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Thursday, August 7, 2008

The road to mess is paved with good intentions

My daughter Sarah has been staying in Italy with her grandparents for the past 3 weeks. Tomorrow, she is flying back (yay!). My dad is flying with her, and he will be staying with us for a little over a week - which means I have to get the guestroom ready.

Now, our guestroom is in the basement, which is where the trouble starts. And before you scrunch up your face in disgust and shock that I could put my father in the basement, you should know that our basement is fully finished and has recently been renovated, including new walls, new paint job, completely new floors, thank you very much. It looks very pretty. But being my house, it's also pretty messy. Because, let's face it: as pretty as it is, it's still the basement. It's still the place where we relegate the stuff we have no space, time or inclination to store upstairs.

So I set out today to declutter my basement and sort everything so that the largest room of the two could be turned back into what it was always meant to be, a guest room/playroom. But a few hours in, it doesn't look pretty at all. It looks like a basement.

And you know why? Because in addition to being messy, I save stuff. I set aside clothing and toys to be donated, boxes for recycling, baby clothes that are too small for my cousin in Italy who is having a baby at the end of the month, and so on. I am not a hoarder, I don't buy more than I need, my basement isn't full of stuff I bought that was never used - but it's full of stuff that I don't want to throw away because it seems like a waste. It's all nicely organized and separated, but it's a lot of stuff. I'm telling you, being eco-friendly and messy - not a good combination sometimes. I mean, look where my good intention have gotten me right now: lots of piles of stuff.

And on top of it, where am I while this needs to be done? At the computer, taking a break - not necessarily a well-deserved one, since I haven't gotten a whole lot done today aside from my weekly menu and shopping list, but hey, I have already come out of the closet as a major procrastinator so why lie about it? (I can hear a little voice saying "Pride, girl. Pride.")

So - at this point I would normally make a list of things I want to get done, but today I'm a little afraid of going there, for 2 reasons:

1. it might get out of hand and I might spend more time than I should on the list - sometimes I can get carried away, with the breaking down, and the bulleted items and all... because I'm a freak like that.

2. I'm afraid to jinx it. Because somehow, when I make detailed plans for something it often ends up not happening. Now, this usually applies mostly to diets, but hey, I can't afford to risk it now. Normally if I can't get something done when I'm expecting guests I can take the remaining mess to one room and make sure THAT door isn't open for any reason whatsoever for the duration of the visit. But that's when the guests are only here for a few hours - my dad is staying 10 days, which means the whole house needs to be livable, walkable and showable, which means I'll have no space to hide anything especially since he is staying in the bloody basement!!

Oh goody, I'm getting freaked out. That will help. Now, I hate to do this, but I think I only have one choice now. I will have to ask myself that dreaded question: what would the FlyLady do? And don't say babysteps, I hate the stupid babysteps! And I'm not putting on lace-up shoes, either.

I know! There is an emergency cleaning checklist in the book. Let's see: blah, blah, blah... oh, there: Marathon Clean - if you really have to:
1. Go get dressed all the way to shoes, hair fixed and moisturized and makeup put on. Yeah, I'll get right on that. Come on!

Ok, the rest lists out kitchen, timer, coffee break, bathroom... yeah, ok. Off I go. Wish me luck!

P.S. And you know what else I saw when I was looking for the emergency cleaning checklist? The FLYLady's 11 commandments. I had highlighted "4. Don't allow yourself to be sidetracked by the computer". Yeah, sure. I'm never going to be able to follow that one.


Sam said...

I always wondered about getting ready head-to-toe, with full on make-up and everything. I thought it would be a waste, but for some reason it just feels so much nicer if I'm all done up as well. Very strange. At least I know it's not all in my head.

Good luck with the cleaning. I'm still suffering in the flat, but I did clean some things today AND did my ironing. Big step considering I've spent the majority of my time on the settee. Eesh...

x x

Kelly said...

I adore lists. Adore them. I don't know that they help anything, but man, I love to write them out. With bullets!

I also like procrastination a lot too.

You're right. I think we may be related.

Loralee Choate said...

I loved a lot of things about flylady, I just could.not.keep.up with the emails. That, and I hate wearing shoes in the house.

(I still shine my sink, though!)

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