The “Crusher” is on standby….just in case I need to be saved.

Joe is fierce.  Grrr!  He can strike fear into the heart of spiders everywhere.  No spider can hide from him very long.  Grrr!

The "Crusher"

I tell you, even the smallest spider scares the fool out of me.  Those dang things bite me.  They gang up on me I tell you.  There just has to be at least one of those beasties lurking and waiting for me.

You might be wondering about the photo of Joe I have chosen to use.  I take pictures all the time.  NOT VERY GOOD ONES, but I do take a lot of photos.  When I first got started scrapbooking, and thought I was totally awesome at it ;-), I dug up several photos of Joe throughout the  years to showcase my “Man For All Seasons” :D.  This was my Anniversary gift to him way back around 2003.  It is crooked, wonky, and none of the papers match.  Joe was so happy with it he took it to Michaels to have it framed.  That must have been a conversation piece 😀

My "Man For All Seasons"

Okay, back to the business at hand and the topic of spiders.  Just look at the evidence of a squatter that has taken up residence!

Spider webs

No, this is not a haunted house, although it might be getting close to being one 😦  There is more evidence of, both, the spider and a seemingly haunted house.  Just look at this web suspended from the lamp shade.

Web hanging from the lamp shade

You might wonder why, exactly, I am choosing to bear my soul here by showing you my filthy house.  The reason is because there are many people that get stuck in the limbo of dread and self hatred.  Count me in on both!  Dread because the task at hand is massive.  Looking around this living room all I see is dust, dirt, clutter, and total chaos.

My “Pre-Flylady” days I would spend hours and days cleaning.  I’d devote my entire day to the job, sometimes several days.  By the time I was finished I was the meanest person you would ever want to meet.  Snappy, judgmental, demanding, mean, and downright *itchy.  I made everyone miserable because I was miserable, and I felt like no one appreciated me.  In short, I was a broom riding, drama queen in high dudgeon, and a martyr to boot.

I don’t, exactly, follow the Flylady since I’m not home daily to do it.  But I do appreciate and use her methods when I’m home.  I don’t have children to tend to, a job I have to leave for daily, or any other obligations save for getting meals made for Joe and the grocery shopping once a week.

Four hours a day is my goal.  Sometimes I can get a section done before the allotted time, other days the section is left half finished.  I have the rest of the day to recuperate from the strenuous work of shifting furniture and deep cleaning.  The satisfaction I feel to see the progress in motion is enough to banish the negative thoughts that run rampant in my head.

The first phase of the deep cleaning in the living room begins on this wall.  I live in a mobile home so the ceilings are not “cathedral” in height and a step stool, on occasion, is all the extra I need.  The hazy pallor of dust is on everything.

First phase of the cleaning begins here.

Immediately to the left of the door is a book shelf that is about to have an avalanche.  As a matter of fact, I think it already has.

Jam packed book case

Clutter on an end table.  This is what is known as a “Hot Spot” in Flylady lingo.

End table covered with clutter

Boxes of Christmas stuff that has taken root in this very spot since around 2006.  Time to get it cleared out and moved to a better place.

Christmas stuff that needs to be stored somewhere else.

Get my timer close to hand once again.  Have a dust rag, Pledge, and my Dyson vacuum cleaner nearby.  Everything along the wall I have chosen will be moved, vacuumed, dusted, and decluttered.  I will split my time and tasks up to include the jam packed bookcase as well as the seating area to the doorway.

Start the timer and start with moving the furniture away from the wall.  Next will be to vacuum the wall and then the carpet that is tucked up to the wall.

I won’t be doing any wall washing or painting this year.  Vacuuming the dust off the wall will make a huge difference in how the room looks and smells.  I pick a 2 foot wide section from the ceiling down to the floor and stay within that area until I have covered the entire vertical length of the wall and floor.  If the timer hasn’t gone off just yet then I move on to the next 2 foot section of the wall and floor.

Vacuum the walls

Getting the dust that accumulates along the wall at the carpet with the attachments gets at those spider webs and sucks up any of those beasties along the way.

Vaccum the floor along the wall

When the timer goes off then I go to Joe’s table and get it cleared of clutter, vacuum the dust on the table.  Suck up the spider webs that have attached themselves there and then spray the table with Pledge and give it a good cleaning.  The lamp shade gets vacuumed, as does the foot plate.  It all gets a good wiping with the dust rag.  The timer went off while I was in the middle of giving Joe’s chair a thorough vacumming.  I left it to finish at another 15 minute period.

