What a Mess: Returning Home


It’s always the same.

Well, minus the bleach smell.

Without someone cooking in it everyday (someone being me), the house smells like sheetrock – just one of the perks of renting a brand new home.

Oh how I love coming home after a long break visiting family. I especially love it after waking up at 3:30 am and spending fourteen hours on the road with four kids and my husband.

But that bleach smell wasn’t normal. I hate the smell of bleach. I only use a tiny bit when I wash a load of towels and – thanks to Dr. Oz instilling fear of poop particles and fungi – our socks and underwear.

Perhaps the dishwasher? I thought, remembering that my husband set a load to wash before we left seven days ago.

Thinking harder, I knew that it couldn’t be the dishwasher. I buy eco friendly cleaning products that don’t have bleach.

Hum. I could hear a sound coming from the kids bathroom.

Damn it, recognizing the sound. Someone accidentally left the damn toilet bowl running.

And there goes my water bill. *Palm to forehead*

We need to get that fixed. The handle sometimes sticks, causing whatever the mechanism inside the bowl is called not to close. The water just pumps in and flows right back out, never filling the tank. I’m not sure why it does that, since it’s new, but my husband blames my four-year-old for holding the handle down too long while she flushes.

The last thing I wanted to do after such a long day on the interstate was air out my house. Plus, it was freezing outside thanks to a cold front that blew east as we drove west. The rain we encountered at sunrise was the front line. We went from perfect 65 degree weather to 45 degree chills in 4 hours. Burr!

My husband switched on the air purifier and bathroom exhaust fan after giggling the toilet handle. Within a few minutes, the smell no longer bothered me.

Instead, I was annoyed by the a much bigger problem, a problem we always have after returning home – several duffle bags of luggage spewed across the dinning room floor needing to be unpacked.


I knew that it didn’t need to dealt with right away. Technically, it could wait until the kids were back in school. So, I did my best to ignore it, telling myself to relax and enjoy the rest of my evening. I forced myself to first focus on eating my rotisserie chicken Subway sandwich while it was still a bit toasty.

But after dinner, as the kids let out their pent up energy and started getting ready for bed, I couldn’t overlook the mess of crumbs under the kitchen table. I normally clean up the house before going away so as to avoid returning to a disaster, but life with three kids plus a three-month-old meant a lot was left undone. Taking advantage of how early the baby went down for the night, I swept up before rewarding myself to a mint chocolate cookie.

We returned from our week out with 2 garbage bags full of dirty laundry despite the fact that I washed a small load of baby clothes at my moms house. Geez.

Today, after sleeping for embarrassingly too long, nothing was unpacked and only a single load of jeans was washed. The house still looks a wreck by my standards, although I did manage to spray down the counters and wipe off water spots from our stainless steel appliances.

I wonder would anyone notice if I never unpack since we will be traveling again in just under a month?


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