Hey Kids, There's A Receptacle For That!

by Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
kids clean up

Hey, kids!

I have a lot to teach you about life — first and foremost, how not to be an asshole. This includes learning to share, developing compassion, showing kindness, working hard, and a whole bunch of other things. Unfortunately, judging by the state of this house, I may have glossed over something kind of important that falls under the “don’t be an asshole” umbrella. And that something is this: Please, for the love of all that is holy, put your stuff where it belongs.

In case you’re in need of a more detailed tutorial, I’m gonna lay it out for you. All this crap that’s strewn all over the house? Believe it or not, my dears, there are actually special places where each thing goes. (I know, shocker.) Places such as…

The Trash Can

I’m growing weary of fishing flattened Go-Gurt wrappers from between the couch cushions. Our living room floor looks like we’re trying to re-carpet with granola bar foil. The plastic casings of string cheese — and in some cases, the string cheese itself, half-eaten and petrified — litter your bedroom (where you’re not even supposed to be eating, but we’ll address that later). Juice boxes, balls of tape, paper scraps, chewed gum, random sticks and bottle caps and other things you drag in from outside — they all go in that rectangular plastic container in our kitchen, known in layman’s terms as “the trash” or “the garbage.”

The Dishwasher

Apparently, you believe that when you leave your dirty dishes around, some kind of magical fairy poofs them back into the cabinet all sparkly clean. News flash: That magical fairy is actually called “Mom” and she’s getting real tired of your shit. Seriously, the time I spend collecting crusty bowls and wayward spoons could be better spent doing other things. Luckily for you, there’s a simple solution. In our kitchen, we have an actual appliance that will clean your dishes for you and all you have to do is put them in. Simply open the door, pull out the rack, insert dish, close door. I know you can remember the sequence because I have seen you master complicated video games.

The Hamper

I know sometimes you don’t understand my taste in décor, but that tall bin that sits in our laundry room and the shorter ones in every single bedroom in our house aren’t just sitting there to make things look pretty. They’re functional too! That, kids, is where your dirty clothes should go. I don’t want to find them on the bathroom floor, or scattered in a trail between your room and the shower, or anywhere for that matter besides the one place designated specifically for them: the clothes hamper.

The Closet

I get it. You may need your shoes at a moment’s notice when a friend knocks on the door and asks you to go on a bike ride and you run out like there’s a half price sale at Target. But I promise it’ll only take you a few extra seconds to retrieve your shoes from the place they actually belong. It may even save you time in the long run, seeing as you spend at least five minutes a day trying to locate where you last kicked them off your feet in total disregard.

The Toy Box

You know how at the grocery store, things are organized on shelves? That’s because if everything were just heaped all over the floor, it would be a damn mess — kind of like your bedroom when you don’t return your toys to that place you got them out of. You know that box? That box you have especially for your toys? What’s it called? Oh yeah, the toy box.

The Toilet

While we’re on the subject of proper receptacles, let’s talk about where you put the byproducts of your bodily functions. There’s a hole. With water in it. Please aim there. Similarly, boogers: They do not belong on the wall, wiped on the side of your mattress, or on your fingers in general. This is why I keep the house fully stocked at all times with these handy little things called tissues.

By providing you with a refresher course on where everything goes, I’m hoping for a clutter-free house. Or at least one that doesn’t cause me to weep bitterly at our lack of a housekeeper who isn’t me. You can help me out with that, right? Because in case I forgot to mention…not being an asshole starts with being good to your mother.

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