It is generally understood that Mac Haddow does not concern himself with keeping things immaculate. Unfortunately, there is room at AHHG for only one such adult. Mac Haddow will therefore be the ONLY person that Alice Haddow even slightly intends to pick up after. (We have to make some allowances for the guy who pays most of the bills.)
This is not to say that Alice Haddow will pick up only after Mac Haddow, leaving the rest of the house a mess. To the contrary, Alice Haddow will pick up only after Mac Haddow because he’ll be the only messy person in the house. The rules below show clearly that every single other adult at Yewing Way will also be putting things in their rightful place, thereby greatly reducing Alice Haddow’s burden. Utopia at last!
As compensation for the fact that Alice Haddow will sometimes pick up after Mac Haddow, Mac Haddow has agreed that he will (a) make nightly stops at the grocery store, as necessary, on his way home from work, (b) make regular bank deposits per Alice Haddow’s instructions, (c) remain responsible for keeping his basement nice, and (d) keep his office in tolerable condition.
A place for everything and everything in its place is the motto of AHHG. Adults who stay at AHHG will resume the age-old Haddow practice of daily 5-minute pickup. Anything and everything an adult may have left out of place, that same adult will put away at least once daily, if not more often.
For those unfamiliar with this term, “5-minute pickup” refers to a daily ritual of running through each room to make certain it’s neat. Most beds take exactly two minutes to make. Flushing toilets takes a fraction of a second. A bedroom or bathroom maintained on a daily basis never takes more than 5 minutes, so it’s really very easy if everyone cooperates. (It’s not easy at all, however, if 10 people leave this job for one person to do.)
The official 5-minute pickup at our new home will usually be done after showering and getting ready for the day and before breakfast. Years of practice show that this is the best time to do it; otherwise, the house stays messy all day.
Sometimes 5-minute pickup means adults at Yewing Way will have to pick up or take care of items that do not belong to them personally. This is living the rule at a higher level, which I believe we are all ready for. For example, just this morning Ashley observed that the kitchen trash was full. Without saying a word and without waiting to be commanded, Ashley simply pulled up the liner, emptied the trash, and replaced it with a clean liner, all without the benefit of this document. (Ashley, you make my heart go hop!)
However, if I see consistent evidence that we are not ready for this higher level living (dishes left for hours on end, for example, under the assumption that doing them is Mom’s job), I will take it upon myself to make assignments, and you will be expected to (a) accept the assignment willingly and (b) follow through. If necessary, I will even post job charts, just as I did with my roommates in college, when everyone accepted the fact that all who live in a home must share its burdens equally.
If an adult comes to AHHG for a short vacation, that adult should plan to keep luggage and its contents out of sight. Every bedroom has a large walk-in closet that will keep this small task from inconveniencing guests who visit.
Additionally, adults who stay at AHHG for longer than a few days will be expected to keep all items, including paperwork, in their assigned spaces. Please do not bring your checks, invoices, and personal clutter to my kitchen thinking it’s ok to place them on the fridge under a magnet. The fridge is considered my personal bulletin board; I do not intend to share it.
Anyone who uses the last of a roll of toilet paper should not leave the bathroom until he or she has (a) found a new roll of toilet paper (b) taken off the used toilet paper roll and (c) replaced it with the new, ready to be used by the next person. LEAVING A NEW TOILET PAPER ROLL NEAR BUT NOT ON ITS INTENDED HOLDER DRIVES ME CRAZY, precisely because correcting this problem is very easy for anyone to do. So there’s certainly no excuse for the fact that one and only one person in our former homes has had to replace virtually every roll of toilet paper ever used in a quarter of a century. (Gee. I wonder who that one person would have been?) The next 25 years will be different. No doubt about it.
Nail polish and cosmetics of any kind will never be used near carpet. In fact, use of these items shall be limited to bathrooms only.
Those who like to go shopping at the mall will put away anything purchased at the mall immediately upon arriving at AHHG. If Alice Haddow is forced to pick up newly purchased items, the purchaser runs the risk of finding out too late that Alice Haddow has returned it to the mall because she didn’t want to have to take care of it. At a minimum, the item or items uncared for will be picked up, hidden, and not released for your use until Alice Haddow deems enough penance has been paid for the infraction of leaving it out. Given Alice Haddow’s current state of estrogen loss and its attendant effects on memory, this means you may never get the item back because Momma H. will not be able to remember where she put it.
Sleeping in a bed, of course, means you make it the morning you get out of it. Please do not try to avoid this responsibility by sleeping on top of the comforter. This will have the sad result of creating far more work and expense for you. This observation is based on at least two facts: (a) Instead of changing the sheets, your job will be expanded to changing all of the bedding on a regular basis, and (b) the comforter will wear out faster and you, having ruined it by sleeping on top of it, will be expected to replace it.