It recently occurred to me that I’ve never mentioned why I time my weekly maintenance cleaning. It’s because I get overwhelmed by the mess and think it’s going to take forever, so I don’t want to start. I figure that if I time how long it takes to tidy a room, it will eventually train my brain to not be so overwhelmed.

If I tidy up every weekend, it can take as little as 5 minutes for a room to look lovely again. If I skip for a week (or two or three), it can take over an hour to get a room looking decent again.

When I was little, before my Dad built us a triple-decker bunk bed, I shared a room with No.2 Sis, No.4 Sis, and No.7 Sis. No.2 and No.4 each had their own bed. No. 7 had the top bunk in a low bunk bed, and I had a trundle bed that pulled out from under the low bunk.

There was not nearly enough storage space, and we were all pretty unsupervised, so the bedroom was always a huge, HUGE mess. It was overwhelmingly, mind-boggling messy.

About once a year Mom strong-armed us into cleaning our room. It was usually right before Christmas, so Mom could threaten us with the prospect of no gifts if we failed to comply.

We’d scurry around, stuffing things into the tiny, shared closet and the inadequate dressers. When there was no more room to squeeze anything else in, the older sisters pulled out my trundle bed and piled it high with stuff, and shoved the bed back under it’s companion bunk.

I was threatened with death if I moved anything off the trundle bed. Then someone would call Mom upstairs; she’d inspect the room, and give the go-ahead for Christmas.

Meanwhile, I spent the next week or so sleeping on clothes, toys and other crap. The wire hangers were the worst, but I took death threats pretty seriously. Eventually, the floor would fill up again, and I could shove the junk off my bed to join the piles.

So, my brain is now overwhelmed by mess. I become immobilized, and hopeless. It’s called “learned helplessness”. Thank you, Psych 101 class.


Kitchen: 25 minutes to unload and load dishwasher, scrub the Foreman Grill, clear and wipe counters, and go through a big pile of mail and craft paper scraps. I came up with a whole bag of recycling, which brings my bag count to 229.

I also cleaned up this messy candle holder with this technique I found on Made From Pinterest. I didn’t have any cleaning vinegar, so I used regular white vinegar. Big improvement, so it’s going into the on-going donation box instead of the garbage.



lime deposits removed

Cleaned up candle holder.

Stay tuned…