Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Got my 500 words today. I'm ~32,000 for the draft so far, which is about a third done. My SAT kids are dropping off now (most of them took the test two weeks ago), so I'll have a nice long stretch to work tomorrow. After I get my daily words, I'm going to try to do some scene sheets for upcoming scenes, and maybe work on another The Fire in Fiction exercise.

I also meta-cleaned for another hour today. By "meta-clean" I mean sorting, discarding, rethinking organizational systems, restoring function to chaotic areas of the house. I am the first to admit that I am neither a skilled nor tenacious housekeeper, and I am also the first to complain that the other two people who live in the house with me contribute disgracefully little to the Avoiding Actual Squalor cause. I give myself a B+ on keeping up with what I refer to as "subsistence-level housework": dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping. And I can whip the whole house into presentable shape in one long, miserable day if I have to. But underneath the achievable surface clean lurks a deeper, more profound mess: closets you fear to open, a junk room that could be featured on an episode of Hoarders, drawers in the grip of an identity crisis.

The root of the problem is that a good 15% of the stuff in our house has no designated place, and we've kind of run out of places to put more furniture to hold more stuff. We're also bad about putting stuff that does have a place back in that place once we're done with it, and bad about throwing stuff away once it transitions to crap.

We're all to blame: me with my stacks of books that won't fit on my groaning shelves, The Husband with his 50 t-shirts that he wears at a rate of 2 per week, and The Son with his art supplies and projects slowly taking over the planet. Even The Sibling, who used to live here lo these many years ago, has a hand in it: he left behind half-dozen archaic computers when he moved out, which now take up like a quarter of the junk room and can't just be hauled to the dump.

Thus, the meta-clean. I'm still doing the subsistence-level stuff, but I'm also committed to spending an hour a day meta-cleaning this place until it isn't such a sty. The Son's school is having a fundraising yard sale this weekend, and I'm unloading a metric buttload of toys he's outgrown. And I'm planning to bring the old computers to Best Buy, and the less-loved books to the used book store. Other than that, I'm trying to be methodical, attacking one room at a time until it makes sense.

And to work this post back to being about writing: I started in the guest room, which doubles as my office (if a cat-clawed wing-back chair, a footstool, and a storage container of books and notebooks can be called an office), and I feel like I can think again in that room, now that it's not a sea of books and papers and stray Legos and random markers and kid art and are those underpants? When did The Son leave his underpants in the guest room? Now it's just boring gray wall-to-wall, and my soul is soothed.

1 comment:

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