Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to routine #2: from war zone to messy


Glorious, glorious Sunday! How I wish you wouldn't end... and so I wouldn't have to face Monday.

Today ends the week I should have used for turning my disaster home into something a bit more manageable. I look around and can't see much change, but I feel it. Something has changed and my home does not throw me into as deep a despair as last Sunday. Sure, there's still everything everywhere, not a single clear flat surface on sight, but I have the feeling that once I start working on it tomorrow it'll be easier to manage. Something has changed... but what? And, most importantly, how?

This might sound very similar to what Nony from A Slob Comes Clean does, and it is: I believe that this kind of approach is the best for cases like this. So, how have I turned a disaster into another less threatening one?

  1. Start with what MUST be done. There are things that can wait, but others just can't. I'm sure you know them when you see them: trash that has to be taken out, dirty clothes that have to be washed (or you'll be without clean underwear tomorrow, and that must not happen!), everybody has to eat so food should be bought...
  2. Put away what you use if you can. If you are like us, maybe the mess does not let you put half the things you use in their place. But if you do an effort and put away the other half, everything will slowly come together without you realizing it.
  3. When you go to another room, first look around to see if there's something near you that belongs there. If there is, do not leave empty-handed.
  4. When you have the time to clean, start with the easy things. Do not try to achieve perfection, nor to tackle that long hard project that's been bugging you. Instead, unload the dishwasher, rediscover your coach that has been buried beneath cushions and blankets, or put your coats away. It makes a difference, word.
  5. Every once in a while, give yourself a break. Specially if you catch yourself about to start scolding your 4 months old because he keeps waking up crying and does not let you do anything (I felt such a shame! Poor boy, probably having a nightmare or feeling unwell, and his mom wanting to tell him to stop! Thankfully, I stopped myself before I opened my big mouth), or wanting to scream and throw things at the wall (shame, shame! In my defense, it was only a pillow. But... shaaaaame!). Stop, breathe deep and ask yourself if a cleaner house is worth that much stress and hurt. Then buy yourself some Ikea chocolate cookies and crochet a zebra hat for your kid.

 I've been doing this all week (except the screaming and scolding, which I managed to not do), and while new messes have popped up here and there, I wouldn't declare the house a war zone today. It is very messy, indeed, but not THAT bad.

Tomorrow starts the real work. Wish me luck!

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