Rich people do
spring cleaning too. Liz Taylor is completely exhausted after spraying Windex on her
~ Karen Lee
Breakfast: Oatmeal with
One Corpse Too Many
TODAY on TV
Everybody Loves Raymond
*I look on 10.5 as a sit com; I'm just watching it for the special effects--I'm sure seismologists all over the country find it hilarious.
--> NEW CONTENT HERE! <--
STILL ON THE FLY
4 May 2004
When the coffee pot exploded, it gave me a chance to check the condition of the kitchen and assess how well Id been doing with all those Fly Lady principles I started using so many months ago.
The coffee pot didnt really explode, but apparently I forgot to push the basket thingy all the way in before turning it on, and so things didnt line up right and some of the coffee went into the pot, but more of it spilled out on the counter, the grounds rose up and spread themselves everywhere and...well...it was just a big mess. I hate it when I do that.
So there I stood, surrounded by coffee grounds and brown puddles (which Walt kindly cleaned up while I stirred my oatmeal) and several thoughts hit me.
The first was that the floor needed washing, and I promised myself I would get that done today. Also, I asked myself when was the last time I had shined my sink, the act which set off my cleaning spree a little over 5 months ago.
Its true that the white tornado which blew through here in the weeks before Christmas, and just after, has lost a bit of its oomph. I knew that wouldnt last.
But the good thing is that a lot has lasted. The sink may not be polished, for example, but the kitchen counter is still clear. That is huge.
In fact, when I went to review Gypsy the other night, I got a late start cooking dinner, so we had to kind of gulp-and-run, leaving all the dishes on the kitchen table, and the cooking pots on/around the sink.
The show ran long--nearly 3 hours--and by the time we got home, I was exhausted. Now, back in November, that wouldnt have stopped me. I wouldnt have gone to bed without making sure that everything was cleaned up.
But this is five months later, and I promised Id get it all done in the morning.
The surprising thing is that when I got up to find dishes on the table, the counter, and in the sink, something I lived with on an almost daily basis for most of my married life, it bothered me. A lot. In fact, I made sure the dishwasher was unloaded and re-loaded before I ever made the coffee that morning.
When I got involved in the altered book project Im participating in, it meant that there were lots of craft supplies spread out all over the counter (this, in itself, is pretty incredible, because in the past there wouldnt have been room to spread out!). The things did stay there for 3 or 4 days, though neatly stacked at the end of the day. But when I mailed off my book to the next person on the round-robin, I cleaned up all the supplies, and put them all in their proper place. I just plain didnt want to start spreading things out all over the counter again.
Likewise, the kitchen table, the perpetual repository of whatever happens to be in my hand at the time when I need to lay something down, has been cleared for months. Following the Fly Ladys admonitions, I may not religiously police "hot spots," but I am now aware when things are out of place on the traditional clutter spaces, and I pick them up and put them where they belong.
My mother was here just before we went to Seattle and she commented on how much bigger the dining room looked since we turned the table 90 degrees. I argued with her that the table has always been turned the way it is now. I kind of worried about her that she didnt realize that the table hadnt been moved at all. But then I realized that it wasnt the orientation of the table that made the room seem larger. It was that for the first time, the table is not covered with magazines, unread mail, tool parts, and other junk that just kind of gravitates there. The dining room does look bigger, and its not surprising that my mother would figure it was because we had somehow moved the furniture.
Not all the Fly Ladys suggestions have taken hold firmly. I dont vacuum every day, for example, but its five months since I cleaned up my act and Im still not embarrassed to have drop-in visitors. There are no piles of clothes on any chairs. The bathroom gets cleaned often enough that its passable. The living room needs dusting, but Ill get to that--sooner rather than later.
I am a person who jumps into projects at full throttle and abandons them at the same speed. But the difference this time is that when I look around me, I like what I see. I like being able to invite someone into the house without going through the tortures of the damned wondering what they think of the mess.
This may just be one new project that will stick. I hope.
(But I learned today that the hottest day of the week is not exactly the perfect time to activate the self-cleaning feature on the oven.)