Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Housekeeping

It's spring; time to sort out the clutter, and do some serious cleaning. And since I don't have a housekeeper nor a 1950s housewife, I have to do everything myself.

I'm a pack rat by nature. I don't like to throw things out because I don't like to be wasteful, and I'm afraid of getting rid of something, only to need it later on. Of course, this means I tend to accumulate a lot of junk. So every few months, I have to go through all my stuff and do some serious purging to clear out the mess and keep things organized. I don't want to end up like those people trapped in their homes with serious hoarding issues.

I don't mind cleaning out the bedrooms and reorganizing the closets. It took me a day to get everything in place, toss out the old stuff for donations or re-purpose them as cleaning rags. The winter clothes are packed away. I threw out those old magazines piling by the bedside and sorted the books on the new shelves I bought on sale a while back.

It took me half a day to go through the kitchen and rearrange the cabinets and appliances. I have a collection of mismatched plates and cups given to me by people who thought I could use them. And even after I bought proper matching dishes, I still kept the old plates, because they still look nice and work well. I threw out those broken items and lids that belonged to broken pots and pans that I got rid off ages ago. I cleaned out the stove and the fridge (after letting it defrost the night before). The linoleum floor smelled good after a thorough mopping with Pine-Sol. Who doesn't love the clean smell of pine?

It took me two hours to scrub down the bathroom and hang up the new shower curtain and mop the floor; less than an hour to vacuum the carpets. And I quite enjoyed doing the laundry. It's my favorite task to do. I like the smell of clean clothes and linen as I fold or iron them and put them away where they belong.

There's nothing like a good house cleaning to free up some space and leave one feeling good and accomplished. It's a very freeing feeling once it's all said and done. However, there is one task that I always find tedious, even with good music playing in the background to motivate me to work. And that burdensome task is sorting out paperwork.

It took me two days to go through all the paperwork that I accumulated over the past few months--receipts, letters, documents, etc. It's a struggle trying to figure out what to keep and what to toss away. At work, it's easy for me to figure out what's important and what goes in the trash. But at home, I find it's a little bit harder sorting the important files from the junk. For sure, all personal correspondences get saved and stored away. It's all the other stuff that takes me a while to figure out what to keep and what to toss away. Do I really need to keep grocery receipts from last year? What about bills I all ready paid on line? Truth be told, I'd rather scrub the toilet than sort out receipts and documents.

But it's finally all done and I can kick back and relax and enjoy the clean, organized, comfortable space. Now if I can only remember not to collect so much crap in the future...


  1. "the clean smell of pine"

    My first job out of high school was in a sawmill where they made lumber from pine logs. Wonderful pine scent everywhere! I still love the smell of new lumber!

    Do I have a serious pine fetish? [worries]

  2. I've done a major sort and clean, what with the move impending. But it feels good to be clear of all that clutter, doesn't it!?!?

    @XL: Do you have a little pine tree air freshener in your Jeep? I can think of worse things to fetish about... ;-)

  3. I'll sort out your paperwork if you clean my flat. I like the paperwork but hate the odious task of cleaning

  4. i don't like doing either! i'll do housework because i do like a clean house and hate paying someone to clean it. but, any suggestions re dealing with paperwork? i have a desk piled high with stuff! *sigh* xoxoxo

  5. XL, I luv the smell of pine, too!

    I think I'd enjoy working in a place that smells like clean, fresh pine! Much better than working in a paper mill with that awful stench.

    Ponita, It sure does feel good to clean out the clutter! The space seems bigger and I feel lighter. Good luck on your move! It's always exciting to set up in a new place and make it your own.

    CP, Deal!

    I can file and sort very well at work, maybe because I know the guidelines and what's expected. At home, I'm not sure what I need to keep and what I need to throw away. At least with house cleaning, I enjoy the results and the nice, clean scents!

    Savannah, I hear ya! At least with cleaning, you got a clear goal and end up with clean results. It is kind of exasperating figuring out paperwork! I'd hate to throw away a receipt or document only to find out that I really needed it later!

