Monday, June 22, 2009

Maintenance, Movement, MONDAY! (Marathon Blog)

Did everyone's to do list spread out all over their weekend like a rash or was it just me? Perhaps this would stop happening if I could stop incessantly adding grandiose bullshit to my already hypomanic Saturday lists. Like, it's never enough to scrub the house from top to bottom, plus windows inside and out, I always have to add, like, paint the bathroom, which I start by, well, starting. So all told, I completed my list, and am neck deep in new endeavors to accompany my regular weekly tasks. But it's cool.

I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to my beloved Sam, who got me off my pathetic ass yesterday, when I woke up around 4pm, whining to her about the outside of my windows (completed the insides the previous night at 11:30pm, waiting on company), and having yet to bleach my kitchen floor after so diligently scraping the filth from under the baseboards with a toothpick the day before. I also told her the mere thought of this was going to make me cry. (Note: I always tease Sam about her Army days, and she demures.) So she texted me:

-nap to recover

Sgt. Sam

I don't know what more I could say about this lady without her Dyson getting jealous, but suffice it to say, she got this heap moving yesterday. I washed all 28 outside windows, and sat on the kitchen floor with a bowl of hot bleach and scrubbed every single line of the linoleum until it shone bright white. Then I wrapped the kitchen in crime scene tape so no one ever goes in it again. I can't remember if these were on my Saturday list, but I also emptied all waste baskets and scrubbed outside garbage can, superficially.

Confession: In the spirit of keeping things honest here, I did not accomplish everything on my list, as god did not see fit to answer my prayers to add ten hours to each day. I was too overwhelmed to look in my kids' room, I didn't know what the fuck to do with Todd's business papers, and I have bad luck touching people's important things in a cleaning frenzy (remember throwing away my mom's paycheck when I was 15 because it cluttered up the counter?). I stared at the X-Box cords for at least an hour, but they never moved.

I am going scavenging for some shelving I know we have for the kids' room, as they're developing Todd's penchant for stacking-on-stacking-on-stacking...

I do need to finish the cocksucking online form, get more cardigans at Old Navy, and go to Target to see if they have a sham to match Rei's new bedding set. Speaking of Target, okay ladies (especially you Jacob), I need input. I had the same bedding set for six years and while I love it (from Target's old Waverly line, when the quality was good and not some thin bullshit made by an enslaved Burmese six year old chained to a sewing machine) I needed something different, calming, cooler. So I bought a chocolate brown set, which made me happy for 10.5 seconds. Then while shopping with Pamela, I discovered this other set. I really needed to her to tell me that my brown set was superior, not to even entertain the new set, but she was all, "OMG I love that, it's so pretty." Goddamn it. Do you KNOW how daunting it is to rip off the bedskirt, stuff that shit back into the bags, return, buy new set? So I'm deviating a bit from cleaning to ask your opinion(s) on the following sets.

This is what I just bought. Very cool, perfect weight, just kind of welfare-feeling:

And this is the set that has my eye wandering:

What say you?

Okay back to business.

I want to emphasize three tenets of, not exactly cleaning, but of preventing one's house from becoming a paralyzing shit hole. We've discussed them before but it's time for a review. How much longer can I keep you all enthralled with the basics?

One: Maintenance. This is where the basics play a huge roll, obviously, but there's more to it. Perhaps make a list of ten things that must stay managed in order for you not to speed away and never return. This has to include dishes and laundry because they are merciless, but other ideas can include made beds, clear counter tops, floors swept, etc. The more things we maintain by rote, the less likely we are to find ourselves with a house looking like the invasion of Normandy. Maintenance people!

Two: Making every movement count. This can be tough to remember, but you have to pretend your eyes are the size of Volkswagens and start seeing everything amiss as you walk by, grabbing, tossing, wiping, straightening everything you can. Every time you move, really. It sounds impossible but moving is the hard part, you're just adding some limb action. It will barely slow you down, I promise. Do you think I wake up with a mental check list of chores? Nope. I make my bed when my feet hit the floor, go to the bathroom, wipe down the toilet, and then the other one so it's fair, make the other beds, notice the laundry, maybe sweep the laundry room, head to the kitchen to eat and pop some pills, sweep while my toast is burning, wipe counters, make a list, and by the time I sit down at the computer I've done ten things. Making the most of every movement!

