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Friday, July 1, 2011

Shining My Sink

July 1, 2011
Yesterday, while reading Amanda’s blog post at “This Side of Reason,” I found a link to a site called "FlyLady."  It’s a place where one goes to get inspired to de-clutter and simplify one’s life.  I found it a little touchy-feely for my taste.  Really, I don’t think that woman loves everyone in the world.
Anyway, she has come up with a system that is composed of a series steps to manage stress and just get happy as shit.  The first step is to shine your sink.  Really.  If you want to read more, just click your way over there.
I thought about the sink-shining idea, slept on it, and when I got up this morning, I decided to shine my sink.  Understand that I planned to shine my sink after I had drunk several cups of coffee, written in my journal, written a blog post, and helped Christy, my Domestic Engineer, work around the house.
So, it was 11 o’clock before I got around to the task I had set for myself.  I took everything out of my sink, put the dirty dishes in the washer and put away a bunch of stuff that was in the drain.  Then I went in search of the stainless steel cleaner I bought one time, a long time ago.  Don’t ask me why.  Maybe way back then, I was already thinking about shining my sick.
Cleaner in hand, I used an old rag to, well, shine my sink.  It didn’t get very shiny.  I think it is about 30 years old.  But I did the best I could and stood, rag in hand, and admired my handiwork. It looked pretty good.  
The thing about shining my sink was, well, that once it was shiny and empty, it was impossible to ignore the little (or not so little) piles of shit all over the rest of the kitchen - papers that were stacked up and needed to be filed, two ceramic bowls that had been sitting next to the coffeemaker for months and needed to be put away, receipts that were scattered about on every counter and that should have been put in the purple plastic envelope with dividers in it I use to store them for a year.  Wait, there’s more - junk mail culled out of the real mail but never thrown away, a couple of wine corks (really),a sink stopper that had never worked but which I had never thrown away, just parked it in the spoon rest I use as a sponge caddy.
Before I knew it, I was de-cluttering like a pluperfect fool, de-cluttering my ass off.  I took all the clean clothes that had been folded and left on top of the dryer for about a week, and I put them away.  I have left clothes in the kitchen so long that I once had to go in there to find a clean pair of panties.  I took the Christmas cards that had been in the basket where I keep my little coffee pods and culled out the ones I really wanted to keep and threw away the ones that had pictures on them of people I hardly know.  I put the three I wanted to keep in my desk in a photo file.  
But I was not finished, and my 1 o’clock nail appointment hung over my head whispering, “Your nails are a mess.”  I took a few minutes to go through my completely jammed pencil and pen caddy and threw away all the ones that didn’t work.  Now there are exactly two pencils and three pens in it.
I forced myself to dress and drive to the nail salon, but all the while I was there, I was thinking of what else in my kitchen I could dispense with.  The minute I got home, nails, toenails and brows groomed to perfection, I donned some gloves and completed the job - even straightened out the pantry - which has no door.
So, there you have it.  Me being me.  I’m fighting the urge to go back to FlyLady and tackle Step 2, of which I have no idea because I only read as far as Step 1.
Do you suppose there is a 12-Step program for de-clutterers?  God, I hope so.  I may already addicted.  
(Please, Sweet Jesus, say it ain’t so). 
© cj Schlottman
Friday, July 1, 2011


Life@Cee said...

I think the attraction will fade... not to burst your bubble.

Sue said...

Now and then I get the urge to declutter myself.

Mostly then.


Amanda said...

That's how she hooked me! With the sink thing!

I knew about Flylady for years before I started cleaning the sink on a regular basis.

And for quite a while that was about all I could do. Then I added one or two other things from her program.

In 2009 I subscribed for her free email reminders as a daily digest. (That way I get only one email each day.)

For a long time I ignored and deleted them but eventually I started to click on them and skim through.

This gave me a lot of ideas.

I don't do everything she says, or exactly as she says, but I've a much nicer home/garden now and it helps me walk a little straighter.

I'd roll my eyes when she'd say things like "home blessing hour" or FLY (Finally Loving Yourself) but it makes perfect sense now.

Many people, like me, have a very negative relationship with cleaning, usually due to childhood experiences.

Her cutesy names for housework helped me see it in a more positive light.

PS. I think the reason it took so long is that a few times I tried cleaning everything in a very short while, which led to "crash and burn".

Marsha said...

I love this because I'm looking at the same damn things! I want to sweep everything out of my house, my life, for a streamlined, clean, sleek new look. and I've started, slowly, like dragging myself off to the dentist appointment. But next I have to deal with the books, like a huge wall I have to climb over.

BECKY said...

Oh CJ, this is hilarious! I've been trying to deal with decluttering,too! I wrote a litte about it on my blog the other day! I can SO relate to this! I guess I'll check out the Flylady...but I'm really skeered....

deborahjbarker said...

How funny! I could just picture you and indeed I did not need to picture the sink because there it is, in all its glory! I wont be able to resist popping over to
flylady now... should I look at step 2???

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Fun-neee! I know I'm not going to her blog. I'm not ready to do THIS much decluttering. Your "before" kitchen sounds a lot like my "now" kitchen! Enjoyed smiling along with you as you decluttered. laurie

Katie Gates said...

Love this post! I am so terrible about cleaning/straightening, but I love it when I get in that rhythm and just starting doing the kind of stuff you're talking about here. A neighbor/friend has a good technique. He just sets his timer and starts doing some cleaning and/or de-cluttering. No agenda as to targets -- just do stuff for X-amount of time. It's a pretty good way to go. There's something to deal with at every turn.

Martha Mawson said...

There is something rather "more-ish" about cleaning. Once you stop, and admire your handiwork, you can't help but start up again. My favourite chore is cleaning the bathroom (or was before I found myself dealing with arthritic knees). To see the shine - what a feeling! And yes, it leads to other jobs of decluttering. Now, I must somehow trick my daughter and son-in-law into reading that blog. FlyLady, eh?

MarieandHerCats said...

Flylady is a HUGE success world wide. Apropos for all types of women from every type of home/work life and education level Just have to get past the apparent over simplicity or touchy stuff if that is what turns u off.
I am a member of the Calling all 40/50+ Flybabies FB group with members from Europe, Canada Australia and US. Made some great friends. My whole life has been enhanced by the slow and steady learning of her HABITS or THE FLYLADY WAY

MarieandHerCats said...

Please give FLYLADY a try! Been following her ways for years and member of Calling all 40/50s+ Flybabies Facebook group. SO apropos for all walks of life/education/ work. My life has been enhanced in many ways by using flylady ways to clean, organize,manage house and home. Most importantly, to let go of perfectionism and start to FLY FINALLY LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF!