August 21, 2009

First Task: Completed!

Attention everyone: cleaning progress has been made!

When I was reading the comments on the original post, my plan was to choose the idea that most appealed to me. The one that grabbed my attention was Sarah's of Semi-Desperate Housewife: she suggested starting with the dustwebs in the corners. I have a mop-like item I bought in a fit of Cleanliness Resolve that I knew I could for this: it has a washcloth-like thingie that goes over it and can be turned inside-out halfway through to get a fresh surface.

Approximate time taken: 40 minutes

Resentment levels: Low---I didn't feel like I was cleaning up SOMEONE ELSE'S dustwebs, though I did have a brief "You know, I am the ONLY ONE in this house who would EVER do this chore" feeling.

Exertion levels: Moderate. I'm not used to having my arms up like that or my neck tilted like that, and the mop-thing was awkward to use. There was one corner I couldn't reach (we have a split foyer) and I threw a damp washcloth at it again and again until I got it. My aim, it is poor; but my children, they were greatly entertained.

Satisfaction levels: Medium-high. Those dustwebs caught my eye FREQUENTLY. Now my eye keeps going to the clean corners. Also, I feel as if The Cleaning Project has been LAUNCHED.


So! If you are playing along, my suggested first assignment is to read the comments section on the first post and choose whatever catches YOUR eye. Then come back here and report! (I found the "reporting" aspect Very Motivating: when I was working I kept thinking of how I'd get to TELL YOU I'd been working.)

25 comments:

Kristi said...

Whoever suggested starting with the sheet metal was BRILLIANT. ;)

Amanda said...

I'm feeling the warm mini-spark of motivation. I wonder if it will turn into a full flame...

Lis said...

I find reporting on things very motivating too. Sometimes I think that's why I like the internet, all these people to listen when I do something!

Anonymous said...

Well done! I usually just use the vacuum hose for those but how cool to rid the house of them in one fell swoop.

ALW said...

Great Job Swistle!!! I love those esoteric cleaning tasks. Cleaning with toothpicks and q-tips is especially entertaining as well as non-resentment inducing. I vote you take a toothbrush and toothpick to all the faucets in the house, and the rims of sinks.

Jen said...

Whoo hooo Swistle! I can't remember if I read this in the comments but I chose the "set the timer for 15 minutes" thing. And it worked and I went beyond the 15 minutes to get the dishes done and banana bread muffins made while my husband took out the garbage and dried the dishes. We're going to do it every night until we run out of things to occupy the 15 minutes (like that will ever happen). Yay for cleaning success!

Alias Mother said...

I took my own "take five minutes to move it" advice and have been faithfully picking up toys and sweeping every evening after the Buddha goes to bed. It literally takes five minutes (if that) but the relief it gives me all evening is totally worth it.

Linda said...

I decided to clean my main floor bathroom because the floor was still sandy from our July vacation. And toilet was disgusting. And we have guests coming for dinner next week.

SO. I did! When I took all the towels downstairs to the washing machine, I almost got distracted by the basement carpet that needed vacuuming and the basement stairs that needed animal hair removed.

BUT I FOCUSED. The last thing I cleaned was the mirror and then I figured as long as I had the glass cleaner out, I should clean the other mirrors and then I felt motivated enough to clean the TV and my computer monitor. The dust and fingerprints have been bugging me for a while.

Marie Green said...

Now I'm sitting here, looking up at different spots on the ceiling, wondering if there are dustwebs there that the poor lighting is hiding, or if I've recently shoved a vacuum hose in that direction....

Also: my blinds. They are extremely dirty.

Christina said...

We had company for dinner last night so I was sort of thrust into needing to clean. I just tackled the kitchen since that was where we were primarily going to be.

Reading comments now I'm loving Jen's 15 minute timer!!! I have a huge motivation issue, so I think if I jsut tell myself "only 15 minutes" it'll be easier to start and once I've started I'll just want to finish the task and go beyond the timer!

rebcram said...

OK. Yesterday I cleaned out my junk drawer and put away all the laundry on top of the dryer. It only took an hour and I feel so much better.

My new plan is to spend a few minutes each day tackling or organizing one annoying area.

Let's see how long I keep THAT up.

Melissa H said...

The "reporting aspect" is why I have blog ;) It is SO motivating to get a project done when I think "at the end I can take photos and share on my blog." even if nobody at all cares it helps keep me on track.

Great job with the dustwebs! I think I will sweep my dining/living room

HollyLynne said...

I recently did a blog clean-along hosted by www.mooseinthekitchen.com We had a flickr group that is still up. Check it out if you think photos of messes and cleans might inspire you! http://www.flickr.com/groups/ootls/

Kristen said...

