My house is not what it used to be.

On any given morning, passing through the living room, I might spot a random Amazon package here, a pile of discarded face masks there. There’s a good chance that an open box of art supplies for my daughter’s Zoom summer camp is sitting in a corner by the fireplace, waiting for the contents to be strewn across the dining table in a few hours — as if my dining room was always meant to be home to an art class.

The living room used to be relatively tidy, cluttered with only normal living room stuff — a stray newspaper section, a coffee cup, slippers. Now, four months into this coronavirus existence, I have lost the thread. Rooms no longer have a clear purpose, since any given space could, at any moment, become a gym or a classroom or a video conference room with the camera expertly angled to hide the mayhem. With no one coming over for the foreseeable future, what’s the point in pretending? Normal isn’t coming back anytime soon.

“At the very beginning it was: ‘OK, we need to figure out what this home-school thing is. It’s only however many weeks until summer,’” said Joanna Teplin, an owner of The Home Edit, a Nashville-based organizing company. “But now, the reality is just very clear and it’s setting in that this is life now.”

And life now isn’t pretty.

Perla Mondriguez, 41, a mom in West Orange, N.J., with three school-age sons, one of whom has special needs, told me that she has come to see the pandemic through the lens of her entryway table. It used to be such a nice table, with flowers, a candle, the day’s mail and a little tray to hold spare change. Now it’s a free-for-all.

Here is a sampling of the objects residing there on the day we spoke: a large seashell from the beach, a pair of utility gloves, swimming goggles, an assortment of cotton masks, measuring tape, a Nintendo Switch and a pile of crumpled receipts.

“The shoes, holy moly!” Ms. Mondriguez said of the pile of sandals, cleats, sneakers and flip-flops shoved under the table. “Normally we don’t have all the shoes out.”

Normally, the boys, ages 8, 11 and 13, would be out doing typical summer things — playing soccer or hanging out with friends. Instead, the youngest has taken to building forts from enormous cardboard boxes, with a tunnel that he crawls through to get into his room — not exactly a space-saving endeavor. The 11-year-old is midway through a 300-piece puzzle project that has consumed the dining table. And the 13-year-old has gone full teenager, rarely leaving his room, even for meals. “No lie, it smells,” Ms. Mondriguez said of his bedroom.

In before times, she would have tidied up when the children were at school. But those moments of solitude are gone. Her husband, David Acosta, 45, who works for a property management company in Manhattan, has been back in the office since April. So Ms. Mondriguez, a dog walker whose business is just now starting up again, is on her own at their four-bedroom house. Tidying up has fallen way down the list of priorities.

“What’s the point? You’re never alone to crank some music, to sit here for an hour and empty the fridge and wipe the spills. That takes energy,” she said. “And it’s hard to find that when there are three other living beings constantly there to tend to.”

As the months of pandemic life wear on, many of us are finding ourselves weary of the homes we rarely leave. Sure, some people have gotten their cleaning routines down to an art, with sinks that sparkle and coffee tables that display only coffee-table books. But I am not one of those people.

My home is in a constant state of use, and so the clutter gathers and the dust settles. With no deadlines on the horizon — forget summer parties, we don’t even aspire to leave the house on Monday morning — the days bleed into one another, each a surreal version of the last. Even with lockdown orders lifted, we remain perpetually quasi-homebound. Where is there to go anyway?

“Everything is so loosey-goosey, there’s no finite end to any of this and we’re coasting from one week to another,” said Cynthia Kienzle, a home organizer in Manhattan whose business is down almost 90 percent since the start of the pandemic. “We’re all just drifting. We can’t plan anything, we can’t travel. It just destroys any sense of orderliness that you might have had in your home.”

Many homeowners, concerned about letting anyone inside, are still not calling their housekeepers back yet. The housekeepers that have returned are finding rooms in need of some serious scrubbing. Not only have homeowners struggled to keep up with the weekly regime, they’ve also been using their spaces more — a lot more.

“After two or three months, even if the clients tried to keep it nice and clean, they still needed the help,” said Anna Harasim, the owner of Anna’s Cleaning Service in Manhattan, who said that only half of her regular clients have resumed services.

Ms. Teplin, of the Home Edit, attributes the malaise to summer doldrums. Who wants to keep up with the house when the weather is nice and we can finally venture out? But she is already looking ahead to September, when another year of tele-schooling begins for millions of families around the country. She sees now as the time to get it together and figure out where everything belongs.

“Winter is coming,” Ms. Teplin said. “I know no one wants to think about that stuff and do the prep because everyone is trying to have a semblance of summer, but it’s going to be so much harder when the kids go back to school.”

Faith Roberson, a home organizer in Manhattan, suggests choosing a day for each chore and sticking with it. Monday is for decluttering, Tuesday is for laundry, and so on. But even a professional organizer has her limits. “Who cares?” she said. “I know you want to keep the table clean, but if the table’s not clean, the table’s not clean.”

Just because we’re in our homes all the time doesn’t mean they deserve all of our attention. We’ve passed the sourdough-making phase of the pandemic and entered a new, amorphous one with no exit ramp in sight. Ms. Roberson suggests accepting that our homes are simply not going to get all the love all the time, and so be it.

“You have other needs,” she said. “You may want to get into crafting, you may want to meditate.” And you certainly may not want to clean all the junk off the entryway table. Maybe just to leave it there and finish a 300-piece puzzle instead.

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