I have too many irons in the fire. I have no plan, or not really. I have a HUGE amount of things I want to accomplish this summer and only so much time to do them.
Painting– metal couch, kitchen cabinets, living room floor, kitchen floor, touch up laundry room, new peg rails for laundry room, finish the trellis, the garden beds.
Clean/cull — everywhere except the veggie garden, which happens as it’s used.
Catalog– all the excess stuff and get it out of here.
I wrote someone a note a few weeks ago that had all the “little rooms” in this house, that is, all the rooms that are actually little AND all the bigger rooms divided into smaller, functional areas. I came up with 29 areas indoors and 19 outdoors, or 38 areas to clean/cull! I do not have the time, unless this house is basically CLEAN to keep that many spaces clean/tidy from scratch. If nothing else, listing the areas got me to see that cleaning isn’t so much a “chore” as a necessity. I cannot keep the place clean going at it willy-nilly, not if I want to do anything other than clean things endlessly.
If I want a clean house and want all of it to be so, then I have to get it clean, so that I can keep it that way, and still have some time to do the other things I want to. The revelation here wasn’t that maintaining a clean house takes less time, it was that to do what I really want to, maintaining a clean house is a necessity, or nothing gets done well– as now.
So I need a system.
Right now my “system” is that I do the following on Mondays: clean the bathroom and re-stock the TP, dish soap, etc. Aside from that the kitchen is cleaned at least once daily, although that’s usually only the dishes are put in the dishwasher, put away, and the food cleaned up.
Did I mention that I HATE schedules? I do!
I find them almost always just another failure or reason to fail. I’ll make up cards from the list and try shuffling them to figure out what to do next — no rigid schedule. The bathroom on Monday thing started to see if I could handle cleaning/having clean one specific spot of my house, without panic, and it worked. Refilling the TP holder (it holds an extra roll) and checking the dish soap (we use a smaller bottle at the sink than we buy) just seemed like a good thing to do at the beginning of the week.
To do a schedule with any chance of working, I need to divide the areas into quick tasks and more involved ones. There’s no way I can do 5 three-hour tasks in a given day, and if I try that or something similar, I’m doomed to fail, no matter how hard I work.
Also, because of my panic problem, I need to schedule breaks between shorter tasks & in the middle of longer ones. If I don’t do that, I’ll do a cleaning marathon, panic, and then mess the place up again — which is what has happened previously.
The only chance I have of actually doing this is to pay attention to the PTSD piece and leave room for it. I don’t know if this will work, everything else I’ve ever tried obviously hasn’t, or has only in a limited way.
There are other things goading me:
We’re living like my abuser did, and I find the parallel appalling
DH deserves a clean house, if for nothing else not ragging at me about it for the past 30+ years!
I wonder if this can work?
Here’s what I ended up with: daily laundry/put away (2 x 10 mins), catalog or paperwork (1 hr), play (1 hr) which is 2 hr 20 mins. Along with an assortment of other chores, from 15 mins to 1 hr., a selection of one 1 hr task and as many other short things that will make up another hour. Total time = 4 hr, 20 mins.
The first batch the variable pieces ended up being: down office counter (1 hr), front attic (45 min), laundry room (15 min).
I put the tasks on colored 3×5 cards (I had them already) and have hung “today’s” cards on a curtain ring (also already owned). I put the daily tasks on white cards, the 1 hour tasks on pink, 45 min on blue, and 15 or 30 min tasks on yellow. I have 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 pink card & the white cards to do today. My plan is to put the date I do (whatever) on the card under the task. (I’d put ’em on the back, but these are cards I used as a kid to catalog my family’s s/f collection, so there’s writing on one side already.)