Friday, December 28, 2012

I seriously need some elves...



Christmas 2012 has come and gone. We lived through the Mayan apocalypse AND dinner at my sister's. Just when I thought my extended family couldn't be any more boring, a co-worker mentions that at HER Christmas eve festivities, everyone got drunk and sang The Twelve Days of Christmas, including appropriate acting out of the song. Video was prohibited, of course. Nothing done at my holiday celebrations ever require anyone to sign a waiver, unfortunately.

As you can see from the above picture, Santa did not so much visit our house as ransack it. Oh, wait, that was done by children, mostly one small-ish, still-very-excited-by-it-all child. Which is really fun to watch, but not so much to clean up after. I now know why Jewish people go out for Chinese food and a movie.

Which is why I spent the day not cleaning. S-, who is normally home everyday except for 1 or 2 hour outside activities or occasional forays to friends' houses, is at karate camp. All day. A lesser woman would say that is a great time to tidy up, but not me! I spent the 5 hours having uninterrupted time speaking to my husband (actual whole sentences!) and surfing the web. Also, I learned how to use Evernote on my iphone and computer, so not a total loss. I am nothing if not fascinated by how to be organized. Actual organization is another thing. Besides, I think that organization-type people are part of a pyramid scheme. Just like you can make a million by writing a book How to Be a Millionaire and convincing a million people to buy it, so I think those Efficiency types try and convince you that being organized is oh-so-wonderful and then convince you to buy their twee organizing bins and color-coded folders. Their own houses probably look like who did it and ran. Anyhoo.

She is trying to look fierce

So, I offer you Susan's Guide to Cleaning Your Abode. First, pick the least dirty/cluttered room. Start small, I say. Find the spot that will be easiest to clean, however you define that. I generally pick the bathroom-it's small in size and usually doesn't have a tremendous amount of clutter in it, unless we had an extended bathtime the night before. Clean that mother! It won't be hard, because you started small. This success will give you fresh impetus to clean more. Move onto another room. Do NOT start with the kitchen. If it's like mine, it's too much at this point to even think about. Pick one spot in the room to clean off. Not a desk, that's too complicated. Say a bed or a couch. Clean off the surface and make the bed, if that's where you're at. Now go around with a big bag and pick up all the garbage. There, doesn't it look cleaner already? And you now you have one clean surface to focus on and you won't be overwhelmed by the rest of the clutter. If you like, use that surface to organize; dirty clothes, clean clothes (why would both be on the floor? If you know the answer to that, you don't need this article), papers, books, dirty dishes (but not clean dishes, there are never any clean dishes, sheesh). These things must be put away before you move onto the next room.

The kitchen. I try not to be in my kitchen unless I'm cooking something, so I'll clean it while I cook. Counter-intuitive, I know, but it works for me so don't judge. I fill the dishwasher while I'm waiting for water to boil or whatev. I have to wipe down a counter already to get cooking, so why not just keep going? With the dirty dishes away in the dishwasher and the counters cleaned off, I can pretend that the floor's not too bad and save that for another day. As one of my nursing instructors said, I throw a handful of dirt in the corner and when it sprouts, I know it's time to clean. Words to live by and you won't find that in any how-to-be-organized book I'll warrant.

New Year's is a few days away, a propitious time to clean the house. If that's not enough of an incentive,
invite some people over, then you'll have to clean. A Filipino nurse at work told me that a few minutes before midnight on New Year's, they open all the doors and windows of their home to let the evil spirits out and make way for good things to come in. Hey, ya never now. Happy 2013, y'all.