Sunday, January 30, 2011

How To Accidently Clean Your House

Or, A Day in the Life of Raechelle.

Decide to change the three shower curtain liners around your clawfoot tub.

Decide that, since you're going to take the showers curtains down, this would be a good time to really clean the tub.  Those curtains get in the way.

But you've been needing to wash the litter box, so if you're going to clean the tub, you might as well wash the litter box out in there.

In dumping the old litter into the garbage bag, some spills. But that's okay, you should vacuum the bathroom anyway.

Once the litter box is clean (and Elvis takes a big poop in it to christen it), you clean the tub.  And you already have your bathroom cleaning basket out, so you might as well just clean the whole bathroom.  It won't take that long.

Once the bathroom is clean, you shake the rugs out and move all the movable stuff into the hall so you can vacuum.  Ah.  Beautiful, clean bathroom!

You move everything back into the bathroom and go to put the vacuum away, but then there's all of that litter in the carpet outside of the bathroom.  Might as well vacuum that up.

And now that the hallway is freshly vacuumed and clean, you might as well vacuum the living and dining room real quick.

But if you're going to vacuum the living room, you should probably go ahead and use the Swiffer to dust off the TV stand and the bookshelves and the coffee table.  And go ahead and get the crumbs out of the cracks of the sofa, loveseat and chair.

Okay.  So we're all dusted, now we can vacuum.  Ah.  Beautiful, clean living room!

On to the dining room, just to vacuum.  But again, there's crumbs on the dining chairs so let's just go ahead and Swiffer those off.

And while we have the Swiffer out, might as well dust the barmoir and anything else that's easy.

So now you can vacuum.  Whew.

Ah.  Beautiful, clean dining room!

But wait.  The kitchen floor is hella-dirty.  If someone walks in there, the dirt will stick to their socks and they'll cart it right back into my clean dining room and living room.

Might as well vacuum the kitchen, while I still have the vacuum out.

Well, if you're going to vacuum the kitchen, you might as well wipe down the countertops since you don't want that crap falling onto your clean floor.

But if you're going to wipe down the countertops, you'll need to put those dishes in the dishwasher.

So you wipe down the countertops, and while you have the wet rag, you might as well wipe down the stove, the fridge handles and the front of the dishwasher.

Okay, all of the dirt is on the floor.  Time to vacuum.

Ah.  Beautiful, clean kitchen!

As you're putting the vacuum cleaner away, think, it wouldn't really take that long to vacuum up the bedroom.

But you know you should probably dust before you vacuum.

And, in order to vacuum, you're going to have to put shoes in the closet and the dirty clothes in the hamper.

So you put everything away, straighten up the bed, Swiffer real quick, then vacuum the bedroom.

Ah.  Beautiful, clean bedroom!

You put the vacuum away and realize it's an hour and a half later.

What just happened here?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Depression and Cleaning

This interesting little nugget popped up on the Seattle Times today. And how could I NOT read it?

6 Ways To Clean House When You’re Depressed

Um…. this is the way I clean all the time. My mama taught me to clean shit up when you spill it, depressed or not. Not everyone does it like this?

Actually, you don’t have to answer that. I’ve cleaned houses before – no, not everyone does it like this.

I was taught to clean as I go and not wait to do it. That’s maybe the best advice my mother ever gave me (that, and “Don’t show your dad your new tattoo just yet!”) It makes cooking much easier if you clean as you go, and you don’t have to spend a whole weekend on a cleaning bender if you just do a little at a time, each day. Cleaning is my alone time, and my productive time and my selfish time. And I get to do it exactly how I want it done. It’s how I prepare to go to bed and it’s how I burn off energy. Some people exercise, I clean.

Yet, somehow, I think if someone is extremely depressed (I’m only “clinically”, not “extremely”), this task list may still be too daunting. I know I’ve had those days where nothin’ gets done and I am a-okay with that. When you’re in that icky frame of mind, a clean and tidy house is the least of your concerns.

You’re just wondering how you’re going to get through the day without smothering yourself with your own pillow, ya know?

Maybe you don’t. Good for you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Project Has Begun

(sung to the tune of The Healing Has Begun)

On Saturday, I went over Ann's for our first "meeting".  Meeting is in quotes because we, along with a friend of her's, went out to sushi, then went through her pile of clothes to give away (sweaters, red purse, pink Old Navy sweats, Christmasy shirts!), then opened a bottle of wine, and then finally looked at her spreadsheet and talked organizing. 

I like meetings like this.

Ann was very productive with her spreadsheet.  She added some projects and assigned them to people.  A lot of the projects will be done by a contractor (bath, painting, etc) so we get to focus more on the organizing, staging and cleaning.

We'll start Saturday with the kitchen and hall closet.  There may be pictures.

I am very excited.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Mother of All Projects

And this project has it all! Purging, organizing, cleaning, staging!  I have been hired by Doug and Ann to assist them in preparing their house to list in April.

This is not a small task.

Envision with me, dear reader….

A tall, sprawling house nestled in the trees and woods of Kirkland. A ground floor, with a newly remodeled kitchen, a dining room and living room, a powder room and an attached two car garage. Let’s go down the stairs to the basement, which is now holds the office, the family room, a full (unfinished) bathroom and the laundry area.

Back upstairs to the main floor. Now up another flight of stairs.

Here we have two spare bedrooms and a full bath. Now, up another flight of stairs.

The master suite, with skylights, a large closet, an open vanity and shower/toilet room. Here's where the purging begins – Ann is having a gaggle of women over on Saturday to take their pick of purses, shoes and clothes, your’s truly included. Knowing Ann, there will be cocktails.

And that is why I love Ann.

What’s funny is, when Todd and I were visiting them last month to decorate gingerbread houses, Ann mentioned they wanted to list the house in April and find something closer to downtown Seattle. My first thought, swear to gawd, was “I could totally have this house ready to list by April.” (We got the Westwood house ready in four days!)

But I kept my mouth shut. Because I have a really bad habit of volunteering before I think and offering to help, and promising all kinds of my free time…..before talking with Todd.

So when Ann emailed to ask if I was interested in the official Job, I first talked with Todd and said “This is probably going to eat up most of my weekends between now and April.” We decided that, for a little extra money and the opportunity for me to have a fun hobby, it would totally be worth it.

So I agreed.

Ann and I are meeting prior to the purging on Saturday for sushi and (you guessed it) cocktails.

And I made up a spreadsheet (OF COURSE) to clarify expectations. Each tab on the spreadsheet is a level of the house. There’s a column for “Done”, “Project”, “Responsible?” and “Goal”. I asked her to list out what all she wanted to accomplish for each level (finish the downstairs bathroom, put doors on the hallway closet, paint bedroom), put who would be responsible for that project (Doug? Contractor? Raechelle?) and what the goal was (By mid-March). She’s had the spreadsheet for a few weeks now, so we’ll go over it tomorrow at lunch. Then I’ll help raid her closet.

I’m giddy.