If Meyers-Briggs had a test for cleaning types, I would be a NCTB (Never Clean, Then Blitz). I am not good at daily maintenance. I get super focused on work projects, so, in my personal life, things accumulate. I don't notice the dust tumbleweeds rolling across the living room prairie. Piles of dirty dishes are ghosts to me; I don't really see them, but if I did, I'd back slowly and carefully out of the room. (Relationship side note: Yes, this drives my partner beyond bonkers. Annie can't focus UNTIL things are off the counters. She constantly moves, putters and picks things up. Needless to say, she bears the brunt of the day-to-day cleaning.)
Instead, I deal in periodic spurts during which I am fast, efficient and don't mess around. Basically, like Elvis, I take care of business. I organize our massive pile of receipts once a year. I cook elaborate meals for dinner parties. I once packed our entire house to move during my grad school finals. So, I have my own moments of glory. Time-limited, project-based glory.
All this to say that I'm approaching the January Cure with trepidation. (Annie however, is positively gleeful and dancing on the countertops as I write this.) I might tweak it a bit here and there, but I ultimately and begrudgingly see it as a good thing. Here's my first progress report:
Make a List: I love lists. Tara touched upon this already, but it's a total relief to put everything down on paper. It channels your thinking and keeps unwanted to-do thoughts from popping up throughout the day. You can set it aside for later, yet know you won't forget. Chronic list-makers already know this feeling, but for those that don't, lists get two thumbs up.
Set up An Outbox: I'm proud to say we already have one of these, and actually use it! A box lives in our laundry room, under our folding table. Whenever we come across something we no longer want, it goes in the box. Once the box is overflowing with clothes, unwanted gifts (shhh!), and random household stuff, it goes off to Goodwill during one of my regular thrift runs. I truly love this system. On one hand it's instant gratification, but it really only has to be dealt with once in awhile. Perfection.
Weekend Cleaning, Mopping Floors: Technically, I was ahead of the game on this one, namely because we had a huge party for New Year's Eve and had to do a massive clean up just the other day. This involved prying champagne corks out of the ceiling, intense scrubbing and thorough mopping of floors. I am fully reacquainted with every nook and cranny in my home.
Buy Flowers: This is something I never do, and oddly enough, it was the hardest to complete. Since I work at home, leaving the 3-mile radius around my house is sometimes (ahem) challenging. My compromise: While walking Friday the dog I cut a couple of branches from a nearby juniper tree. I've always loved their frosty blue berries, so, even though I didn't technically purchase them, it made me pretty happy to see them on our table.
I feel a little like a cheater this week, because some things were already done, or done according to my own schedule. But I'm here! And I'm doing it! And it's a brand new week next week! Am I cured?
(images: Dabney Frake)