A Lazy Chick's Guide to Housecleaning
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I wouldn't call myself lazy but I do have my days where the last thing I want to do is anything at all, especially when it comes to cleaning.
I love it when my apartment is clean and I have a hard time sleeping if it's not. There shouldn't be any dishes in the sink and if I know there are, I'll get up to clean them no matter what time it is because it's a sort of quiet alarm that goes off, "You left something in the sink!". One thing my mother always taught us; never go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. Maybe that's where the alarm comes from. Wherever it's from, it's loud and sounds a lot like Pee Wee Herman's Breakfast Machine by Danny Elfman, a great alarm to wake to, trust me.
If you haven't caught up on your chores, look around. And if you're like me, you won't know where to start. There's laundry, that just like those Star Trek Tribbles, seem to multiply on their own. I had no idea I owned that many socks! There's the making of the bed, which I don't mind too much and the dreaded bathroom that every time I open the door to, I swear I hear the theme from The Exorcist.
We all get busy. We all get tired. There are days when we just aren't in the mood or we just stop caring. But once we let that take over, so do the dust bunnies. News flash: They are not cute and cuddly.
All this came to a right kerfuffle (a new word I am now incorporating into my vocabulary), when an old friend from out of town told me she was on her way to see me. I immediately looked around and noticed I hadn't mopped or dusted in a while. My first reaction was to start cleaning the living room because it would be the first room she would walk into but then it hit me; Why if she has to use the bathroom right away? She won't even notice the living room. So I ran to the bathroom and started cleaning there, ran out of bleach and didn't have those blue things for the toilet. I was falling apart. Why if she's thirsty? I went to the kitchen, noticed the windows were blotchy and the top of the refrigerator looked like someone was renting space there. I swear I will find something to do with all those loose onion skins and write about it.
I got tired and realized I had to organize my thoughts and plan this whole thing out. It was turning into a job someone should get paid for and that someone would be me.
I am an all or nothing girl, an extremist for the most part. If something isn't finished, I won't relax until it is. And here I was looking at a half finished living room and part of a bathroom cleaned. That was grounds for no sleep but I forced myself to relax. It was already past 11pm and I would be out all the next day. That's a whole wasted day I wouldn't be able to clean anything. I couldn't sleep. Then I remembered something my father always told me; "There is no problem without a solution." True.
Problem: I had too much to do and was having trouble organizing.
Solution: Organize a plan that would be easy to follow through on.
Objective: Clean apartment before my friend arrives.
My Plan: I'm visual. I circled my deadline on the calendar and every time I finished a room, it would get crossed out. With a pen, index card handy, I looked around the living room, jotting down all that needed to be done, from dusting to organizing shelves. Then I moved into the rest of the rooms until I was done.
I calculated the days until she would be here. That was my deadline. I had 4 days. I have 5 rooms. I already did 1 1/2 rooms, so it evened out pretty well. I would dedicate one entire day to one entire room. I immediately felt relieved. The pressure was off.
TIP: Reward yourself. I realized that after finishing one room, I had plenty of time to start on another but seeing how I was still on schedule, I wanted to reward myself instead. When I was done cleaning the bathroom, I took a hot bubble bath with candles and music and it was wonderful.
By the time the 4th day came, I had not only cleaned the entire apartment, I had enough time to organize all the closets and drawers, even redecorating a little.
Now every time I clean, I don't pressure myself anymore. I take one room at a time, sometimes breaking the rooms into quarters, working on corners first and working my way in, sort of like Goofy but without the paint.
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