Here’s an actual thing that happened this week: I went out to dinner with my fabulously bearded dude–who recently managed to set his face on fire and burn off a chunk of that fabulous beard, by the way, and the fact that that’s the kind of thing that could happen to him either makes us really well matched, or, like, heading for some epic disaster together… probably both–anyway my somewhat-charred-but-still-fabulously-bearded dude decides to come back to the farm after dinner, and just before he stepped inside I got a glimpse of the absolute shit-show that is my house right now, and then I stopped dead in my tracks and actually made him close his eyes while walking through the kitchen before I stuck a beer in his hand and banned him to the living room while I raced around trying to make my house look less like a future episode of hoarders.
Holy shit, you guys. My life is a mess.
I mean, my life is usually, ah, comfortably messy? But with my focus on outdoor projects lately, I might have gone a bit ’round the bend.
And maybe it’s a because I just made a big purchase which reminded me that despite living in the middle of nowhere and often carrying on in-depth conversations with my chickens, I am, in fact, a responsible adult. Or maybe it’s because the afore mentioned bearded dude recently found an amazing person to help with the cleaning and whatnot around his place, and is constantly bragging about how awesome it is to have a clean home. I don’t know. But I do know that things are bad enough that I need to spend a little quality time over the next two weeks getting my shit together.
So. I came up with a plan. Well, wait, no… first I found this site: Unfuck Your Habitat
From the website: There’s a weird sort of void in the “taking care of your physical surroundings” stuff, in the archaic “how to keep a home” and “how to be domestic” arenas. It tends to ignore single people, or people without kids, or students, or people with pets, or people with roommates, or people with full-time jobs, or classes, or other shit going on. It assumes everyone is married with kids and one partner is around a lot of the time, and has a lot of time to devote to “housekeeping.”
Well, we don’t all live that life.
No. No we don’t all live that life. Unless you count my cat, who is, in fact, around a lot of the time and has plenty of time to devote to “housekeeping”. He chooses to do this instead…
So, it’s time for a different plan. One of the great ideas on UfYH is the 20/10 — 20 minutes of cleaning, and a 10 minute “break” (chasing chickens, anyone?) I tend to “clean” by going on a binge-cleaning marathon once every couple of months, where I literally spend six hours cleaning everything I can reach in the house, and then it’s back to being a disaster 24 hours later, and I vow never to waste that kind of time or energy again. I’ll just buy paper plates thankyouverymuch.
But a 20/10 (or two) in any given day actually seems manageable. I decided to make a list of the major spaces in the house right now, and my plan is to at least get these spaces moderately unfucked in the next 10 days, then see how well I can maintain them after that.
One of the biggest hurdles for me is that I don’t like cleaning or organizing a space that I’m eventually going to tear up and make more functional. So every time I’ve said to myself “I really need to clean the Laundry room” in the last two years, what I really meant was, “I really need to tear out the counter, build new cabinets, and put in a new floor… then I’ll be able to organize this properly.”
Yeah. You can see the flaw in that logic.
It’s very, very hard for me not to think that way though, so I made some lists for all of the main living spaces in the house and the one rule I had for each of them was that I had to work with where the room is at now, and not where I want it to be when it’s finished. (Although I added a few smaller “bonus projects” in for each room, because I can’t help myself.)
Here’s the “downstairs” list…
- Organize closet (move old coats upstairs, hat/scarf boxes, shoes, archery stuff)
- Organize shelving (hooks/drawers?)
- Clean floor/ organize shoes
- Bonus project: Paint door black
- Hang new shower curtain liner
- Organize cabinet
- Stock up on supplies (shampoo, soap, Qtips, cotton balls, tooth brushes etc. for guests)
- Deep clean… seriously, find the bleach
- Holy shit that counter
- Stock up on supplies (laundry, cleaning)
- Organize the cabinets
- Clean out the sink
- Bonus project: Hang new doors
- Clean floors
- Organize cupboards
- Clean off counters (all the way)
- Clean out fridge
- Organize canning/beer-making supplies
- Bonus project: Convert cabinet for trash/recycling
- Get tax info together
- Organize important papers
- Move old desk out of closet, move storage items into closets
- Clean, clean, clean
- Calendar/ bill paying system
- Scrape and clean doors (touch up red paint)
- Stock up on office supplies (paper, printer ink, other?)
- Bonus project: Quick build storage with wire shelves
- Bonus project 2: wood overlay on closet doors, swap hardware.
- Bonus project 3: Cords/ elevated computer (need wooden box)
- Clean out (get ready for floors)
- Change Lightbulbs
- Bonus project: Find actual door handle
- Bonus project 2: Fix effed up ceiling drywall (and repaint)
(I guess I forgot to take a picture of this room, but suffice it to say, all of the Christmas decorations the trespassing bird knocked over a few months ago are still… right where they fell.)
- Refresh mantel/books
- Bonus project: TV stand
- Bonus project 2: Mirror behind couch
Intangibles & Other Things
There are a few things I need to do that don’t actually belong to a “room”, such as…
- Clean out personal/website inboxes and respond to emails
- Clean off desktop of personal computer
- Organize images on phone
- Get phone chargers with right cord for around house
- Refill salt/medium in iron filter and softener
- Set up time for goodwill to pick up unused furniture
- Call about entry floor
- Get bathroom remodel plan drawn up
So that’s the list (for the downstairs)… I’m going to do 20/10’s until it’s done, but I’m shooting for 7 days from now– not including the holiday or weekend, which is still for outside projects. And for this…
If you’re wondering why I’m publicly admitting my life is a disaster– you’re actually not wondering that, because it’s probably not your first time reading this website, right?– well, there are two reasons. 1.) accountability, and 2.) I can’t be the only person whose life is a complete disaster (right? right??) so if anyone needs a little motivation and wants to join me… I’ll be starting with the mudroom Monday night.
You can expect more updates than usual this week, but they’ll probably be shorter check-ins than my usual posts… because I’ll be cleaning while I drink instead of writing.
I’m totally ready for this.