Sweeping Away the Cobwebs

Everyone who has either lived or worked with me knows that I am a slob. I would love to say that my house is an excellent example of organized chaos, but that would be a lie–it is simply chaos. The dishes are clean, the floor is generally swept, and although I am not a candidate for an episode of Hoarders, there is quite a bit of clutter. Thank goodness my husband does the laundry, or I would be in serious trouble. 

Even so, when I woke up this morning, I stumbled around the dogs in the dark and had no idea where to find a pair of pants. They could have been in any one of a number of drawers, or in the laundry, or in a pile on top of my dresser. After flinging a few things to the floor I did manage to find a pair of capris, so I headed to the kitchen to make my tea. More chaos–unwashed dishes from yesterday’s late night cookie baking, and boxes of assorted teas piled precariously on top of one another–an avalanche waiting to happen. Ignoring all of it, I dug out a teabag, opened my laptop, and started to work on my manuscript. Again, chaos–when I imported the latest Word version into WriteWay, it somehow reorganized some of the chapters, and the middle is now near the end. It will take me hours to rearrange.

This was the last straw. Silently screaming in frustration, I closed the laptop and started cleaning with a singleminded fury that I think my family found a little bit scary. I reorganized the pantry. I cleaned the kitchen. I reorganized my dresser drawers. I filled two trash bags, two recycling bags, and assembled a sizable pile of clothes for donation. I found a favorite earring I lost weeks ago. All before breakfast. Even I was scared of me. 
But eventually the storm blew itself out, and by the time I finally ate breakfast at 11:30, my house and my head were clearer (although my office is still a mess). I know that when I sit down with my MS this afternoon, I can put everything in its proper place and continue my edits. At least for me, sometimes it takes an utter breakdown to get everything reorganized and to give me a fresh perspective. 
What about you? Are you cleanliness-challenged like me? A neat freak? Or somewhere in between? What do you do to sweep away the cobwebs in your house or your head?

4 Replies to “Sweeping Away the Cobwebs”

  1. My cleanliness and organizational habits are a bit like the tides. They come and go on a fairly predictable schedule. Unfortunately, the high tide of chaos, last far longer than ebb of order…

  2. Very well put, Chip! I wish I had a predictable schedule. My husband will sometimes ask me, when I am doing an unexpected cleaning, what got into me, and my response is always, “enjoy it while it lasts!”

  3. I match you, of course. Vaguely organized chaos that kind of works until it doesn’t and then…an organizing frenzy that straightens the tip of the iceberg. Often this happens when company comes, but also (my favorite) when something else in my life is feeling overwhelming…that’s when my self therapy is to bring some wicked order to a closet or the kitchen drawers.

  4. Erica-That is it exactly! I was feeling overwhelmed with work etc., and so I chose to bring order to the easiest thing to organize. 🙂 Looking at my office this morning, though, I suspect it would have been better to start here.

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