Come into my dirty home.

I have a problem.  This problem gets in my way.  It is two (of many) character flaws I have.  Perfectionism and Procrastination.

These two P’s get the better of me nearly all the time.  When I look at my dirty house I see EVERYTHING that needs to be done.  Then I think about the items I have to do besides clean house and my emotional spiral begins to go spinning out of control.  The pressure builds, mood swings run hot and cold.  My three year old self begins to come out of me and temper tantrums ensue.

Under these conditions, I ask you, what gets done?  The answer is nothing but a whole lot of whining and grumping.

We all lead busy lives.  Work, children, spouses, the home, cooking, grocery shopping, outdoor pursuits.  How does one go about finding a balance?  How does a person get control of all of the pressing needs and demands in our daily lives?

I’ve mentioned in this blog many times about Flylady and the 15 minutes.  I am going to show you the results of working 15 minutes a day in an area and then quitting.

Like many of you, Saturday was cleaning day.  It would take the entire day and most of the night to get my house cleaned.  Vacuumed, dusted, decluttered, purged, washed, and mopped.  I dreaded the arrival of Saturday because I seemed to work harder in that one day than I did any other day of the week.

Perfectionism kept me tied to the work and dictated when the job was finished.  After I had the house totally cleaned my family would be themselves and make messes behind them.  Yikes, the bad tempered stuff that came out of me would make the movie The Exorsist tame in comparison.  The yelling about spending all day long cleaning only to have some insensitive lout come along behind me and make a mess for me to clean up.  Not a good thing 😦

Flylady has helped me to work on my perfectionism and to let things go.  Through her website I have learned that Perfectionism has no place in a person’s life.  Housework is what it is.  Work.  It is also, in Flylady’s terms, a “Blessing to the family”.  Not just the family but to myself.  Through Flylady and her website I have learned how to be more loving toward myself and to stop the constant abuse I had heaped upon my head.

First thing I want to emphasize is “TRIGGERS”.  This is not dealt with in the Flylady website but it is dealt with by Anthony Robbins in his life changing books and cd’s.  I am always searching for ways to improve myself and I look for solutions in any place that I can find them.  Some work, others don’t.  Flylady and Anthony Robbins have both helped me in my pursuit of balance.

A “Trigger” is a memory that haunts you.  Someone that verbally abused you or something you did that you regret.  The mind is a fantastic bit of business.  The brain holds every little bit of information it collects throughout a person’s life and brings things out at times.  Good things, but mostly bad things.

Anything can set a trigger off.  A smell, a sound, a child, a song, anything.  Upon seeing or hearing something your brain does a search to find a link to a past experience that relates to what you hear or see.  I used to get a memory and berate myself all over again for what I had done long ago.  When I find myself doing this I say out loud.  “It was a trigger and not reality right now”.  This has stopped a lot of the trash talk that I do to myself.

Okay, I’ve gone too far here but I felt it was important to put that bit in because what is to follow are all triggers for me.  I get flashes of the saddened faces of my children, see their pain, hear my nasty words, and feel the anger and frustration I felt those many years ago.  Regrets I have many.

Now to Flylady and how she helps me do my housework in 15 minutes.

This week – November 13th to 19th, 2011 – is in a bathroom.  If you have two, as I do, I work around this and do what I can.

Bathroom sink and counter

Bathroom sink and counter

Mirrored bathtub

Mirrored bathtub

Clutter

Clutter

Dust on the clutter

Dust on the clutter

More dust

More dust

Dust on the toilet tank lid

Dust on the toilet tank lid

Dust in the circulating fan

Dust in the circulating fan

Dust and yuck in and on the sink

Dust and yuck in and on the sink

Dust and yuck on the faucet

Dust and yuck on the faucet

Dirty smudges on the light switch plate

Dirty smudges on the light switch plate

My cleaners of choice are Clorox Soft Scrub and Clorox Cling Toilet Bowl Cleaner.  There are less harsh cleansers to use that are better for the environment but I’m not home all year long and I feel the chemicals in these cleaners are better suited for my needs.  There are “Green” options that are better for the environment you can use….such as vinegar and baking soda or ammonia.

Flylady mentions in her website that “Soap is soap” and she uses shampoo diluted with water in her toilet bowl brush crock to clean her toilets.  If you do a daily cleaning of your toilet then this is just as good as any harsher chemical.

Shampoo to clean the toilet

Shampoo to clean the toilet

I will use the shampoo as winter unfolds and I have my routine down after the house has been fully cleaned.

Clorox Cling cleaner

Clorox Cling cleaner

Until that time arrives I will be using the harsher chemicals.  I have a dirty and dusty floor that needs tending to this week so I am opting for the big guns initially.

I have my trusty timer set for 15 minutes.  I have not started the timer just yet.

Timer set for 15 minutes

Timer set for 15 minutes

I run a sink full of hot water.  Hot enough that I can stand it.  A little bleach in the water and now I’m ready to start the timer.

Sink with hot water and bleach

Sink with hot water and bleach

First I clean the hair from my brushes, put clutter away in the drawers they belong in, and purge the bottles of hairspray that are nearly empty.  Everything else gets a good wiping down with the cloth soaking in the bleach water and rung well.

Cleaned and purged bottles from the counter

Cleaned and purged bottles from the counter

A glance at my timer and I found I’ve used most of my time in the purging and cleaning of the clutter.

Time passed

Time passed

I have gotten the counter cleaned using the Clorox Soft Scrub but have less than 2 minutes to clean the sink and scrub the mirror.  Yikes!!

