Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

I Finally Decide to Tackle Something I Really Don’t Want to Deal With

After much (and I do mean MUCH) thought, I’ve decided to cull the herd.

No, I’m not doing away with one of my children (although if you’d asked me about it last night, I might not have been so definitive in the denial).

I’m reducing the number of cookbooks and cooking magazines which are currently overrunning my house (when they’re not causing shelves to cave in).  This is NOT an exaggeration – I only wish!

Thing is, I’m not exactly sure what to do with them; I’ve thought about making (another) donation to the library, but now, I’m considering just giving them away to new homes.  Soooo, if there’s any interest, I’ll be happy to list the publications here (when I get through them all) and if you see one (or many) you want, you can shoot me an e-mail and I’ll ship it/them to you.


(Because if there’s no real interest, I’ll just ship the whole lot to the library)


My Closet Needs an Intervention


There is no excuse.  None.  The stuff is piled up so high it reaches the ceiling.  And that’s not all of it. It’s not even mostly clothes.  Shoes.  Handbags.  And there’s more.  The thought of cleaning it out makes me want to collapse in a fit of vapors.

I’ve consulted my new housekeeping book (see post regarding my inability to clean my house).  There is advice.  Good advice.  It involves organization (I like this), taking inventory (I’m less comfortable), and purging (again, vapors).  I fundamentally don’t want to get rid of the shoes.  Or the handbags.  And I really don’t have room for them all.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is one of those tasks that is best done with someone else.  I think a different set of eyes would help me gain a more positive perspective.  This is, after all, a process for me.  I’ve just been doing things on my own for so long now, that I forget that I don’t necessarily have to.

With luck, I will declare victory over the closet clutter by the end of the month.  It’s good to have goals.

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This morning I got up extra early to read my new housekeeping book.  Specifically I wanted to look at the various strategies:

  • Clean everything all in one day
  • Clean a room a day
  • Tackle certain types of cleaning chores each on its own day.

I see the pros and cons of all three, but I probably have to go with Door #2.  I don’t think I can give up an entire day to housekeeping.  I don’t have the attention span (or willpower).  Grouping tasks (like cleaning all the mirrors, or windows, or doing the dusting) each day is also not good for me.  It’s too scattered.  I would never feel like anything was actually finished.  I think the “pick a room and spend a half hour cleaning it” is probably going to work best.  I picked the Dining Room (mostly because I was standing in the kitchen and the light was shining through showing every bit of dust and dog hair and utter chaos and I just couldn’t stand it one more minute).  So, out came the duster and the vacuum.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a darn sight better and I feel better.  More importantly, I am motivated to work on another room tomorrow.  I think this might truly work.

I think I can work out an equitable schedule that doesn’t overwhelm me and doesn’t interfere with work.  And I take off Sundays.  Period.  In fact, I’m going to try very hard this week to have my shopping and laundry done on Saturday morning.  I typically have a terrible time setting up and adhering to routines, but I think this may just be worth the effort.

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I Don’t Know How to Clean My House

I’ve come to the realization that I really don’t know how to clean my house.  Oh, I know the mechanics of using a vacuum cleaner and a duster and a mop, etc.  It’s more that I don’t have any sense of how to approach it as a process.    Which means that my house is never truly cleaned.  There might be a day where the living room is dusted and vacuumed.  But not the dining room. Or the bedroom. The ceiling fans might as well be on the moon for all the attention they get.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  I don’t know where to start and I don’t know how to start.  So I just ignore it until, well, I can’t.

Very occasionally I hire a super competent person to come in and clean the house from top to bottom.  I vow to  maintain the lovely level of cleanliness.  I don’t last the month.  This is frustrating to me.  I prefer organization and order.  I live in clutter and chaos.  And I telecommute, so there’s no escape.  It’s overwhelming.

So on Sunday I went to the local Barnes & Noble in search of some expert help (there are entire sections of the store devoted to cleaning and organizing – this does not make me feel better).  For $40 I can get Martha Stewart’s ginormous tome on all things housekeeping.  I found it entirely too scary and could not bring myself to buy it.  I think I need to work up to it.  I did however, find Cleaning Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin.  $17 and only 307 pages including Index.  This is much more my speed.

So, I bought it and I’m reading it and I’m now holding out hope that I might just figure out how to clean my house.  Or at least that’s my goal for June.  It’s good to have goals.

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