Thursday, March 22, 2012

Catching Up

Something is wrong.

I think it's me.

I'm feeling extra-irritable, and tired, and put-upon.

I don't know why. Probably this reverse-teenager phase I'm going through. You know.

My house, though, is not whispering about my fragile mental and emotional state to the world. No, no, no. It is SHOUTING it.

I'm supposed to be in the middle of spring cleaning my entry-ways. Other than empty out the coat/cleaning closet, I haven't done anything. I've been a complete sloth since Sunday.

I've been completely stuck. I "shouldn't" do anything until I've prepped the closet for painting. I can't "clean up" with the contents of the closet thrown up all over everywhere, can I? But, I "should" be doing my daily cleaning and tidying. I "should" not be doing this all or nothing "Spring Cleaning" thing. I have slipped back into my all or nothing thinking. I have let "Spring Cleaning" (which I'm not even doing) become my excuse not to clean at all. To tidy up, to have to tidy up at all, is to admit to the world that I am, once again, a housekeeping failure.

OK: even I can see that's twisted. Sort of.

But,these have been my thoughts. Well, close enough to.

Today, I couldn't stand it any longer--my thoughts or the mess. I can't really do a whole heck of a lot about my thoughts: but I do know how to tackle the mess.

I started with my bedroom, right after my nap.

the dresser area:

the bed:

The hall outside the bedroom also got cleaned up.

This is the basket of stuff to be redistributed to other rooms (watch for it, it pops up again):

It took me forty-five minutes or so including dusting and swiffering the floor.

I don't know what got into me. As soon as I hit the main floor, I started cleaning up the hallway,

the office/dining room:

and the kitchen simultaneously.

(do you see it?)

It's a style of cleaning I picked up while waitressing. Pick up something, carry it somewhere else, pick something up there, take it where it belongs, pick up something out of place in that location....round and round it goes. You could sum it up: never take a step with empty hands. It can work well.

But, of course, I'm supposed to do this kind of picking up and putting away every day. I have it on my daily list. The list I made up in October and stuck to for 31 days (almost) straight. My 31 day project was supposed to train me to do my chores. But it didn't stick. I'm still not doing them consistently, obviously. How long will it take until they become engrained? How long before I can stop reminding myself to do them?

Maybe never.

Maybe I will always have to print the list and consult it and tick off the boxes.

Maybe. And I will have to figure out how to do my chores and other things at the same time, too. Gah. I don't chew gum and walk at the same time.

My daughter came home from school and told me about her day as I did the pre-prandial dishes and kitchen wipe down, too.

I'm still feeling tired, but only somewhat irritable and put-upon. But at least, now, I am not full of self-recriminations. I folded two baskets of laundry and I did my dishes after supper, too. That's progress, right?

(Yeah, this really is an after. Remember I mentioned that the coat/cleaning closet was empty? You can see the door to it just in behind there.)

Linking to the inestimable Jules at Pancakes and French Fries for the weekly William Morris post. This wasn't supposed to be my William Morris post for this week--but you knew that.


onshore said...

That happens. All tasks, are they in home or at somewhere else, cannot keep you interested all the time. Sometimes you slack and don't get anything done. Just look what I'm doing, I'm supposed to work now but instead I'm writing you this comment.

But in the end you did a lot. Just keep trying and the spring clean will be done bit by bit.

Have you considered laminating the daily list so you could use it again and again?

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

Laminating the list sounds like a great idea!

You never cease to inspire me, with your constant drive to keep trying, keep 'putting yourself out there' and working so hard at it all.... Try not to beat yourself up too much. Most people just give up. You are gonna get this, it's just gonna take a long time!

Sandy said...

Good for you!! I'm so glad I found your post this morning, after waking up feeling stressed and blue. You went from not wanting to do anything to doing an amazing job -- all by being willing to start and do SOMETHING! Thanks for the motivation to start! : ) And please give yourself grace!! You are certainly not a housekeeping failure! : ) In fact, I'm going to use your before and after pics to inspire me today.

Alice Almighty said...

My thoughts are totally my worst enemy, most of the time. I totally get it. My grandma always said 'use your head to save your feet' which is basically what you were doing, never taking a step empty handed. It works most of the time, unless you stop halfway through....I do that quite a bit. There is always a basket of something that still needs to be put away. At that point, you just need a cup of coffee or tea and a break. :) I am impressed that you got all that done in one day! I also wanted to tell you that I love your bedroom dressers, and the room itself is beautiful. What light!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Maybe it was just the overwhelmed feeling of having so much to do? Hopefully some of your funk will disappear since you've made such fantastic progress! You should seriously be patting yourself on the back for what you've accomplished.

I use 15 minute increments to help me get through big cleaning events. Just stay in one room and focus on a certain area for 15 minutes, getting as much done as you can in that time frame. It's a Flylady thing, and it can totally be translated to so many areas of life.

May said...

Doesn't it feel like you spend half your life returning items to areas of the house where they started out?! It is as if the female gene is required for this task!

Monica said...

Stopping by from Jules' WMP. Hi. One of these days I am going to get myself a pedometer to see just how many steps I take putting things back to where they belong.

The Farmers Daughter said...

I think spring cleaning was invented to get everyone over their late winter blahs and to get moving again. I hate the end of winter. I just want to sleep until spring.

Good job on the getting moving though! I started by bringing up the spring/summer clothes and putting away the winter coats, boots and sweaters. That and killing spiders. Those monsters have all woken up.

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