I still need to scrub the sink and the faucet.

Sink and faucet still need to be cleaned

Sink and faucet still need to be cleaned

Only moment to spare and I have this part finished.

Cleaning and scrubbing are finished at the sink area

Cleaning and scrubbing are finished at the sink area

Clean sink

Clean sink

Clean and shiny faucet

Clean and shiny faucet

The timer has gone off and I have not completed my task for today.  It is alright.  I will take a couple more minutes to finish this one area in the bathroom and be done.  I have to put the cleaned items back on the counter.

Items returned to the counter

Items returned to the counter

Have I finished cleaning the bathroom?  No, I have not.  The nasty circulation vent needs to be vacuumed and wiped.  The floor needs to be swept and mopped.  The outside of the toilet needs to have a thorough cleaning.  The bathtub and surrounding mirrors need to be cleaned.  The shower needs to be cleaned.  The cabinet needs to have the doors wiped.  The walls need to be vacuumed and wiped.

I have cleaned and wiped the light switch plates though.  Tomorrow is soon enough to work some more on this bathroom.  Tomorrow there will be another 15 minutes spent in getting the work done.

I have craft projects to do, paperwork to sort, meals to be planned, errands to run, and Joe to take care of.  I have begun the task of cleaning my house and I am less stressed about what needs to be done.

I plan on doing a daily diary of my housecleaning the Flylady way so you can see that this actually works and works well.  Provided, of course, you pick up behind yourself daily and put things in their place instead of leaving the clutter to grow 🙂

Leslie

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

2 responses to “Come into my dirty home.

  • gardenpinks

    I use very cheap shower gel to clean our toilet 🙂 We have a septic tank so can’t use harsh cleaners for the toilet otherwise they will kill the bacteria needed to break down the solids that go into the tank.
    Now I am not in any way a perfectionist but I couldn’t follow that Flylady regime, it would drive me nuts 🙂 Once I start on a room I have to finish it completely. I do “wipe throughs” on most of the rooms but one room per day gets a good cleaning. Yes I’m lucky because I’m not away for weeks at a time for everything to build up. Clutter drives me nuts too so that has to be dealt with at the time – whatever is used is put away except in the craft area 🙂 LOL
    Anyway you will soon have this lot sorted.

    I think we all carry too much baggage around in our brains and it is such a relief when we can let some of it go. I came to the painful realisation some years ago that a certain person in my life needed to be cut out of it as she was causing me so much unhappiness. Once I made that decision a huge weight was lifted from me .. marvellous! And I’ve never regretted the choice I made. The other thing I learnt to do was say ‘No’ politely but firmly when being asked to do things outside the home – various groups/societies I belonged to. Once upon a time I would say yes and then feel resentful and pressured learning to say ‘No’ was very freeing!

    At least, Leslie, you realise that moaning and whining is time wasting so you are reducing that effect but you need to stop the regrets too. They are energy sapping and not productive, we can’t turn tme back so let them go!

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      “Now I am not in any way a perfectionist but I couldn’t follow that Flylady regime, it would drive me nuts 🙂 Once I start on a room I have to finish it completely”.

      I know precisely what you mean. It is not an easy process to go through in the beginning. I have been following Flylady since 2006. The 15 minutes thing was plumb a$$ crazy, in my opinion, and I balked at it the first few months that I did it.

      Spending one whole week in one room only I thought was ludicrous. Get the room finished in one day was more my style. However, with the way my life is the time factor is my nemesis. Six months seems to be quite a long time frame to clean a house, do the paperwork, play in my craft room, cook, tend to other needs. Plenty of time, right? Wrong.

      Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years festivities are at the start of my “Hiatus”. Joe is home which means daily wanderings across the known universe to buy groceries, pick up parts to repair our equipment, and any other whim of his that means I have to accompany him. While Joe is home with me it is a daily battle of mine to get him to go out and about on his own….without me along.

      It has taken several years of my getting frustrated with him and putting my foot down to let him know there is a time slot that I have to be left alone to do what I need to do. After the Holidays are over the pressure is off somewhat. When he goes out on his own to work and leaves me home for a week or two at a time then I take advantage of the uninterrupted time to do what I need to do. Hence the whining and putting off the paperwork as I did last year, and the year before, and the year before that 😦

      “The other thing I learnt to do was say ‘No’ politely but firmly when being asked to do things outside the home – various groups/societies I belonged to”

      It is easy to say “No” to someone that doesn’t live in your home and sleep in your bed 🙂 Joe knows how and when to push my buttons and how much pressure he has to put on me before I bend to his will. The price he pays for it sometimes is not pretty. Why he wants to spend time with a grumpy, fly off the handle, shrew at times is beyond me.

      So, my only way of getting the things done I need to do is by small increments of time. Once the work is fully done then, like you, the swiping and clutter removal takes about 30 minutes to do for the entire house – which includes vacuuming and mopping floors.

      Girlfriend, I envy you. I even envy those that have jobs close to home where they are home nightly. As the days pass and the seasons change from winter to spring then summer, you have your routines and the things that crop up to take you away from home for a couple days or several hours is something to look forward to. As spring approaches for me I know that my time home is ending. The scramble to get things done while I have the time off is a lot of pressure.

      Until I can figure this thing out I have to live with it 😦 Each year is getting just a bit easier as I learn my priorities and get myself into a schedule 🙂

      Love you Girlfriend – Leslie

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