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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cleanliness is next to...

Cleaning.
I don’t like to do it.
At all.
If you look in the dictionary under slob, there’s a comment about me there and maybe even a photo of my house under “natural habitat of”. 2 unorganized people married and we bought a house? What were we thinking? A prime example of our skills is the fact that we only just got a lawnmower and trimmer for our yard and it’s been 3 years of jungle (but at least no more borrowing from family when the jungle gets out of control). There is a yard under our safari – who knew?
Lately, J’s & my complete lack of tidying skills has pushed me over the edge. Don’t get me wrong, the house is not dirty, but it is cluttered and varying levels of messy. We just don’t have enough places to put things, so either we have too many things, or need storage…or both. Plus, anything we use is usually left where it was used last…making one heck of a mess with time wasted looking for stuff. We usually have a fit every few months and tidy up as best we can, but we never get rid of clutter piles and actually organise our life much.
Either way, the knowledge that I will be hosting a wedding shower for J’s sister at the house in 3 weeks that will include many old Mennonite ladies has sprung me into action. It is a good thing I think. I found a site on-line (Flylady) that divides your house into sections, prompting you to do things in each section every day/week. Some are just logical things, like sweep out the back doorway, which I just don’t think to do. Others are more detailed, like ways to organize and actually get rid of what you don’t need. It’s a bit hokey, but I need help, because even after removing a tonne of other people’s junk from our house, we still have a long way to go with our stuff. The idea is you tidy 15 minutes a day minimum, eventually getting clutter out and a sense of order in, along with developing a few morning and evening habits. Normally I don’t go in for things like this, but I have proven I am utterly incapable of this sort of thing on my own...so here goes. The truth is I’d love to just invite people over and not need to apologize for the mess.
I started this June 1. I've been doing a bit every day and already a few places in the house that were always cluttered are now cleared off and I’m starting to get into the habit of just picking something up and putting it away when I’m done with it…this may seem logical to the rest of the world, but it is nearly an epiphany to me. Quite honestly, J’s been looking at me like I’m nuts when I do it now, as it’s totally out of character for the most part.
The cool thing is I can actually see improvements and it’s encouraging. It’s like when I changed my eating & exercise habits...I want to find out what actually works for me; start small, and do it forever, not just when I feel like it.
The trick is to see how long I can keep it up. The whole point of posting this is that I’m going to update every month about if I’m keeping up with the whole thing. Wish me luck…and just maybe I’ll invite you all over to my clean house some day for a BBQ…and you can even come inside!
I just want to be able to sit back with a Harp and think – “ah, my home!” and not ignore all the things that I need to do enjoy it…as long as I’m trying that is enough for now.

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