Three: Psychic rewards. Remember I mentioned the little things we can do, unbeknownst to others, that afford our brains a much-needed exhale? I mentioned cleaning out a basket of shit from Todd's closet a couple months ago. We all have these. I've conjured up some examples, in case you're not in a straight jacket, foaming, pissing yourself, because I've written so much.
-Run whatever you use to hold your toothbrushes through the dishwasher.
-Wipe tables and chairs all the way down with Kirkland Wipes.
-Wipe cords under computer desk, or anywhere really, and the outlets.
-Wipe blinds (or vacuum if you have a small synthetic hair attachment).
-Wipe down all knobs in the house.
-Give the laundry room a little TLC. Sweep, wipe down machines, wash mats, organize shelves, etc.
-Buy all matching hangers (white only, and c'mon people, they're $1!) and rehang all the clothes in the house. Use the old ones for when you have a garage sale this summer, which you will be doing because it will be an assignment, and yes I will come and help motivate you to throw away needless shit, as well as anything that is mauve or forest green.
-Remove five things from refrigerator.
-Put all mats (bath, kitchen, runners, welcome, etc.) into wash. OMG this is orgasmic.
-Get rid of five pieces of clothing. From each closet.
-Do my online form.

So these are just some ideas of things that don't require a ton of time or muscle but can really help your brain feel like it's winning the struggle in the quicksand.

Psychic rewards.

Okay I basically told you what I did this morning, and before an upcoming engagement, I am going to set my timer, and set my mind, and bust out the following:

-With the laundry sorter empty, I need to wash the linen liners and figure out how to get the spots off the bottoms, which really piss me off since our laundry isn't ever in there longer than one night.

-Have Quinn vacuum.

-Organize my overflowing refrigerator which creates this illusion of having nothing to offer the pathetic non-cook that is me. I'm not relishing this. (Get it? Relish?)

-Nothing makes one bathroom feel more like a gas station cesspool than to remodel the other one. I need to take Mr. Magic to the walls of the old one, lest it die of shame before we get it remodeled too.

-Organize back vanity, consolidate Costco packages of toothbrushes, see what's lurking under Todd's cupboard/jungle/bone yard.

-Possibly gut former craft cupboard in the built-in hutch and pile all the shit onto my clean dining room table so as to be forced to sift through, hopefully throwing away virtually everything. Stuff something else into new space.

-Put my clothes away and try to get rid of even more. You know, we only wear five outfits, whether we own six or one hundred. If you haven't worn it in six months, you won't, so toss it.

(After today's activity)

-Go through car wash.

-SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY take everything out of the four food cupboards and re-sort. God. Curse Todd for denying me the right to buy bins last night, on the grounds that I didn't even know what size(s) I needed, and see what I can procure from my storage room from hell.

-Possibly return/buy bed sets depending on you guys. (Yes Gail, I know your opinion and actually greatly appreciate it.)

-Stop pretending everything on my dryer is for an upcoming swap, and clean it.

-Help Todd help Reilly package up her entire collection of Littlest Pet Shops she just sold on eBay last night. (Have I mentioned how incredibly entrepreneurial my kids are? She listed them on her own.)

-Pass out.

As always, you guys can take a shine to any or my tasks, take on the ones I list, or yank me off my soap box by doing your own thing. But here are some thoughts for a Monday Make-over:

-Gather every dish in the house (including toothbrush cup, water glasses by the bed), and wash them ALL.

-Keep laundry going at all times. Teach kids to rotate. If little Amara can do this (and their washing machine is deep and scary yo, like only a GYN would know what to do in there), so can your kids. If I call your house I want to hear the hum (of the machines, not of the GYN).

-Clear dining table, give it a thorough wipe down.

-Wipe kitchen, sweep/Swiff (credit to Gail for using "Swiff" as a verb--I love her!)

-Ten minute pick up challenge in living room. Garbage, laundry, kids' toys, shoes, the whole shebang.

-Make beds.

-Try to vacuum before it's too hot.

-Ask the kids to donate to the poor kids.

That's all. If you can do these things, your Monday is feeling pretty sweet. Has anyone even made it this far in this post? Am I on meth or something? Sweet Jesus. Anyway, glean what you will, do as I say, and remember to post so you can roll those accolades into motivation.


  1. In addition to what I posted earlier, Tavy and I just went through her clothes and made a huge pile of small stuff for giving away, another huge pile of winter stuff which we put in plastic bins, and sorted her summer stuff. She thought this was great fun. She also cleaned her room for me by throwing everything that wasn't nailed down over the baby gate.

    What I need to get done as my basics:
    Dining Table
    Toy pick up--Playroom, Living Room, Family Room
    Floors--especially the kitchen which needs it daily and the playroom and family room which show it fastest

    Will post more later!

  2. Oh and totally go for the second set. Worth the time and energy to pack it up. In fact, I will come over there and help you later today if you need b/c I love the second set *that* much.

  3. Bethany-I knew if I could trigger some mania we'd both be unstoppable! Okay okay, if enough people vote with you, I will take you up on the bed deal. That is the sort of task that paralyzes me. I can paint a house with a Crayola paint brush, but peeling, folding, restuffing? Kill me now.

  4. I think the brown set looks fine and you should keep it for simplicity's sake.

  5. I have to disagree Megan, I don't like the brown set, at least not in the picture I see (which could vary from real life). If it was a more soothing brown I'd be all for keeping it :-p

    I love the reminder about the basics by the way... and yes, I was wondering if you were on meth :-)

    I'd love an entry about laundry. I suck at it and wash things 5 times and STILL cannot get out stains. Help Please!