  6. I've just had a major turf out of the stuff that's been dumped in my study. It was a lot of work, but very satisfying.

    Enjoy the feeling of liberation from junk (even if it's only temporary)

  7. there must be something in the air...
    I too am a hoarder. Surrounded by useless sentimentality... Except when there is a "Kitch Competition" at MJ's.!
    Occasionally I do a cull if things but not often enough...

    Trouble is that the culled stuff sits in a box for another month... just in case.... Well you never know when something might come in handy.

    A very dear friend of mine once exclaimed when I was protesting at her attempts to rid me of some clutter...
    "Princess... It is quite obvious that you were born with the creative gene... Unfortunately you missed out on the practical one!"

    I must admit that cleaning out the clutter feels great... It offers the opportunity to fill up the space with more treasures!

  8. Roses, It does feel liberating to be free of all that junk...even for just a little while :)

    I am enjoying the fact that if I do have people coming over, all I have to do is run the vacuum real quick and take out the trash. And they can sleep in the other room that's been cleaned, polished, aired out and given new linen, free of the cluttered boxes and stuff I accumulated over the holidays! No more boxes haphazardly tossed on the bed and the floor.

    Princess, I'm just like you! I'm very sentimental and hold on to all things personal like letters, postcards, and knick knacks I've received from people. I keep old plane tickets to remind me of the places I've been and the people I visited; I still have the old keys to my mother's house, long after the locks had been changed years ago after I left; those keys remind me of home.

    I'm also practical, because I never throw out anything that still works; which is why I tend to accumulate more stuff! I have two slow cookers (both given to me as gifts on separate occasions). I've a brand new rice cooker/vegetable steamer still in the gift box in the closet, because I still cook using pots and pans. I even keep all my old VHS tapes, even though I no longer have a VCR; I keep thinking I'll buy another VCR just so I can watch the tapes!

    You do have wonderful taste in your treasure collection, Princess.

  9. Oh bugger, bugger, bugger! That's exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now. My paperwork. I even have two brand new box files to inspire me.
    I never know what to keep or chuck on the fire either.

    I did some displacement activity earlier - I hoovered everywhere!

  10. I would like you to come over and clean my house dressed only in The Freakin' Green Elf Shorts and a cowboy hat.

  11. Scarlet, It is hard to sort out files at home! But I plan later on to go through my filing cabinet and start tossing out some really old files--like auto insurance forms from companies that I left ages ago and grocery receipts from two years ago!

    All that hoovering is quite a workout. I hope you found time to rest and rejuvenate after all that activity.

    MJ, I would, but I don't want your houseboys to be jealous and be put out of work, esp. in these tough economic times.

  12. I have to be in a mood to do that kind of cleaning, but when I get that mood, look out!

    I'll probably do some sorting this week since I'm on vacation. I have some boxes I can use, too.

    My problem is that I keep certain things out of nostalgia. Then after awhile that nostalgia for that particular item runs out and I can trash it or give it away.

  13. Tara, I was in the mood to clean! That and I was starting to feel trapped with the junk taking up space.

    I keep things too for nostalgia...

    Enjoy your vacation!

  14. I don't have any houseboys to be jealous of you.

    I'm waiting....

  15. TM and I went on a rampage cleaning/storing/prepping our place to sell. We had to move out for a week while it showed. Luckily it sold in four days so we were able to move ourselves and the pets back in - now we are just waiting for our son to come home from the hospital. After nine long weeks, it should happen in the next few days.

  16. Roses, I'd be over in a heartbeat, but I lack a plane ticket and the Shorts are not in my possession...

    Snooze, Congrats on your baby's homecoming and selling your place! That's fantastic news!

  17. Housekeeping is less of a chore if you have the proper motivation to clean. You can find motivation in a variety of ways. If you designate your cleaning time as time to spend alone, you might actually look forward to cleaning. Thanks.