I know it was very recently that I was claiming to be satisfied with my current policy of not doing much housework. The problem is that writing it out like that made me think more about it, and when I thought more about it I started noticing it more, and when I started noticing it more I started feeling a little frantic under the weight of all this clutter and dirt.
And so I suppose what I am saying is that I am going to try to dig myself out. I suppose I am saying that I am intending to do a little housework after all. This is a terrible drag. Those of you who already keep your houses clean will not be impressed with my meager, flailing efforts, and those of you who don't keep your houses clean will feel betrayed by my apparent attempt to cross to the other side. But fear not, allies! My intention is not to turn this house into a sparkling masterpiece, or to spend hours (or even "hour") a day working on keeping it that way. My intention is to try to beat back the actual health and fire hazards, and then do the minimum necessary to maintain those safety levels.
If anyone else would like to join me, perhaps we could form a Dig Ourselves Out brigade. And perhaps those who are already living in cleanliness could contribute tips and motivating thoughts.
I'm starting with the few things I remember from a brief fling I had with The Fly Lady a few years ago. I still appreciate many of her main tenets, but at the time I got tired of the motivational seminar tone, and also of what I perceived to be an ever-increasing level of commitment to cleanliness: first it's "You can do this in just 15 minutes a day!" and before you know it it's 15 minutes of this plus 15 minutes of that plus 15 minutes of this plus 15 minutes of that plus 15 minutes of...and so on.
Here are some of the things she said that I remember, and still like:
1) It's better to do a little of something than none of it. That is, a single wet paper towel swiped across the counter is better than not cleaning the counter at all because you don't have time to do it perfectly and completely.
2) Even just 15 minutes of work a day will make a significant difference over time.
3) If it oppresses you, toss it out.
4) Don't start a load of laundry if you don't have time to see it all the way through to the bitter end.
5) Don't try to dig yourself out all at once.
Today I spent a little time cleaning some of the edges of the kitchen. It bothers me the way dirt and crumbs and fuzz accumulate on the floor under the little ledges of the cabinets and stove and refrigerator, and so I spritzed and wiped, spritzed and wiped, until all the muddy fuzz was gone. I was surprised at how much nicer the entire kitchen looked to me when this small task was done. I am a housecleaning whirlwind! Gather 'round and admire my tiny progress!
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