Chore Tracking: Holiday Weekend

As predicted, I didn’t get much done on Friday.

Saturday, I got up and did a few things. I swept the living room again. I save boxes, because I mail packages for my great-nieces’ and great nephews’ birthdays, but I had a stack of them in the guest room/office that were going to be challenging to store without chucking them all in the attic, so I recycled them all (I’m a little apprehensive about that, because I’ve been able to get boxes from work and mail at the company shipping rate, in the past, but at my new gig, I’m not sure things work that way.) I also figured out a use for three large plastic tubs that I ended up with unexpectedly. Those tubs have been sitting there for weeks, empty, but one gave me a place to stow the planting stuff that has been sitting on my least-used dining room chair and dining room windowsill for an embarrassing length of time (easily six months or more). It gave me the ability to get that stuff outside, which is a huge improvement. I stowed papers from my desk and the dining room table in another tub, and figured out a long-term method of storing my stash of dog toys that I’m not quite ready to give pup (I’ve started buying a bunch on sale and giving them out gradually, because he’s certain to destroy his toys.) I scrubbed the guest bathroom toilet, loaded and ran the dishwasher, wiped down the countertops and stove, hand-washed dishes, and made lunch, knowing the company would be hungry when they arrived. Let’s say I spent 2.5 solid hours cleaning before they arrived, and I emptied and refilled the dishwasher and gave them an area to nap and then made up their bed later in the day, so let’s say 3 hours of housework Saturday.

Sunday, I made breakfast and they did the dishes and straightened the kitchen while I walked the dog. It was snowing, so I left the room set up for them Sunday night, just in case their travel to the mountains didn’t work out. They have put my kitchen shears somewhere I can’t find them, which makes me a little crazy, but I love my family anyway. (Feeling the need to write that 100 times until I can say it without my teeth clenched…)

Monday, I had the day off. Can I just say how much paid holidays mean to me, in a time where I have no PTO? They are so wonderful! (She says, not knowing precisely what another two months without them will be like, before the PTO kicks in…) I wanted to go to the movies, but it was snowy enough that I stuck closer to home. (The dog was also sick, and I got busy doing stuff, and it turned out I had a lot of OnDemand to catch up on.) I rearranged the fridge and threw out some things. One thing I always do starting Ash Wednesday is to start South Beach’s restrictive phase. It helps me to start eating more mindfully, and I count it a little as fasting, because it’s a two-week fast from refined carbohydrates and fruit, so it’s definitely a sacrifice for me. It doesn’t hurt that it helps me to lose a little holiday weight, and some years, it has jump-started even more significant weight loss efforts. Cleaning out the fridge was necessary because it had descended into chaos, but it also helped me to see what I had and what I needed in advance of making a fairly significant dietary change. I also cleaned out the linen closet. It was a stupid thing to do, because there are more significant areas that needed attention, but I’d been itching to do it, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought, to get in order. It also helped me figure out items for my shopping list, and I built a “do not buy this!” list, because I’ve built a significant pile of lotions, etc. and need to work through that backlog before I buy more. I also changed the vacuum cleaner bag and did the mirrors throughout the house, which needed doing. And took out the trash. And put away some Valentine’s gifts mom gave me.

I stripped the guest bed and towels and stripped my bed and towels while I was at it. My mom has been aggressively volunteering to do my laundry for several weeks (first world problems, amiright?), and I don’t like it when she does my laundry, because she doesn’t do all of it at once and return it in a timely fashion. I’ll get parts of it when I see her tomorrow, more when I see her next week, and in three weeks, I’ll get some random item I’ve been looking for frantically. I do all my laundry at once, with the added bonus of knowing where my stuff is at virtually all times. But my dryer has been out of commission for several months. (This is a reason I need a husband, BTW— I’m a champion work-around artist/coper. I also haven’t fixed the built-in microwave or the garbage disposal since they broke. If someone else lived in the house with me, I’d be more self-conscious about how stupid it is to function around things like this, or they’d get fed up and call them, themselves, which would be even better. I do fix mission-critical things like the hot water heater and the a/c, but if a system is even a little voluntary, I do without. The dryer not only needs replacing, but the dryer vent needs cleaning before I replace it, and my furnace people say they won’t do the dryer vent, so it’s a whole thing and several hundred dollars, and I’ll be honest— my money’s going toward fixing broken animals, at the moment, not machines I’m as conflicted about as clothes dryers.) I’ve decided that, since I had company and the linens will be a nightmare to air-dry, she can do the sheets and towels, because it will annoy me less to have half a set of sheets or half my spare towels than it does not to be able to find the sweater I’m looking for or the socks that work with whatever. And I put the guest room back together.

I shopped for 90 minutes or so, hitting all the urgent items on my list and preparing me for the dietary change among other things. I got two plastic milk crates at Target on clearance, to help with the speed cleaning sorting method, and “clutter busted” my first junk spot— a used and abused fabric bin from my bedroom that had been collecting parts of projects and random crap for a couple of years. I sorted it into “to be shredded,” “to be recycled,” “to be donated,” and “to be filed” piles, and was able to throw it away, in the end. Along with some things I am getting rid of from my linen closet, it’s a good start on another bag to donate. Let’s say, all told, I spent 4 hours or so cleaning, yesterday, if you don’t count shopping, and 5.5 if you do.

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