Posts Tagged With: cleaning

Stuff in the Closet Sees the Light of Day

My to-do list resembles my junk drawer. Do you have a junk drawer? Mine seems related to Mary Poppins’ purse, bottomless and full of fascinating things.

Mary's magical bag of tricks.

Mary’s magical bag of tricks.

For instance, I received, quite by accident and through no fault of my own, a duplicate package of a birthday gift I had ordered back in December. It’s now May and I have not yet repackaged and mailed back the duplicate. It’s reached embarrassment stage. In fact it’s gone beyond embarrassment to silliness.

And two dresses I ordered online also need returning to two separate vendors but still sit gathering dust, getting buried under more recent things I’ll get to later. My bank account will even get credited when those go back, but even a cash bonus doesn’t seem provide enough incentive for some tasks.

What I need is a good dose of inspiration and follow-through. I wonder if I can order that through Amazon prime? No shipping charges that way.

I did get my bedroom closet cleaned up and organized after only four years of procrastination. That was accidental though. A couple of weeks ago I was leaving for the day and left a note for MSH…

photo-22 copy 4I really didn’t think he’d choose the closet option. He’d always rather get dinner and go to a movie than almost anything else. But when I arrived home six hours later he had emptied out the entire contents of our closet, every box, every single item, into the bedroom and on the bed. We would not be getting any decent sleep until we dealt with the deranged mess.

Halfway through the process I reminded him I’d only been joking about cleaning out the closet, then I suggested we stop and finish on Monday morning first thing. But he persisted, thank goodness. We went to bed by eleven that night with an orderly, clean closet, clothes sorted by color and type on my side and his by whatever method he functions by.

In all honesty seven or eight of those boxes from the closet ended up in the spare bedroom. Papers. Boxes of papers and stuff. Like giant junk drawers with papers added. Ninety percent of each box will end up in the recycle bin. But ten percent will be something priceless, a photo, a critical document, memorabilia.

So I’m going to deal with those by setting a timer for thirty minutes each day. I only have to deal with the contents of those boxes for thirty minutes. Not a box a day, not a box per week. Just thirty minutes every day. In a week or two the boxes would be all sorted and organized and that room could be useful again. I could do that, couldn’t I?

Sometimes I think we just play box roulette. A box starts out in the garage, gets moved inside to find something, ends up in a closet, moves from closet to bedroom, from bedroom to another bedroom, and then in a fit of panic ends up in the garage again. Sigh.

Silliness.

postage

The post office in only two miles away…

But, not the funny, haha, this’ll make you laugh kind of silliness. Nope, not that.

Honestly, if I can write a decent blog post for the day I feel pretty dang good about my accomplishments. If I cook dinner, I feel even better. Dishes done afterwards? I’m a rock star!

Maybe my bar’s set to low. Maybe not, maybe right now I’m reaching as far as I can. And dagnabit! That’s good enough. Some days, heck, some weeks and months, are like that, and I’m learning to roll with it.

Will today be the day the packages finally go to the post office?

It could happen.

To be honest, more than likely it’ll be tomorrow.

 

 

Categories: Humor, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Favorite Thing of the Month

Cleaning up after making bread the other day, I pulled out my cleaning spray for a final once over of the counters. As I spritzed and wiped I felt a sense of satisfaction at a task already tidied. I also felt, oddly, that all was right with the world. Funny how such basic chores as mixing, kneading, cleaning and straightening, can instill a sense of wellness.

Part of the cleanup process I’ve adopted recently involves a gift I received from a friend at Christmas. Every year, instead of delivering dozens of plates of home-baked goodies to her friends, she gifts a favorite find from the past year. Once it was a wonderful spice she had discovered, another time a cool grout cleaning tool. This year it was a cleaning product she adored.

I was a bit taken aback by the scent it claimed to carry.

Radish.

Yes, radish.

Who would have thought something like this could bring such delight into my day?

Who would have thought something like this could bring such delight into my day?

I had the same reaction as you. Seriously? I didn’t even think radishes had a smell, only a biting crunch and tang. I tucked the bottle under my sink, and honestly, kind of forgot about it. It wasn’t until sometime in February, while cleaning under the kitchen sink that I thought of that gift. What an ingrate I was.