  6. um, you mentioned old navy and target at the same time, cannot concentrate on anything else.

    re: bedding - numero dos! where is that from? target? hmm?

  7. I love prints, so I HEART the second set, but understand how daunting it can be to have to pack it up. But you can totally return it as a mess, and they will take it. I am obsessed with bedding and have found that Overstock is my absolute favorite. I can find such deals that I usually treat myself to something new almost every year.

    I have really started following your advice of making every movement count. I need to get myself some wipes, so that I can wipe down the bathroom when the kids are bathing. With little kids there is always stuff ALL OVER the floor, which drives me insane, but now I am trying to always be grabbing a couple of things as I walk by.

  8. The second set is by far the more beautiful...but for me the decision would have to largely be based on the feel of both of the fabrics. I am really grossed out by satiny bedding, and bedding really needs to be comfortable. For myself, I prefer to have extremely high thread count, cotton sheets (800 or higher, preferably sateen), a high thread count (350-500), thin, cotton, duvet, and a gorgeous coverlet (which is largely never actually used for sleeping, it's mostly just for show). My point, my point, what was my point? Hmmm....yeah. That second set is loverly. Now I kind of want it for the guest room. So yeah, if they feel the same, ease your mind and exchange them.

  9. Bethany-Boy you really came out swinging, and lord knows that girl of yours is always swinging, lol. Great start, though I must expose you for the infidel you are, having someone else come help you clean. I will never forgive you. I'll bet your mistress doesn't use a toothpick!

    And your ass is *so* coming to help me make the bedding switch-a-roo!

    Megan-I so <3 you for trying to give me the easy out. You are the only one thoughtful enough.

    Jennifer-It is really soothing, and the pic can't compare to the shot of the other one, but I hear you.

    Debe-Your Target addiction cannot be a factor, but I get that you love the second set.

    Mama Nirvana-Thank you for appreciating the hassle. One problem is that I can't find the receipt for the bedskirt, which is damn near as expensive as the comforter. So, not sure mathematically if I can pull off the switch.

    Jacob-When are you free to come fondle the new set? It's not as satiny as it looks, and for me, the right weight is key. I'll have to take it out and wrap myself in it, and then buy one that is neat in the package. I am that kind of bitch. So seriously, let's go together.

    The new set won 5-to-1 because only Megan loves me. I'll keep you posted.

  10. The second set is much more gorgeous, but I'm with Jacob on comfort and feel! (and sateen)

    I always get all my surface stuff done. My laundry, dishes, basics are always done. However, I DETEST deep cleaning. I hate blinds, floorboards, cupboard faces, windowsills, and bathrooms in general. I hate deep scrubbing. It is so meticulous and time consuming and it makes me insane.
    Please can someone just hire me a part-time maid to do the deep cleaning?
    Truthfully, I hate deep cleaning so badly that I might bake something to get out of it. It's *that* awful.

  11. I actually like the brown one, and I've seen it. It's calming. I think the second is very pretty but you might soon tire of it's active nature.
    I do have to agree that the feel (of anything)which includes its weight is the most important consideration.


  12. Dearest genius Mama, I appreciate your input. Perhaps if you went to bed before 4am, you wouldn't have made a grammatical error so beneath you. (It's) It's okay, Albert Einstein couldn't tie his shoes. Love you, love the brown, we'll see...

  13. Well well! It's half way through Tuesday for me but I'll recap yesterday since I wasn't online.
    Basically Monday got thrown to the lions as Monday morning someone (*cough me cough*) didn't have enough sleep to actually cope with herself and thus landed a seizure...oooh the joys of pre-meds. So I was on strict orders to be doing NOTHING all day lest my man come home and crack his whip to get me back to resting. Which he did, via text messages all day praying I wasn't doing anything but crashing on the sofa with the kids. Which is exactly what I did all day, having the dogs and children trying their best to stay still and not make a single noise all day - which didn't work out since they don't know how to do all that.

    I'm still groggy today, but tomorrow I will clean this palace from top to bottom! Maybe, if you're (un)lucky I'll even post pics of me in my American Flag Do-Rag... *gasp/horror* because yes....I am really that uncool. ♥

  14. "I'll have to take it out and wrap myself in it, and then buy one that is neat in the package. I am that kind of bitch. "

    LOL i always do that. glad to know i'm not the only asshole out there! :)

  15. Gawd! I swear I could have written your comment myself Karinda!

    I do admit, now that Jacob mentioned it, that feel is what it is all about. I feel most fabrics now just feel cheap and scratchy.

    When I was a young 'un I bought a bed set from Fingerhut (rememember them) I was in love with the pattern and got it and it was horrid. I thought washing would help, it never did. I think in fact that my ex might own the comforter still. Just awful!