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Addicted to clean?

Today I am cleaning my house from one end to the other, literally. I started at my bathroom, which is at the far end, moved into my bedroom, then the hall, then the second bathroom. Next will be the guest bedroom, office, living, dining, kitchen.

I was given a reprieve, frankly. I had what might be the best situation. I had months to sort through my stuff, to give away, sell, throw away, and store. Then my whole moth- and other-animal-eaten house was hauled away in the condition I left it, which was not pretty.

I was able to move into a brand-new, bright shiny clean house with everything working, no leaks, no sloping floors, no threadbare urine-soaked carpet, no water-damaged roof and walls, no holes anywhere. Everything so very new.

I have to admit that it was rather like getting a new car. I wanted everything to stay perfect, like new. So I gradually brought in stuff, leaving the rest in storage. Eventually I was able to get the remainder of my stuff into my own little storage building in back and my house was fully functional. There are still boxes in the office and somewhat hidden in my bedroom. I do need to get to those. The office is also not a room I can point to with pride, because the desk is piled high with a motley disorganized assortment of papers and other items.

Overall the house is still clean and everything still works. I have backed off "perfect" to accept "good" in some sense. Everything is not squeaky clean all the time. Not even part of the time, really. But it's clean most of the time, a bit messy the rest, never impossible to clean, which is was before.

I have developed a love of surfaces that have no dust on them. Especially in the bathrooms. When I see a little layer of grit starting to accumulate it makes me a bit sad. Not always sad enough to do anything about it, because I know Aimee will get to it soon enough. Aimee being my once-a-month house cleaner. Today, though, I did rather reach a level of discomfort and I decided to take it room by room. I go into one room, give it a nice once-over, then go to the couch to read. A chapter later I arise again and attack the next room. This way it takes a while but it makes me happy. Especially the sinks and counters in the bathrooms. I like to touch them, feel their smoothness.

I have also gotten quite comfortable with having a mess. My mother used to say she liked to see the difference. She didn't like the house to look the same all the time. Unfortunately for her and for us we let it go way too far so there was not getting it back in one day. In fact, when we moved out of our house in town it took us days to clean the guck off the kitchen floor.

I find I rather subscribe to her concept now, even though I have tried to become that other person, the one whose house is always ready for company. I am okay with the dishevelment, knowing I can bring it back. And so it is that I look on this cluttered dining table, I go into the kitchen where odds and ends sit in the sink and on the counter, and I sit and read in a living room where the coffee table is a bit on the messy side. It's okay. I think it's a compromise I can live with and it makes me less stressed. I know it won't conquer me.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
taking back the space!
I think you're pretty normal--in a good way.

One of my friends & I were talking last night about our respective housecleaning statuses. My judgment is that she's far more on top of things than I have been, though it takes so much out of her--she's living in a ranch house, her husband passed away a year & a half ago, and everything's pretty much up to her.

We both agree that we have warehouses of what amounts to crap to deal with. My best shot at a solution is to just carry something out of the house (in my case, apartment), that gets deposited in the dumpster, every time I leave the apartment. Sometimes it could be a couple of small items, other times, it would be a garbage bag with stuff that's going, or bags of glass & plastic for recycle, or a bundle of mixed paper for the recycle bin. If I stick to that, then there could be some extra surfaces in the apartment, which would do me a world of good, as I'll be better able to get to the boxes I brought into the apartment over time to store away stuff I had decided to save.

Beats a blank.

Feb. 7th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: taking back the space!
Yes, I think so too. I am not obsessive about clean but I keep the worst in check. People tell me it's restful in my house. It never was in the old one.

I too tend to accumulate things and I too now find it easy to remove stuff. I recycle more than I trash, I bring stuff to the thrift shops from time to time, I give away books (of course) constantly. The more I give away the easier it is. I'm sure you've noticed that too.

The paper is the hardest to control. I'm working on it.
Feb. 7th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: taking back the space!
I hear you about the paper being the hardest part. Today I got some of the mixed paper & cardboard tied up. *wondering what I'm thinking when I buy jute twine for this* So, tomorrow, when I go out of the apartment, that'll be at least one item I carry out with me.

I also took measurements of the TV set I want to move into the living room and the space into which I intend to place it. It'll fit. That should enable me to rearrange my bedroom as well. First I have to get stuff out of the way of in front of where the TV would go.

Anyway, every little bit helps, and clearing paper away &/or out makes a difference here, too.
Feb. 8th, 2009 06:56 pm (UTC)
Re: taking back the space!
By "paper" I meant the letters, the requests for this or that, the bloody paperwork. Shoulda said paperwork. Recycling paper here is easy, thank heaven.

I'm looking to getting a flat screen television that can be mounted on the wall. I think it will be easier to arrange other stuff when I get one of those. Also, they weigh less. One of the worst things about moving is moving those heavy older sets.
Feb. 8th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Re: taking back the space!
Oh, I was with you on the paper/paperwork thing, never fear! I just cleared out a little more earlier.

As for the TV--the one I have in my bedroom was purchased for me new about 5 & 1/2 years ago. And it really is a heavy m.f.'r. But I could keep it where it is and just continue to clean up space in the living room, or I could have one of the guys help me set it up in the living room and then have more space in the bedroom.

Believe it or not, I don't have as much space for a flat screen as I do for the old-style TV set!

If I get a sound card in the PC, then I'd be able to watch stuff on the computer, no prob'.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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