A Geek’s Guide to Cleaning

I really ought to take notes
Step1:  Survey the ruination

Sheldon:  Great Ceasar’s ghost, look at this place.

Leonard:  So Penny’s a little messy.

Sheldon:  A little messy?  The Mandelbrot set of complex numbers is a little messy…this is chaos!  This is a swirling vortex of entropy.

Step 2.  Identify current décor

Step 3.  Devise new organizational system

Step 4.  Follow objective to fruition.

Step 5.  Accept thanks for a job well done.

Yet, that being said, I’d go a few rounds arguing with Sheldon that the laws of physics are stacked against me. I’m recycling, for the um…third time now, one of my favorite blog posts on clutter.

Entropy – The Perfect Excuse for Clutter

Ever since high school physics I’ve loved the word entropy. Why you may ask? Well, it really is the perfect excuse for disorganization.

From the Free Dictionary (online dictionary)



n. pl. en·tro·pies

1. Symbol S For a closed thermodynamic system, a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work.
2. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.
3. A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message.
4. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.
5. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.
Even wikipedia has got me pegged

In physics, entropy (from Greek εντροπία “a turning toward,” from εν- “in” + τροπή “a turning”), symbolized by S, is a measure of the unavailability of a system’s energy to do work.[3]

See, mom, it’s not my fault I tend to be disorganized. Really it isn’t. I have a really good reason for it. There really isn’t enough energy for me to keep my closed system (my house, in effect), clean. Especially not after having 3 children in 3.5 years. Yep, you heard right. I popped them out pretty quick (and no not on purpose – do you think I WANTED it that way?).But I’ve been making great strides towards changing things ’round here. Now that the oldest is 6 7 8 and the youngest is almost 3 4 5, it’s getting better.  Marginally, but better.

Still, another concept of physics is at work in my life.



1. Physics The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.
2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change.

So really, even though I’m trying to conquer entropy (daily), inertia is a big factor. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s way better than it was even a year ago, since I invested in some key pieces to help organize. Still, it doesn’t take long for things to get cluttered – that whole entropy thing again. I’ve always loved the idea of being organized – I have a scientific mind, after all. It’s just that even the laws of physics are working against me. Anyone with children, particularly young children, can agree there is a lack of energy available to do work, and inertia itself is working in both my children and me. The kids have youth on their side, it follows that their bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, while me, worn out from caring for them, keeping them occupied and mediating arguments, once my body is at rest, it tends to stay at rest.


I wish I could hire Sheldon to come help me organize.  He might actually be impressed with my collection of books on physics that are gathering dust as we speak.

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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