Except for sleeping in the guest room all week, I really hadn’t considered going anywhere for Spring break. With four art classes, five days a week, and most of the leftover time spent on finishing art projects, my house has been looking a little disorderly. I try to find a balance between "clean enough to be healthy" and "dirty enough to be happy," but at some point you have to sweep the room with more than a glance.
I LOVE living in a clean house, sleeping on freshly laundered sheets, and relaxing on fur-free furniture—who doesn’t? But I HATE housework. The last thing I want to do is spend time on a task that I’ll just have to do all over again next week. I wish I thought it was fun or challenging or therapeutic, but for me it ranks right below exercise and pulling weeds. I doubt even our OCD friends look at housework as enjoyable.
Still, I thought Spring break is a perfect time to regain control over the dust bunnies, polish the copper teapot, and clean out the garage. I know, as a rally cry it hardly ranks with “Palm Beach or Bust,” but such is the burden of age and a mortgage.
The Pop Psychologist Is “IN”
I am a Type A-minus personality. I am competitive, ambitious, high-achieving, multi-tasking, unhappy about delays, and not-controlling-but-definitely-bossy. I make numbered lists: 1) written and 2) mental. I drive myself with deadlines. It is, however, this aversion to housework and other maintenance tasks that keeps me from being a Type A-plus personality. I mean, seriously, you will never find me up at 2 a.m. because I had to load the dishwasher before I could go to bed.
So, in thinking about how to approach my Spring break objectives (yes, yes, I realize that developing an “approach” is a stall tactic and that I should just start cleaning), I decided to go with my strengths: I made a list and gave myself a deadline.
The Week’s Not Over Yet
I won’t bore you with the details of the list (lest you hold it over me come Monday morning), but I will share a few of the week’s highlights:
- I cleaned out the refrigerator, including washing the five jam jars that had less than a teaspoon of jam in them so they could be put in the recycle bin. I thought about combining them, but didn’t have a taste for fig-pear-pomegranate.
- I scrubbed the kitchen floor, which interestingly has 81 full-sized 12” x 12” tiles and 32 partials, and laundered the now-pink throw rugs.
- I set up and organized an Excel file with all my online passwords. Notice to would-be hackers: The word “password” does not appear anywhere in the file.
- I washed five pairs of shoes; I am still waiting for them to dry.
- I designed new business cards.
- I read an article about Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, looked up French chef Escoffier, started memorizing the names of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, and finished From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. (Okay, these were spur of the moment additions to the list.)
- I loaded Microsoft Outlook onto my computer and started organizing my contacts and calendar. Notice to family and friends: Look for a request to update your information.
- I scrubbed the floors in the laundry room/cat bathroom. For parity’s sake: 52 full-sized tiles, 11 partials.
- I tracked down (after a nonfruitful visit to OSH) and ordered replacement bulbs for my office lamps.
- I painted awhile on my two-panel landscape. I think I’ve got the wheat field up to an “8½” and the desert up to a “7.”
- I wrote this week’s blog post…