1) There is at least some interest in a Dig Ourselves Out project.
2) None of us want to involve The Fly Lady.
Hey, I'm with you: The Fly Lady has some good ideas, but she's more of a "I want to suck away your entire life" cult than a cleaning program. So! Let's get started. I should warn you that anyone who is saying, "Oh, yes, I am such a slob, I only do a big thorough whole-house cleaning once a week" is going to be appalled by the level at which we are starting. This is more the "Vacuum? Yes, I think I vacuumed last fall. Or was it the fall before that?" level of cleaning.
Today's project is to choose a cluttery problem area and spend 15 minutes cleaning it. I know, I know, Someone Else does "15-minute" cleaning projects, but 15 minutes just happens to be a nice amount of time to spend, and so we are going to adopt that number without worrying too much about where else we might have heard it.
The cluttery problem areas in my house are so legion, it was difficult to choose one, but I chose the kitchen table. Here is what the table looked like Before:
And here is a partial list of things I found while cleaning it:
- a sleeper with a broken zipper
- two strawberry-shaped drinking glasses full of pencil shavings
- a bag of bowls I bought at Target and hadn't decided yet about keeping
- baby congratulations cards from when the twins were born (June 2005)
- a block of wood
- toy plastic lump of green peas
- paperwork for the truck
- 2 bins (plus 1 pile) of baby books (I read to the twins while they're in their high chairs)
- 2 flashlights
- a metal pint-sized ice cream holder
And here is what the table looked like After:
Better, yes? It's not totally clear, but theoretically people could eat at this table now, and you can see much more of the vinyl leaf-patterned tablecloth I put on there in the fall of 2005. The baby cards are still there, but going through those is outside the scope of a 15-minute project window. I've reduced the baby books to one bin, and put the others in the babies' room, to be rotated when I can't stand even one more repetition of the ones on the table.
Now it is your turn! Go forth, and conquer a patch of clutter! Maybe you don't have anything as bad as at my house, but you could tackle a pile of old mail, or a junk drawer, and if necessary reduce the time to 10 minutes. Go at your own pace, people.