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Confessions of the Attentionally Deficit (or, Why My Home Exists in Disarray)

This post has been moved to my other blog, The Road to Black. To post a comment, visit the link.

I have been trying to get a handle on the clutter and visual commotion in my home. Well, I have been doing that for years, but here I am writing about my most recent efforts.

DAY 1: Dirty dishes have reached critical mass, so I clean the kitchen. Load and run the dishwasher. Scrub and sanitize the sink with Soft Scrub (using my trusty washable dish rag, of course). Make a token effort to get the crud off the flat-top stove. Fill the dish rack with clean pots and pans.

It's quite a feat to do all this without getting distracted, but alas it is not to be. The counter on the other side of the kitchen catches my eye. It's a clutter of unsorted mail, food wrappers, dirty drinking glasses, and odds and ends. Definitely a candidate for an Organization Project.

Step One: Sort everything into Keep and Toss piles. I need a box for each, so I go searching. In the laundry room I see the dirty "delicates" I meant to wash, so I load them in and put the washer on the "Gentle" cycle.

Satisfied, I walk back into the kitchen and see the counter. Oh yeah! I was in the middle of organizing it! I find a second box under the table (the first one was actually one the counter already amid the clutter) and get to work.

Quickly I see that the "Keep" pile will be bigger than the "Toss" pile. Optimistically, I had planned for the opposite. I switch box contents.

When I am done, the "Keep" box has a lot of papers that need to be assessed for importance. I rescue those, stack them up, and put them neatly on the counter, right next to the "Keep" box. I conscientiously recycle what I can out of the "Toss" box and bag up the rest. The box itself ends up on the kitchen table for want of another home.

I decide I have been very productive and save the sorting of the "Keep" box for later.

DAY 2: I hear the bird chirping plaintively and realize I forgot to feed him today. Going into his room, I decide it needs a cleaning. I start to lock the cat out of the room, but remember I need a broom and dustpan. I go to the laundry room to arm myself and go back to the bird room. Then I go back to the laundry room to get a trash bag, which I forgot. I change his paper, and and as I start to sweep up feathers and seeds from the floor, I gaze out the window and realize the mail has probably come. I vaguely think I'm expecting something important so I really want to check it, even though I can't remember exactly what it is I'm waiting for.

By extraordinary conscious effort I resist going to check the mail until I finish sweeping. The mail turns out to be all junk, which I put on the table (next to the empty box) because I cleared the counter yesterday, and I don't want to mix the circulars and credit card offers with the pile of important but still-unassessed papers I made yesterday.

I put the broom in the laundry room and suddenly remember the load of "delicates" that's still in the washer. A quick check reveals they haven't gone sour. I tromp upstairs to lay them out to dry. (What? Your laundry never goes sour while languishing in the washer? We know all about that phenomenon around here!) I walk right past the items accumulated on the bottom landing that need to be carried up, not even noticing them.

It goes on like this. But they haven't condemned the house yet!

Still to come: A picture is worth a thousand words!

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Milehimama said...
January 17, 2008 at 2:03 PM  

Half a cup of vinegar added with the detergent gets the mildew smell out.

Not that I would know anything about sour laundry...

Birdie said...
January 21, 2008 at 11:06 PM  

Yep! Definitely a post I can relate to! ;)

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