It’s that time of year again: time for spring cleaning. Ugh! I know Spring sprang on us in March, but the weather was late in changing this year. So, I feel perfectly justified in having delayed the start of this traditional marathon ordeal until now.
This past winter took its toll in my battle with insomnia. It was just too easy to overindulge on carbohydrates, blaming it on the cold weather. Hearty noon meals were frequently followed by cozy afternoon naps, which were inevitably followed by sleepless nights, week after week, all winter long. And, since my husband has this irritatingly-regular habit of sleeping blissfully during the wee hours, I simply couldn’t take the chance of waking him, by trying to get any substantial cleaning or organizing done at night.
On nights that I could actually think about sleeping, I’d drop into bed around 2:30 am, only to toss and turn, until dozing off around 3. Then, the blare of my husband’s alarm clock would shoot us both out of bed promptly at 3:30, Monday through Saturday (and sometimes, Sunday). Many nights, I just gave up, waiting until my husband left for work at 4:30, to drop into our warm bed.
Some mornings, however, I’d stay up to finish watching the overnight news. Before long, 4:30 turned into 5:30, then, 7:30. I did get some nice pictures of sunrises with my iPad, though.
Eventually, 7:30 am turned into 10 or 11:30 am, as I’d become overcome with guilt and shame, and do a few batches of laundry, and gather up the stray dishes, coffee cups, and soft drink cans that had accumulated from the night before. Then, I’d to catch up on Facebook, Pet Rescue Saga, and Words, do a jigsaw puzzle or two. I’d also answer a few text messages, to keep up the semblance of normalcy, knowing that the people on the other end had little idea that I was still wearing my pajamas from the previous day, and hadn’t been to bed since the previous afternoon! And thus, I passed through “the winter of my discontent.”
So, now, I have a mountain of cleaning staring at me, night and day. Walls need washing, carpets need cleaning, closets and cabinets need purging and reorganizing, paperwork needs filing, and knick-knacks need dusting. And, as I gaze wistfully out my dirty windows, I see the straggly plant remnants of my winter-ravaged yard, starkly staring back at me, as the squirrels prance, and the little birds dance around and chirp, in their joyous and unfettered celebration of Spring. I see now that the expression “free as a bird” actually means “carefree” as a bird. I wish I could trade places with them for just one day!
Oh, and I believe I’ve forgotten to share with you one tiny, although-not-insignificant detail: I may have gone from being a collector, to becoming a full-fledged hoarder, over the course of the last 17 years that we’ve been in this house. I’ve come to this unavoidable conclusion, and rather rude awakening, through the following unmistakeable evidence:
1.) My grown daughter unceremoniously announced the fact, after repeated efforts on her part, to de-clutter and organize my spare room, neatly stacking mountains of paper that I had been constantly accumulating.
2.) Nearly everything I own, I own in inordinate multiples, from furniture, to clothing, jewelry, shoes, hair products, cleaning supplies, books, unread magazines, file cabinets, groceries, gardening supplies and seed packets, unopened mail order boxes, and even toilet paper!
3.) Everywhere I look, there are stacks and stacks of clutter.
4.) I still have art supplies (and probably clothing, too) from 45 years ago!
And, I think I’ve just come up with a way to both challenge myself and to break this monumental undertaking down into manageable steps, using something I enjoy doing (using my iPad) as a motivator. I plan to take “before” and “after” photos of each area of my house that needs work, and blog my progress (that is, assuming I have any to report). And, knowing my penchant for procrastination, and being well aware of my limitations, I’m not going to do this an entire room at a time. Instead, I think I’ll have more success if I only tackle one small area at a time. (I’ve just encouraged myself with the fact that the pyramids were completed using this same tactic!)
So, hopefully, I will eventually get my entire house and yard done, one day at a time, one step at a time. One small step, in the grand scheme of things, but one giant step for me in conquering the gigantic “Clutter Monster” who rudely took up residence here, when my back was turned.
May God help me!