I looked at it and wondered what some cleaning company thought radish smelled like. So I turned the knob on the sprayer and pulled the trigger, letting a fine mist of the stuff settle into my sink.

Not bad. Not necessarily radishy, but still a nice, clean scent. I left the bottle on the counter and finished organizing under the sink. That task out of the way I moved on to the rest of the kitchen.

I spritzed the countertops and wiped them clean. Then I moved on to the table.

Nice.

I liked the clean smell. And, bonus! It cleaned really well!

Anything smelled better than bleach or orange oil or ammonia or lemon. I sound kind of snooty don’t I?

Don’t get me wrong. I used to love the smell of bleach after a good cleaning of the bathroom, or a thorough scrubbing of the kitchen sink.

I loved it until it became a paying job.

Yup. I cleaned houses for a living a decade or so ago. I cleaned vacant model homes and I cleaned regular lived-in houses. Both required hard work that took its toll on me. Grateful for the work and the fairly decent pay, I kept at it for several years.

I fell into bed most nights thoroughly spent and certain I had earned every penny. Unfortunately, the smell of bleach haunted my dreams, as did the scent of orange oil and lemon oil, ammonia  and dust.

After several years I eased myself out of that profession and into real estate appraisal, which I thought would pay off big time. Can you say “housing bubble?” The joke was on me.

Sigh.

Looks like I just made a short story very long. I only meant to explain why I love my new radish scented cleaner.

It smells clean, not soapy, not bleachy, not orangey, not lemony.  Now when I clean, I only smell happy memories of my own tidy home, not hundreds of other homes.

For that I thank my sweet friend, Susan.

As my bottle ran low I asked for her secret supplier of this decadent cleaner. She told me it was on sale that week at, of all places, Target! And that it also comes in basil scent. I’m easily amused and just as easily satisfied with simple pleasures. I guess that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

Categories: Fun, Gratitude | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Faces of January

January is usually an off month for me.

Let down from the holidays?  Burn out from overdoing it?  Feeling the weight of a new year?

I’ve never been able to pinpoint a why.

January 2010 Snow Scene

January 2010 Snow Scene (Photo credit: ς↑r ĴΛϒκ❂)

Part of me wants to trust that my brain and body know what I need, so I simply wrap myself up in the feeling, hunker down and ride the wave of depression and self-doubt until it rolls me onto the shore in February.  That usually involves immersing myself in fiction.  Lots and lots of fiction.  Five, six, seven books in one month.

That hasn’t really been an option for a few years now.

The other part of me wants to battle it out by doing some deep cleaning, sorting, organizing and rearranging.  I pack up the holiday decorations, scrub down the kitchen top to bottom, wipe walls, touch up paint around light switches and baseboards, clean windows, vacuum vents, move the fridge and stove and clean behind them. All this is done with the intent, not to have a cleaner home, but to attempt a sense of control over my environment.  Which logically, you’d think, would bring a sense of control over my life.  Unfortunately, this is an illusion.

Dirt happens. Life happens. Crap happens. Reality happens.

Oh sure, great stuff happens too, plenty of it.  But we’re not going to gloss over the not so great stuff.  Not in January.  Not today.

Life is hard.

January is my month to admit it, accept it, internalize it, avoid it, fight it, whine about it, come to terms with it.  It’s my reality check month.

Not that other months aren’t their own kind of reality check.  Surely they are, some more than others.  But January seems hardwired for the task.

I’m tired after the fun and frolic and frantic craziness of December.  I’m ready for some me time.

Almost half way through 2012 I had a month that knocked me on my butt.  I escaped to my cousin’s house for rest and recovery.  She was a gem.  I did some soul-searching, some sleeping, some denial, some hiking.  I felt better.  Then I got back on the treadmill and kept going.

It was my mid-year mini-January, I guess.

Book collection

(Photo credit: Ian Wilson)

My body is telling me this particular January is a reading month.  The cleaning may have to wait until this mean cough I woke up with goes away and the headache stops beating me up. In the meantime I have some ebooks, audio books, tangible books.  And I have an electric blanket,  soup and hot cocoa, and blessedly, some Tylenol.

Hoping your January is simply one of renewal and looking forward to good things.

Oh, and any book suggestions you want to send my way would be welcome.

Happy New Year!

Categories: Mental Health, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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