I did two things: I have made our bed EVERY DAY since that first post, since that seemed to be a common suggestion. Then I made a list of two small things I could do daily that would take no longer than half an hour. So now, when I get home from work, I spend half an hour cleaning (with my toddler "helping"). Already I have vacuumed, cleaned the counters and toilets of the bathrooms and dusted--all stuff that I would have done on the weekend. And now I don't have to!

minnie said...

dude. i love you. also, your rating system kicks butt.

desperate housewife said...

Can I just tell you that this, the fact that you chose my suggestion out of the many very good ones, is maybe the proudest achievement of my life?
Also, you totally got me geared up to do some fall organizing, because, while my house is usually pretty CLEAN, I rarely if ever sort through closets and drawers unless forced. Organization is not at all fun for me. Today I am tackling the cupboards and drawers in the bathroom. Wish me luck!

Stimey said...

I love the image of you throwing a damp washcloth at the ceiling. I have a couple places where that could be necessary. Good (hilarious) tip!

Omaha Mama said...

Good job Swistle!!! :0) Glad that you found something productive to do and that felt good to get done. I have that nagging feeling a lot about what would happen if I didn't do the chores (infrequently as I do) that no one else does. I say next you should either clear your kitchen counters. Or wash walls in high traffic areas. Both have a instant gratification that lasts a while (the walls more than the counters...).
Loving this topic - maybe I'll get inspired soon. I really need to!

Kylene said...

Well done!

I always do my kitchen first because it's the first room in the house and the most frequently used, so I never feel like my house is clean or even has a chance to start to be clean if there's dirty dishes all over the place.

It's just me and my husband, so we don't have to deal with any messes from kids. We've been trying to keep the house in a near-perfect state of tidiness (not cleanliness, so much, but tidy). Tomorrow, I'll do a run-through for dropped items, and then all I really have to do is dust and vacuum. It's a good feeling.

I am *so* supportive of everybody on the 15 minute timer concept. I try to get my clients to do that when they're facing perpetual messes. (Are you familiar with the "Ten-second tidy" from "The Big Comfy Couch"?) I recommend putting on a song or two and cleaning up for as long as the song goes. And then you're done! The rest will wait until tomorrow.

This is something you could totally get the kids behind, too. If you hyped it up. :)

I'm glad that you're feeling like this is something you can face!! Keep up the good work!!

(Sorry if this is a double-post. I'm having computer issues tonight.)

Sam said...

I have an issue that has nothing to do with cleaning, but I am thinking about cleaning. My husbands grandparents are coming in from Arkansas in October and I'm already fretting about the clean!

So! I have recently messed with my blog, and the links section. I need to add your blog to it, but I don't know if I can be so bold as to put you in the "Mah Peeps" section or carefully tuck you away in the "Big Girl Undies"...Which sounds like I'm doing something weird to you involving your panties. Sorry! What would you prefer?

Lindsay said...

Oh I didn't know about ceiling corner cobwebs. Until now. Just checked and I have them.

But who cares b/c I did the "start on the floor and just pick things up and put away what doesn't belong there (some may be garbage)" stage on my lunch hour. Yahoo!

Virginia Ruth said...

Hooray! I'm inspired. I like Caitlin's "ten minutes at a time" strategy. I was trying to do something similar with telling myself "half an hour of cleaning every day," but it's just too easy to tell myself I don't have half an hour on a busy day. There is, however, no day so busy that I can't spend ten minutes, and it's relatively easy to motivate myself. Then on days where I have more time, I can alternate ten minutes of cleaning with something fun.

I won't make very fast progress, but it's better than the nothing I've been doing. I did my first ten yesterday-- woot!

Missives From Suburbia said...

You know what I really like about choosing this one? You started at the highest place in the room. I noticed on the original post that someone said they start with the floor and work their way up. The problem with that is you're bound to get crumbs from your countertops on your newly-cleaned floor or dust from you coffee table on your new-vacuumed rug. I forget and do it backwards ALL THE TIME. But you -- you picked the highest spot possible and started there. Brilliant. (Don't tell me it was an accident. I don't care. Pat yourself on the back.)

Jewels said...

I'm home from vacation now and so I'm starting with staring around my house in disbelief at how it became this way. Next, I think I'll try to figure out which one of my two coffee tables to keep, and which to get rid of.

Kelsey said...

That is exactly the type of chore my mother would have done approximately weekly and I do about once a year.

I applaud your accomplishment! (I really mean that, no sarcasm intented!)