Saturday, January 16, 2010

Perhaps you're supposed to clean floors more often than once every year and a half or so?

Before we get started tonight, I'd like to share with you an enhancement I've made to the blog: look over to the top right corner of the page and notice, if you will, the GOOGLE translate box. That's right. You can now translate this blog into several dozen languages. Why, you ask? Because I'm half Danish, you know! Oh alright, my married half is Danish. But still. And--maybe you want to practice your French! It's an option now, that's all I'm saying.

Today, I got the floors cleaned. I know that doesn't seem like de-cluttering or organizing, but if you saw the amount of dirt that no longer clings to my kitchen floor, you'd know I really made some more room in there.  Perhaps you're supposed to clean floors more often than once every year and a half or so? hmmmm.  Since I swept the other night, it was only a three step process.  First, I vaccuumed. Then, I got down on my hands and knees with a bowl of hot, soapy water.  This brought back childhood memories.  I think I enjoyed it more when I was a young lass.  With a scrub sponge (and, in places, a knife edge) I conquered most of the dirt, but left behind a soapy trail of dirty water.  So the last step was swiffering.  I love my swiffer wetjet, but I've found it's pretty useless unless you've already really cleaned the floor.  It's good for a final, drying, dust-collecting sweep though.

2 hours later, I've got shiny, expansive looking floors in both the bathroom and the kitchen. And really, REALLY sore arms. Damn. That's definitely Michael's job next June 2011.  (Don't be intimidated if you're trying to follow along at home...once the floor has a foundation cleaning, I fully support swiffering or even using one of those clorox wipe thingies for quick touch-ups.)

I do feel a sense of accomplishment, but I wish I had gotten more done.  Still, there are two more days in this long weekend and two major chores left on the goal list: 1) the books and 2) the clothes. One per day and we're on track! Think I'll do clothes tomorrow though, in the hopes that I can con Michael into playing along with his clothes.  I'm pretty sure he's hanging onto clothes from about 70 lbs ago.  I'll tell him how fun it will be...we can be in our own movie montage. (I just told him. I put my excited voice on and everything. He smacked his hand to his forehead, which I thought was a good sign. He thinks it's a GENIUS idea! But no...he says he will only play cameraman.) Oh well.

So I'm still agonizing over what to do with the stuff I'm purging.  Some is clearly trash, and that's easy enough. But some things are "someone else's treasure"...I just know they are.  I just don't know that I have what it takes to get them out in the world to meet their soul mate owners.  For example, I have the cutest little soap dish and hand soap pump.  they have adorable ducks on them. I used them in the kitchen--one for dish soap (so smart to pump it one-handed onto a sponge!) and one to hold the scrub brush. I remember falling in love with them--and they were on clearance!  But now I'm streamlining and I'm ready to let them into the universe.  Do I trash them? I'm so very sure that someone else would want them.  Someone else would even pay for them!

Mostly I just feel way too guilty throwing things out.  Money was spent! For now, I'm collecting such things and putting them in the basement. But one day soon--before the end of January, hopefully--I'm going to have to de-clutter the basement.  And then they're either going in the trash, or I have to find somewhere to donate them, or save them for a future yard sale.  I just want them not to be wasted. I was NOT brought up to waste things.

Which brings me to something I'm realizing, perhaps a bit late in life.  I was interviewing a mother the other day at work (how weird is it that part of my job is interviewing people older than I? It feels so...disrespectful).  Anyway, she was telling me about how her family didn't have as much money as her daughter's current classmates...but that even if they did, she'd use it to fund experiences, not stuff.  And I was like, I know what you mean!  I was thinking of Thailand, and Italy, and Denmark, and Spain and scuba diving and skydiving and cooking lessons and dancing lessons and the Grand Canyon, and the hot air balloon.  That's the stuff life is made of...the adventures I'll love reliving with my grandchildren one day. 

There are some things really do add joy to my life and home: books, and organizing thingies, and some gadgets that make my life easier, and games, and cozy blankets, and aesthetically pleasing items like colorful pillows and candles.  But, I'm finding through this exercise, that there's a whole truckload of shit that I buy that I really don't need. 

The trick, I guess, is learning to telll the difference. Before it's too late. (Have you seen that show Hoarders??!? It's the most disturbing thing I've ever seen...perhaps it hits a bit close to home, hummm? hmm?!?!)  In any case, I now have a new motivation for being a bit more discerning in the shopping arena: I hope to never have to de-clutter my home again. Ever. And I also hope to be able to move to my next home in one small, organized UHaul truck. The less stuff I buy, the more I'll like my home.

Hmmm. And I always thought the opposite.

Ooh---and I get extra credit today, because besides all the calories burned (and muscles developed) scrubbing floors, I still managed to make it to the gym.  (confession: it was mostly because I thought Melissa would be there.  But I did resist the urge to return home when I found out she wasn't.)  After such a productive day, Michael and I indulged in a delicious sushi dinner and a deliciously quirky movie. 

And now, you ask? With one hour left in the day, I plan to start on the FEBRUARY *gasp* issue of Oprah Magazine.  With a bowl of half fat vanilla bean ice cream. 

And maybe just a tad bit of hot fudge.  It'll soothe my aching biceps.

What did you get done today, dear reader? You still have an hour left....go do it and come back and brag. I'll wait here.


SLawlor said...

Reminds me of "More Fun, Less Stuff" - :)

Jess Boehm said...

Today I cleaned about a quarter of my far anyway! I know it doesn't sound like much, but it involved getting rid of a lot of stuff....organizing...and dusting as I went along! Maybe the bookshelves are next...

Melisa K. said...

S-love that website, thanks for sharing. I'll have to explore it more fully when I have more time.

J-wow-that sounds impressive! And good job dusting/cleaning as you go. It took me a while to catch on to that. haha. Try to clean another quarter before you give up. You'll have half a clean room to sit in appreciatively, and you'll be so motivated to clean the other half. Once it's clean, it's SOO much easier to keep it clean. If something is cluttered, it's so easy to just drop more shit on top of it and shrug. (funny, I feel the same way about money. If I have some, it's easier to save. But when I was in debt, it was easy just to spend, spend, spend.) =) I sense a social science theory coming here...