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If I Start Cleaning, Will Spring Come Faster?

A legitimate question.

I spent a good few hours today cleaning the apartment. Mostly it was straightening up bookshelves and getting some of the crap off my dining room table, but I also went into my walk-in closet and attacked it with a vengeance, cleaning off the entire floor and the bottom shelf, throwing a good deal of stuff away, and reducing it down to about 3/4 of a large, rectangular box.

Will spring show up now?

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Cleaning 100!

So, ever since my birthday, my life has basically devolved into grading, doing massive amounts of forgotten laundry, stressing about my writing, sleeping too little, waking up again, and doing it all over.

Today I decided to take a break from it all – well, most of it.

Since I was off from school today, I spent only a small part of my day grading, and most of it catching up on emails, getting some pleasure reading done, and in a moment of inspiration, did a 100 clean.

This is a game which I invented some time ago to get myself to just get up and clean. It can be done anywhere, but basically, my floor was getting to the point where I couldn’t walk in my apartment without tripping over something or other, and something needed to be done about it.

How does the game work? You count each time you pick an object, or handful of objects up off the floor. It can be as large as a pile of clothes or as small as a pen or a coin. Once you have placed said object either in a drawer, on a table/counter, in the trash, or anywhere other than the floor, you repeat, with the next number. I went through my kitchen, hallway, living room, and part of my bedroom, and ended up, by 76 or 77, picking up small pieces of lint. So I basically just rearranged things, and got some things further back in my bedroom off the floor. Now, I have a lovely, clean carpet.

Of course, there is stuff on counter tops, but that’s for another day.

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Radar Sweep Cleaning and Fruit Compote Potpourri

Even though I didn’t have any classes today, it still managed to be pretty full. Okay, so I slept for the majority of it, but after yesterday, I needed and deserved every minute of those ten hours. I spent the afternoon waking up, making something to eat, not going to the gym, or something, and then just attempting to figure out my life. While watching Jenna Marbles, eating my breakfast, and folding towels, I was looking around at the current state of my apartment. Spoiler alert: it’s sad.

And then it just kind of came to me.

Radar. Sweep. Cleaning.

you will like this post…you will comment on this post…you will follow That’s So Jacob…you will tell all your friends…you will enjoy bananas…

 

I realized that when I attempt to clean and stuff, I just do a general clean-all-the-things, and end up getting mostly nothing done. My apartment is essentially a box with four quadrants: living room, bedroom, bathroom/front hallway, and living room. So, standing in the center of my apartment, I decided to pick one quadrant – just one – and tell myself that before the day is out, that quadrant will be the cleanest thing in my apartment. Then, the next day, repeat, and so on. By random draw (read: what I thought would be the easiest) I decided to start with the living room. By the rules of ballroom dance, it goes counter-clockwise, so tomorrow is the kitchen’s turn.

The rules of Radar Sweep Cleaning: get the stuff out of the space. It doesn’t matter if it ends up elsewhere for now, but get it out. It can be in the bathroom or on the bedroom floor or whatever, but out of the space. The idea is that eventually, when I get around to cleaning the part of the apartment where said deposited object is, I will move it to a better spot if need be. This might result in things just making giant circuits around my apartment, but hey, whatever works, right?

But anyway, today. This afternoon, I decided to make the living room look like one from a magazine. That meant cleaning the couch and cushions, putting away all the dirty/clean clothes, and the towels/sheets in the closet. Then, clear off the dining room table (which is almost done, save a few items including some groceries I bought just tonight). Then coffee table (yeah…still lots of stuff on it, but most of it, like my coasters and a tissue box, should be there, but I’ll deal with that. Finally, floor, and vacuum it all up. Then, forget about cleaning the living room for a good long while, or at least until it gets dirty again.

Looking around, I just realized that it actually doesn’t look that much better. It’s 11:00 PM, and by midnight I want to be in bed, so this project might take a little longer than I thought. Oh, and I should probably eat the dinner I made.

In other news, over lunch at the Hubbard Avenue Diner, I realized I forgot to bring a highlighter so I pulled out a Reader’s Digest to thumb through as I ate my delicious spinach-parmesan soup. On page 52 of the edition I was reading (February 2015), there is an article by Alison Caporimo entitled “Scents from Fun Stores.” I usually skip the homemaking section, but maybe I should start reading it more, because the scents actually seemed good to try, inexpensive, and fun to make. The first one on the list was the Yankee Candle scent for a “cozy” atmosphere, and since my apartment is, for what it’s worth, cozy, I decided to give it a try since I had to go grocery shopping anyway. The recipe suggested a quartered orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cranberries. Since cranberries are out of season, I went with dried, but when I went home, plunked all that stuff into some water and boiled it, it smelled divine. I even went out to dance class, and when I came back, even though the building smelled terrible, I opened my door and got hit with a wave of orange-cinnamon yumminess. In fact, while I was writing this, I boiled it some more, and I have an extra jar over the fridge, so maybe I’ll bottle it up and reuse it another time.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but something from RD actually wasn’t terrible advice. Thanks, RD!

