Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cleaning Up My Act

Anyone who's ever been in my apartment will know that I'm not much of a housekeeper. Even before I got sick, I'd avoid the household chores as much as possible. Now it's just really hard to find the energy to do what needs to be done around the house.

I'm not sure if it's maturity or perversity or the sheer amount of time I spend staring at these four walls, but lately I've been trying to keep things up a little better. I was actually doing pretty good right before I went back to work- the Lyrica gave me the energy to do a few chores, and things were starting to look only semi-horrible. It all fell apart quickly once I started working more than a couple of half days a week. Actually, the whole work thing fell apart pretty quickly, too. (Did I mention I'm back on disability? The Crohn's and Fibro both went to hell as soon as I started working consecutive days.) So now I'm back to square one-ish, trying to beat back the tide of clutter and mess.

One thing that's working for me, and I can't believe it is since it's never particularly worked before, is making a list. On Sunday I made a list of 31 things that I wanted to get done this week. (The 31 isn't significant; that's just how many things ended up on the list.) Many of them are 5 minute or less chores, like emptying the dishwasher or taking the bathroom rug outside and giving it a good shake. A few aren't technically "cleaning" chores, but more general organizational stuff, like paying a bill that's due this week or depositing a check. I've made lists like this a million times, and often only managed to complete a couple of items before losing interest. This time I've done 10 items so far, and I have 2 items partially completed. (They don't get crossed off the list until they're completely done. For example, the whites don't "count" as being washed until they've also been folded and put away.) To be sure that the list gets finished this time, I only put down things that I knew I'd actually do. (I knew there's no way I would dust this week, even if I put it on the list, so I didn't put it on the list. See how that works?)

The one thing I'm most proud of accomplishing off that list is vacuuming. I know anyone reading this who doesn't have health problems is probably thinking "big whoop, she vacuumed". But for those of us with Fibro or related conditions, vacuuming is a Big Deal. It hurts. I had to take a Darvocet today because I hurt so bad from vacuuming yesterday. But I feel so much better emotionally, knowing that it's done. It had been a very long time since this place was vacuumed, and the floor was completely disgusting. I could have made myself a whole new cat out of the fur I pulled out of the filter when I emptied the vacuum canister. Pain or not, I'm going to have to start doing that more often.

My big goal for the day is to wash the shower curtain liner. According to some of the ladies in the frugality group on Rav, it is possible throw your shower curtain liner in the washing machine when it gets gungy and moldy, instead of throwing it out and buying a new one. I hope so, because once I've run it through the washer that's it. If it tears I can't put off replacing it. So cross your fingers. I know it's only a couple of bucks for a new one, but I'd just as soon keep those couple of dollars in my pocket, and anyway I don't feel like going out today to buy a new one.

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