Saturday, May 31, 2008

On housekeeping: no stars in my eyes

Not that I'm a one foot in the gutter kind of lady (OK, yes I am...a fair amount of the time), but as proud as I was about my housekeeping endeavors that I excitedly blogged about, I did wonder how long all of this tidiness would last.

Result? 2 weeks!

After maintaining the cleanliness and clutter-free (eh, minimally cluttered!) environment for 1 week, the sense of calm I possessed amazed me. In order to maintain it, I created a checklist for myself of things that I needed to do on a daily basis to maintain it. That included spending just 5 minutes in the morning cleaning the bathroom. In other words, little things that add up to a lovely big picture. The checklist also included some small stuff to maintain *myself*. Because I know that drinking enough water and brushing my teeth at night matter, I wanted to check the extent to which I actually do these things.

(And so that you are sure you read the previous paragraph correctly, I'm confirming that I sometimes forget to brush my teeth at night. I'm not proud of this, but hey, this is my ADD story, warts and all.)

Back to the checklist. To make it fun, I used sticker stars to check off each item. I like sticker stars, and it's a shame that we don't receive these as awards after second or third grade. I was all pumped about using the checklist, and enjoyed using it for 3 days. I didn't complete every item on the list each of those days. However, it was also an interesting data collection experience for me, as I was able to see which of the things I did and which I didn't do.

And then, Day 4 rolled around. I had a date with B, who I now know will not be a contender for the position of Mr. Add Libber. Thanks to the wonderful public transit system, I got home 30 minutes before I had to be out the door looking all cute and girly. Fortunately, I primped extensively and met my timeframe. However, my place looked like Sephora and Ulta had vomited products everywhere after an all-night beauty bender.

When I got home that night, I used my busy day and evening as a justification for not following my checklist. By the next day, the checklist sat overlooked on my bedroom dresser and remained unused.

That was over a week ago. This morning, I looked around and felt like things had again gotten out of control. My buoyant mood had also sunk, and I felt very blah. I'veread in many home organization books that the state of your home represents your life. And my life apparently has an empty sparkling cider bottle on the desk.

And so I'm printing out another checklist and aiming to get back on track. I'm frustrated that I let things get awry. But then again, I never thought that my big cleanup a couple of weeks ago would last as long as it did. I hope that I can get things back in order, one star at a time. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

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