At last, the work desk is clean:I found some overdue library books, one of the girls' Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series DVDs, a couple of tax forms, the clear packing tape we'd been looking for, a student's homework paper (oops!)--it was quite the treasure trove. I was even inspired, after looking at this very photo of the unattractive wall with the electrical cords hanging down and the one sad little postcard from our vacation to France when Willow, who is almost four, was 8 months old, to whip out my brand new duct tape in pretty colors and organize all the very, very many cords at my desk: It still looks a little wild, but they're not tangled, they're off the ground, I can see what goes with what, and they're relatively inaccessible to the babies. Up on top of the desk, now, I have a second power strip, and I've plugged all the power vampires--scanner, printer, back-up drive, laptop--into that power strip, even if I've taped their cords to the wall down below. I can easily reach the power strip on the desk top to turn it and the vampires off, and below the desk I've plugged in the stuff that isn't vampiric--desk lamp, pencil sharpener, sewing machine--and the wi-fi thingy, which needs to stay on regardless.
So I'm still going to do my next project, which is my supply lockers in the study--
--but otherwise this plan is a bust. All my previous projects--study floor, livingroom table, etc.--are as filthy again as they were before, and the rest of the house is even filthier because instead of lowering the overall filth factor of the house by a little bit every day, I've been spending most of my very short cleaning time just trying to lower the filth factor of my few project spots a lot. Sigh. So until a new plan emerges, we'll keep to our previous workable strategies of kicking stuff over to the walls when we need floor space and enforcing the rule that when you trip over something, you have to pick it up and put it away (Willow tries to get around this rule by, while getting back up after falling on her face, tears in her eyes and readying the screams, insisting, "I didn't trip over anything!").