void.
Thing is, I should have just taken a trash bag and thrown everything out in there. Heck, it was stuff I hadn't wanted, needed, or looked for in ages, why should I hang on to it once it was 'refound?'
But hang on to it all, I did. Only to jet it all back into the closet in the days and weeks that followed.
My poor mother.
In my house now, I haven't really got a walk-in closet. Which is a bummer. Makes cleaning seem necessary, if you know what I mean. I actually have to try and put things away.
And when I've got very important guests (aka my parents) checking into the Birth Control Bed & Breakfast, like tomorrow, I get all frantic trying to figure out where to put all this crap.
I know, I know, I should just get a trash bag and throw a lot of this stuff out, but you never know when you might need one of the 6 pairs of old running shoes, a Matchbox car with one working door, pamplets about the latest pyramid scheme, endless half-filled tubes of handcream, assorted pony tail holders, useless kitchen gadgets bought at the dollar store, several adapter plugs, stained baby clothes, a bicycle pump with only one type of valve, a couple of half chewed dog toys or even 15 empty beer and wine bottles.
Ahhhh. Amen for replacing the walk-in closet with drawers and a really, really large basement.