The bookcase was started.  I only did one shelf at a time.  Taking the books down, giving each one a good vacuuming and dusting the covers.  The shelves were vacuumed and dusted.  When the timer went off I went back to Joe’s chair.  I continued on this way between the wall and seating area and the bookcase until the 4 hour time limit was up.

Christmas stuff was put in the closet.

Christmas stuff stored

I took away Joe’s table and used it as a landing place for other stuff of Joe’s and my cleaning tools for the vacuum.  That went near the doorway.

Joe's end table is now near the door as a "landing area"

The wall and seating area is now clean and bright.  I still can’t believe how much dust was in that space.

Wall area finally cleaned of all dust

The CD tower with the audio books has been moved to a new location.  The duplicate books are in a bin to be taken to the library and donated.

Duplicate books in the bin to be donated to the library

Just look at the dust and stuff that I cleaned up just along this wall, seating area, and the first bookcase.

Dust and dirt collected.

Joe now has a special piece of furniture to replace the end table I stole from him.  There are bags of stuff ready to be taken to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Finally!  One area of my home that is clean.

Clean seating area

User Friendly Tip:

  1. Work for three of the 15 minute timed sessions.
  2. On the fourth 15 minute session go get something to drink.  You will need to replenish the fluids you sweated out.
  3. While on your break, do something enjoyable.  Check your emails or read a blog, send out tweets of your accomplishments.
  4. When the timer goes off get started working once again for another three sessions of 15 minutes then a rest break.
  5. If you finish your section before the time allotted then celebrate your accomplishment.  Leave the rest of the work for tomorrow.
  6. Each time you walk past the clean area say out loud, to yourself, “I did that!”
  7. If you only have one hour available to do the work then still take the 15 minute break after the third session.
  8. Know that your time is VALUABLE.  Give yourself a break.  There is only you and there are tons of things on your plate.  Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to spend  hours and hours at cleaning.
  9. The goal is to get your house clean, your mental state back into being upbeat and feeling good about yourself, and to respect your time and any physical limitations.
  10. This is NOT A MARATHON where you collapse and die at the finish line.  This is “Baby Steps” to reaching your goal.

I have a video I made showing the process of clearing the boxes out of my living room.  It is amazing the amount of crap we end up taking home with us.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.  I hope you are enjoying your family time.  My wishes for you are that you remember the “Reason for the Season” of Christ’s birth and also have had a bit of child like glee in your heart over Santa’s visit during the night.



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

9 responses to “The “Crusher” is on standby….just in case I need to be saved.

  • JasmineKyleSings


  • gardenpinks

    Oh I hate those cobwebs and you never find or see the little beastie that makes them either! They drive me mad. It seems that as soon as I have cleaned them away the ceiling and walls are festooned again. Rod thinks I’m loony 🙂
    I thought you had a good clear out of books last year? Now if there are any duplicate audio books going spare I would willingly buy them off you and pay the postage.
    Loved the scrapbook page Joe had framed.
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Yes, Lynn, I did have a good clear out of the books last year. Joe is a voracious reader. Magazines, books, pamphlets, email, and anything else he can get his hands or eyes on. I think it is his escape from the “real world” as mine is through my crafting. Had I known that you would be willing to take the audio books I would have sent them on to you. Now that I know it I will set them aside for you.

      Rod, creepy crawlies use the cobwebs as a thoroughfare to menace unsuspecting people. You are, most likely, the “Crusher” in your home and know that your powers are greater than any little spider. Lynn does her best to save your awesome super powers for when they are really needed 😀

      Love to you both – Leslie

  • tina

    i live in a trailer to and you have given me the courage to try this. thank you and i hope u had a merry Christmas. and will joe come and do the happy dance in my trailer if i get it cleaned? lol

    • Message In A Fold

      Hello there Tina! It is good to hear from you once again. I’ve stopped by your blog and have often wondered if you were alright. I’m sorry that I didn’t let you know that I wondered about you 😦 Shame on me!

      Thank you for letting me know that you feel inspired to try the 15 minutes at a time thing. It does work, I hope you find it works for you as well. We had a very good Christmas. Were you able to spend the day happily in the loving embrace of your family? I hope so.

      I had to laugh at your question about Joe coming to do the “Happy Dance” in your trailer. I drug his butt out here to read your comment and I think we have embarrassed him 😀 He’ll get over it 😀

      I know you have an ongoing illness that you are in constant pain with and your foot or leg is kept in a flexible cast. Keep me informed of your progress. I’ll be your “cheerleader” :D.

      Love you – Leslie

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