Thursday, October 03, 2013

Operation: Focus on One Job at a Time

One of my biggest problems when it comes to getting the house clean is that I just don't focus on one thing at a time.  So I'll do a lot of work, but never get anything done.  When I do make the conscious decision to focus on one room at a time, I start with the living room and kitchen, then move onto the bathroom.  This has always made the most sense to me.  Clean the rooms that guests are most likely to see, then clean the rest.  Only recently have I realized that this logical way of thinking is backwards, and the reason that I have had "Sort through blue box from the basement" on my to-do list for the past two years.  The funny thing about the living room, kitchen and bathroom is no matter how often you clean them, you always have to clean them again.  The more people that live in your house (in our case, three), the quicker they need to be cleaned after having already been cleaned.  Always being most concerned with the rooms that people might see, the rest of the rooms -- the bedrooms, the computer room, the laundry room, the basement -- get neglected.

I don't mind doing all of the housework.  Adam does all of the work outside of the home, and Patience has her school work to focus on (and a few chores so that when she becomes and adult and moves out she doesn't expect me to come over and clean her house, 'cause that ain't happening).  And I really do like to get the house clean, keep the house clean, and most importantly, have the house clean.  Also, being a bit of a control freak, it's difficult for me to delegate tasks, even when I probably should (I've been trying to work on this, but I have a ways to go).  It's my unenergized ass that doesn't like doing all of the housework.  My unenergized ass doesn't like spending a day getting the living room clean and spending the next day getting the kitchen clean, just to have to spend the following day cleaning the living room again.  My unenergized ass gets overwhelmed and even more unenergized when I keep going around in circles and never really get anything done.

So...   This is the plan I've come up with.  I am going to leave the living room and kitchen alone for now, and start with the things I would normally leave until later.  This will be a strange break from my usual spiral of insanity; doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  Those things that I normally leave for later are things that either only need to be done once, or once they are done they are easier to keep that way because they are lower traffic areas.

If I clean my house from the inside-out, instead of from the outside-in, focusing on only one room or project until it's done at a time maybe -- just maybe -- we will see this house clean again.  Once the house is clean, upkeep is easy.  At least, that's how I remember it from the days of yonder when it was just me and a small child.  Why is it that adults and teenagers make much larger messes than small children?  One of life's greatest mysteries, I suppose.

I'm looking forward to seeing what is in that blue box in the basement ...

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