And finally, I don’t normally do this, but my friend Elle asked me nicely to promote her kickstarter, which is here. She’s trying to put together an album, of music I presume. I have not heard her sing, but I have seen her act and dance, and if she is as good a singer as she is actress/dancer, then this will be something to look forward to.

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Things I Like and Don’t Like About Cleaning

Much like Carol Channing’s famous monologue from Free to Be… You & Me, I hate housework.

 

Well, most of the time.

So of course, instead of spending last night and today on my homework, I spent the majority of the day cleaning my apartment.

Things I Like About Cleaning

  1. I like doing laundry. Like…I really like it. The smell of dryer sheets and clean clothes. The joy of watching stains disappear. The fact that I can fold clothes and watch TV/listen to music/talk on the phone/read at the same time. Feeling like a champion with a freshly organized closet and/or drawer.
  2. I like the pristine look of things the second that they are clean. Of course, then you have to stand, sit, spill, stain, and shove stuff on it, but for a second, it’s like a catalog.
  3. I like giving (and having) the illusion that my apartment is that clean, 100% of the time.
  4. A clutterless counter or table top is perfect for all kinds of ACTIVITIES.

Things I Don’t Like About Cleaning

  1. Dishes. Everything about them.
  2. Folding fitted sheets. We send a man to outer space and make a phone that’s thinner than a slice of bread but no one has figured out a foolproof way to fold a fitted sheet.
  3. Looking for things that were easily found in the mess, and having to wreck your whole apartment to find them ten feet away from where they were when your apartment was a mess.
  4. Resisting the urge to redecorate. Every time.
  5. WHERE ARE MY WOODLAND FRIENDS?

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Catalogged

Today, I worked on cleaning my apartment in preparation for packing up items for storage. I realized I have a lot of stuff. Most of it is crap, but useful-ish crap, like class notes, scripts, and mementos. Some of it is disposable; if I have deemed an item useless, I throw it out. This rarely happens, but when it does, it’s usually an extra copy of a script or notes from a paper that I wrote two semesters ago. One item, however, seems to keep piling up no matter how much I try to dispose of it.

Catalogs.

Bloomsbury. Methuen Drama. TCG. Routledge.

These are the names that peer out at me from under the crap on the coffee table, to the box next to the couch. Catalogs from up to five years back. Some are even duplicates. I know that I threw a few away, yet more still keep coming back to haunt me. I am enticed by the pretty pictures on the covers. I am titillated by the titles inside. I highlight, ear mark, and sometimes record titles in a spreadsheet on my computer before throwing them away, yet I still find more at the bottoms of boxes.

And at ATHE, I know I’m going to pick up like five more, because they are free and allow me to live in a world of fantasy where I can afford all the books.

 

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Today

Was hoping that I could actually get it together today and post something before midnight, but I have to say that I had a pretty productive day today, otherwise, so I’m not perfect. It actually started pretty early as I woke up at 7:45 AM and ended up being relatively busy, with exercising, gym, geocaching, social interactions, all built in. And – check it – there was one thing today I wasn’t late for. Success.

I have a lot of nervousness settling in for no good reason. For some reason, while driving my car today, I kept feeling like I was being watched – maybe by God, maybe by a distant police scanner – I don’t know.

What I do know:

  • Get stuff done for BLT
  • Talk to YF
  • Start reading some plays
  • Start reading some more stuff
  • Take out the recycling
  • Clean up the apartment
  • Go to the post office
  • Generally stop being useless, even though I’m actually not so useless these days
  • Check in with J in a few days to see what’s up
  • Get some more ideas about blog posts
  • Finish some recaps
  • Write about my trips to Chicago and KC
  • Write about more geocache adventures

Aaaannndddd…that’ll probably last me for the rest of the year. I’m such a lost cause. But at least I got it all written down today.

Oh, and I watched the second episode of Siberia tonight, and most of what happened, I predicted! I am loving this show.

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Five Things I Like and Five Things I Don’t Like

Five Things I Don’t Like:

1) Not sleeping all night.

2) The noisy carpet cleaning people.

3) Getting started on a brand new project, from complete scratch. Blank page phobia.

4) Flies in the kitchen.

5) Anything involving dishes or the dishwasher.

Five Things I Like:

1) Spending 2 (almost 3) hours in the gym.

2) When the kitchen is clean, trash is gone, and laundry is folded.

3) Starbucks Refreshers Strawberry Lemonade.

4) This week’s New York Times Sunday crossword.

5) The gentle wafting smell of dinner in the oven.