Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Too Much Stuff

My home has surpassed Clutter (approaching disaster is probably a better description)! I haven’t reached the point where I am about to nominate myself to appear on the Hoarders TV show, but…………………

So, I have taken 6 vacation days with the intent of organizing, cleaning, decluttering, achieving calm, peace and an end to embarrassment if someone comes into my home. This time I made a list of my priorities. No longer would I spend most of my vacation days on the computer and/or watching TV shows that I had seen at least 4 times before. I had a plan. I knew what I was going to tackle. I knew it would be a big job, but I was ready. No doubt you’ve heard that before. I know that I have. As Robert Burns so aptly said, “the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”

Today was day 5 of 10: I spent nearly the entire day cleaning the four filters of the central air conditioning unit and the return space below, plus the air purifier that I keep in the cats’ room. It’s not that those are big jobs, they were just really dirty. What an amazing amount of cat and dog hair and just plain dirt had accumulated. Hours upon hours of work that no one but I will notice and something that will have to be done over and over and over and over again. My normal reaction when other people scoff at the idea of living with a cat or a dog is anger. Maybe “those people” are smarter than I thought they were.

So, my house after 5 days of vacation is still a wreck because I’ve spent most of the time doing the everyday stuff like washing clothes, cleaning litterboxes and dealing with the unexpected, instead of tackling my To Do list. Yesterday I decided to clean a few of the exposed ceramic floor tiles in the dining room/den. However, when I pushed the large rug back, lo and behold the cats had peed/barfed on the rug and the floor underneath was even worse than the exposed portion. The rug wasn’t worth trying to clean, so I had to move bins, furniture, etc to pull up the rug and carry it outside for the trash. That wasn’t on the list. And the tiles – NASTY, NASTY, NASTY. So I cleaned them by hand (mops and scrub brushes haven’t worked before), one by one. The floor looks great. The rest of the house – not so much. The hard work noticeable to the general public? Not really. Are the dogs and cats impressed? Not at all. But, I like it and can now add handwashing the tiles to another repetitive task to be done. I am feeling quite a bit like Sisyphus……….that darn rock never reaches the top and keeps rolling back down to the bottom of the mountain. At least at 60 years old, eternity doesn’t seem all that far away.

So, tomorrow I’m taking a day off and going to a matinee. Before that, I plan to clean the bathroom. After the movie, I’m donating 12 years of National Geographic magazines to A Gift for Teaching so teachers and students can use them. At least something will be permanently leaving the house and be put to good use. And after that, a trip to the chiropractor so that I can continue to abuse my body as I clean, lift, move and rearrange all the stuff I’ve accumulated for low these many, many years.
To be continued………………………………..


  1. I am glad you got a start on it, Connie. If I were there, I just love cleaning things up. I went into a place to get some cats once, and there were clothes piled almost waist high in one room, very old clothes, rotted and moldy. I wanted to start in right away, get everything out of there, cleaned up. She said, "So you like things in order, eh? And not packratted in? This must be hell for you." I had to confess, yes, it was hell to be in such a place, but also I love to start cleaning it out. She really started in, hauling things off, burning things. I don't know what happened after I left, however. Wish I was there to help.

  2. Still way more to go. The list may take a lifetime to complete, but I'm still determined. I spent last night catching one of my house ferals. She's been hiding and laying in her own poop in the closet because another cat has been terrorizing her. This morning I have to clean up the big cage so that I can put her in that for the time being. Again, something that wasn't anticipated, nor on The List. At least she's eating and drinking and not sick.