She personifies my compulsive side which abhors clutter and detests dirt. This is the side of me that my darling hubs just doesn't get, especially when I am losing my mind over the thing that's been misplaced for the three-hundred-eighty-fifth time. Marie is a little extreme, even for me--I absolutely cannot get on board with only.thirty.books, for example. But she speaks to my soul. There is so much to tidy up in my life, and I don't just mean my house.
But let's start there, shall we? January was spent as I spend most Januarys, being tired of my surroundings, fighting the urge to rearrange all the furniture, and feeling like everything is just a mess. That's a fair assessment, actually, as December in a pastor's life means one can either do church stuff or housekeeping, but not really both at all well. So, in November, I do all the errand-running I can possibly do, I stock up on all the dumb things one has to get at the store--toiletries and supplies, etc. I get all the checks written for all the bills, and I line up all the January bills, too, so I don't have to face them in that awful, exhausted week after Christmas. And I do some good cleaning so I can give myself a pass in December. It's really the only way I have managed to make all this work.
And then January comes around after all that every year, and my compulsive tidy self is sick of the unclean house, and the stuff that's never been put away, and the need to find new spaces for whatever came into the house in December.
So, I tidy, and clean, and hoe out the junk. One fine day, I super-cleaned the bathrooms, including scrubbing shower walls and getting limescale off the shampoo and stuff holder, and cleaning out the vanity cabinet and linen cabinet. Amazing how, even when you keep things to a minimum, some age out before you can use them up....
Another day, I tackled our "study" upstairs, which had taken on the additional role of becoming my craft room/studio when my MIL moved in with us at the end of September. More stuff! But we had files, lots of paper files, all filled with paper, taking up space and calling out to the tidy monsters in my soul.
Being an itinerant minister in the United Methodist Church means I have built-in milestones for marking time. We moved into this house in July 2014. Some of this paper had not been looked at or used in all that 4.5 years. So I dragged the hubs in there with me, and we went through files. I emptied the downstairs fire safe, too, and we went through that as well, just for fun. Do you think I took photos of all this? Nope. But it looked a little like this person's desk when the hoeing-out was finished (only on the floor, not on a desk):
To cap that glorious January success, I have started February with a bang by spending the better part of two hours cleaning the refrigerator. Nobody likes to do it, but it really needs to be done, because eww. I think the hubs assumes it has a self-cleaning function like the oven, or that the fairies or elves take care of it, but it doesn't, and those magical stinkers never seem to visit our house. I wasn't intending to do it today, actually, but I am avoiding the fight with a stubborn sermon that doesn't want to get written. And I saw goop on one of the shelves. And we were down to very few leftovers. And away we went....
Out came everything. A lot of washing, wiping, and vinegar rinsing later, it looks like this. Yes, it is tiny. But it came with the house that came with the job. And it GLEAMS. And no, I am not showing you the "before."
Having everything out gave me the chance to fix the broken things--shelves and racks, etc. Some glue and tape-clamping later, we're good to go. Do not ask about the freezer. My fond hope is to acquire a larger freezer for the basement so I can do more make-ahead meals than I have been able to cram into the approximately 3 cubic foot freezer in this unit. I'm holding out on cleaning the freezer until I can move stuff into a new one. How's that for a viable procrastination excuse?
I have to admit, I've opened this door more than once today, just to admire the tidy, germ-free-ness of this work of art.
That's how it's been here, at the beginning of February. There's more to clean up in the house (always), but i'm working on me, too.... more about that later.