I am the worst housekeeper in the history of the universe. I love having a clean house but I don't like to clean it. I get this gene from my mother (hi mom!). I'm quite lazy in the cleaning department and laundry department and doing the dishes department. I notice that when my house is messy I become more disorganized and scatter brained because I have to try extra hard to do things. If I need to cook I have to hand wash dishes that I need. When the morning rolls around and I have to get ready for work it can take me 15 minutes to find the right bra that may or may not be clean and if it is clean it may or may not be in a random pile waiting to be put away. When people come over I feel like I have to run around like a crazy person to clean for them, but really I'm cleaning for me because I don't want people to think I'm a lazy-non-cleaning person. But I am. There, I said it.
So! I'm making a few changes.
A few years ago I discovered Fly Lady and it really got me in the habit of cleaning my house everyday. Before I knew it, every single room was clean and orderly and it was pleasant to come home and spend time there. If you've never heard of Fly Lady it's basically a program that helps you get your home in order a little at a time. It's not about taking hours out of your day or tearing a room apart to make it perfect. It's baby steps. It all starts with a clean, shiny kitchen sink. I did my Flying fairly religiously until who knows what happened and it fell by the wayside.
Last week I started back up again. I went to bed last week with a shiny sink and not a single dish sitting around. I confess that earlier this week with my knee that I went to bed twice with a dirty sink and it bugged me as soon as I walked into the kitchen in the morning. I couldn't stand having even a bowl sitting there when it just needed to be moved to the dishwasher. My next step was to pick a room in the house and spend 15 minutes each day cleaning and decluttering. It's amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes each day. Just a few minutes ago I spent my 15 minutes in my bedroom and tackled a pile of clothes that had been sitting on my dresser for, I kid you not, months. My dresser is clean now, the clothes are put away where they belong and I found some shoes I was missing. (Obviously it was a large pile.)
The other change I made was because I watched an episode of Oprah where she challenged families to pick 10 things a day for a week to donate. As of yesterday I've picked my 10 things and have them piled up ready to go to Goodwill. It's hard to find 10 things a DAY when you accumulate stuff that you don't need but you might need it someday. I can't even tell you how many times I've kept something thinking I may need it someday and rarely do I need it. A can of Aqua Net hairspray from 1986? I might have a hair emergency, even though I haven't used hairspray in YEARS. That button from that coat I wore once 10 years ago? It might come in handy someday! How annoying. I'll have 70 things to donate by the end of the week and I cannot express how exciting that it to me. Things I chose tonight were a few shirts I haven't worn in years, a couple of cheap picture frames and a sweater I've been hanging on to for a year even though it shrunk in the dryer.
I've got to stop letting my stuff control me and I need to control it. I don't need all this junk and I don't want it anymore. I want spacious, clean, welcoming and comfortable. I don't want dusty, cluttered, old and cramped anymore. It's so easy to do, it's just a matter of doing it even it's only 15 minutes at a time.