A guest post by Cindy Bogard
I’ve often seen this bumper sticker: “Not all who wander are lost.” I think when it comes to household chores, that’s just not true. While writing a blog every day allows you to crow about your successes, it equally allows you to reveal your foibles. Today is a foible day. Here is what I did after returning home from lunch with a friend. I was wandering, and I was lost:
- Walk into the office, put down my purse, turn on the computer.
- Walk to the bathroom at the other end of the house to get an OTC medicine that I promise to give to a friend; I’ll be seeing her later. I feel smart that I remembered.
- While I’m in the bathroom, see the piles of laundry I’d divided earlier in the day. I had started one load and know it is finished washing. Carry a load to the laundry room. I have the medicine in my pocket. Still feel smart.
- Drop the laundry on the floor, start to unload the dryer. Almost the first thing out is a rug that goes in the screen porch. Take it directly there.
- While on the screen porch, look outside and notice that the bird feeder’s empty. Fill.
- As I walk back through the screen porch, I notice Audra’s rug, which has been drying outside. Take it to Audra’s room.
- Put the rug on the floor. The guinea pig squeaks eagerly at me. Decide to feed him.
- Notice that his food is strangely clumpy. Inspect his food more carefully. Yuck – it’s got worms in it.
- Walk to the kitchen and clean his bowl.
- Load a few (but not all) dishes into the dishwasher.
- Carrying the clean guinea bowl, swing into the office. Drop the medicine into my purse. Enter my password on the computer. This is the end of feeling smart.
- Stop by Clara’s room and look at her guinea pig’s food. Yuck – it’s got worms too.
- Pick up Clara’s guinea’s bowl and both bags of food.
- Leave the second bowl in the kitchen and carry the bags of food to the office.
- Sit down at my desk to call the pet food company. Start checking email.
- Realize I’m checking email when I’m supposed to be calling the pet food company. Mental head slap. Call.
- Transaction successfully completed, I carry the food to the front yard and pour it on the sidewalk. I figure the ground feeding birds will be happy to sample both the guinea’s food and the worms.
- Come back into the house, through the garage. See the extra rolls of toilet paper sitting on a shelf. Remember that the office bathroom needs toilet paper. Grab it.
- Stop by the office bath and leave the toilet paper.
- Go into the kitchen, throw the empty food bags away.
- Return to the office. Sit down at my computer.
- Remember that I never started the laundry.
- Return to the laundry room. Spend 20 seconds trying to remember why the dryer is open. Are these the wet or dry clothes? Another mental head slap.
- Figure it out, start laundry.
While all this is embarrassing to admit, I know I am far from alone in my zig-zagged pursuit of cleanliness. One of my friends says that this is how she always cleans – haphazardly meandering from one room to the next.
How much time and energy do we waste bouncing from chore to chore, room to room, idea to idea? When I’m aware of being aimless, I say to myself. “Focus. One thing at a time. Finish what you’ve started.” How much more could we accomplish if we attended to each thing in turn? At a minimum, I’m sure we could declutter 10 things in 1 day, rather than 1 thing in 10 days.
Today’s decluttered item from Cindy: an ice shaver and 3 bottles of snow cone syrup.
ITEM 306 OF 365 LESS THINGS
This oven cleaner doesn’t have what it takes to clean my “oven from hell”. I have persisted long enough in the hope that the situation will miraculously change but of course it hasn’t. I have thrown it in the trash because if it doesn’t work for me I can’t imagine it would work for someone else.
5 things I am grateful for today
- Clean floors – I made the effort today to vacuum and mop and my tiles are all shiny and clean. Luckily the house was impeccably clean and ready for a rental inspection when Liam had his accident so I haven’t needed to do much.
- Air-conditioning – I don’t like to waste to electricity but it would have been unbearably hot in our bedroom last night if we didn’t have this luxury. We need to get a good night sleep especially at the moment.
- Still so grateful for automatic washing machines – Liam breaks out in sweats quite often and goes through several shirts in a day. All part of the healing process.
- Liam is having his best day since his accident today – one good one, one bad one seems to be the pattern. The little wretch has pulled off all the braces from this teeth that are supposed to hold his jaw in line but he seems pretty happy about it. I am happy if he’s happy even if he is naughty with it.
- A rainy day to cool things off – we won’t need that air-con on tonight I don’t think.