23 March 2010

The Science of Mess

Mess is my nemesis.

Look closely, it's even in the word: ne-MESS-is. I fight a losing battle with mess, as we all do. It's like the song that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.
But I've come up with a theory. It hit me the other day: why do I battle so much with mess? I have too much stuff.


There are too many toys and not enough places to put them. Too much dirty laundry and not enough room in the washing basket. Too many clothes and not enough wardrobe space. Too much clutter, too much stuff, too much mess.

I've come up with a scientific equation for it:

Too Much Stuff x Not Enough Space = Lots of Mess (TMSxNES=M3)

Think about it. Do you suppose that a village mummy in Africa spends all day picking little Woboubu's toys and clothes up off the floor? No. They have just enough for what they need (or sadly not enough). No excess. No mess.

Having too much has created this mess problem. I need to get rid of the excess; find someone who will use it, someone who needs it and give it away... thereby also reducing the potential for mess in my house at the same time!

If I get rid of all the stuff we don't use/play with/wear regularly I could drastically reduce my ongoing mess problem. I would have to do way less picking up of toys and clothes off the floor, way less growling and nagging... and spend lots more time doing productive things like... blogging, or writing books... oh yeah - and playing with my kids!

I feel a purge coming on.


Then there's the fact that science and the Laws of the Universe are actually working against us keeping things tidy as well. Did you know that??

It's true. It's called the Second Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Entropy. This law states that "complex systems over time become more simple" - they break down.

In other words, if I left my house clean and spotless and went away for a year, I would come back to find that things had broken down. There would be dust on every surface, there would be rotten food in the fridge. It would smell damp and musty. Without even any people (read: kids) there to mess it up, the cleanliness of my house would deteriorate over time because of the laws of the Universe!
I am fighting against the Universe when I am cleaning! No wonder it's such hard work.


So I have simplified my cleaning regime. Why fight the Universe every day? It's a losing battle. It gets me down. Now I go into a cleaning frenzy once a week, every Tuesday. Yes, today is my cleaning day. I have dusted, polished, vacuumed, cleaned and spritzed. My house is shining. I am sweaty. Why?? Because cleaning is a great workout when you do it all at once! Oh yes.

Look at this is from MedicineNet.com:

Some estimates, based on a person weighing 150 pounds doing 30 minutes of chores:
  • General cleaning: 127 calories
  • Cooking: 92 calories
  • Trimming shrubs: 157 calories
  • Laundry: 133 calories
  • Vacuuming: 123 calories


So if I am spending like 2-3 hours whizzing around cleaning, working up a sweat, well! It's not cleaning, it's exercise, baby!

Mess, you may be my nemesis but I will hunt you down (every Tuesday), contain you (in the Goodwill shop) and defeat you (for as long as the kids are out of the house).

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Widge said...

haha! yes!! i have been having a good purge these last couple of weeks too!
far too many toys and clothes littering our floors, now I have heaps of plastic bags waiting patiently for me to take to a second hand shop..one day I'll get there...:)

Unknown said...

yes, I know the story about mess. Its here too! I think I'm suppose to be purging the toys today but have been hard at work on blogging! And haven't been on fb except to send you an email (LOL)

Good to see your kids know how to use the vacuum cleaner. Mine just run for cover at the mention of the word.

Now that I have a puppy who insists on bringing the garden inside, there is twice as much mess as before.

the things we do for fun ehh?

PaisleyJade said...

Oh how I hate mess and dust and the decline of everything... heaven is going to be soooo awesome with no dust (I hope)... you are totally right about the clutter factor though - Symon insists we get the kids to throw out stuff all the time.

Weza said...

A the joys of house work.

Rebecca said...

Haha too true!!

Anonymous said...

mmmm I LOVE a good "stuff" purge!!!
and look at you Miss Multi-tasker!!!
Exercising & cleaning all at once...
we really are amazing us women!!!

Helen said...

LOL I can identify with this one. A friend recently put me onto freecycle.org and what a help that is! You can give away your stuff you don't need. Last week someone picked up a bed I couldn't give away to any secondhand shops and we managed to save dump fees.

Trees said...

Love the picture of Scrag in the washing machine!

Natasha in Oz said...

Well, this was indeed a very interesting and informative post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on mess. I love your idea and want to send you a tea towel to say thank you for linking up your post to my little linky party. Can you send me your address so I can send it to you? I have a new email address-it is on my profile.

Hope you have had a lovely weekend and best wishes for a great week.


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