That’s what my grandmother always says. Whenever I have a problem, a challenge or am faced with anything in life, my grandmother has the same advice every single time.
“Don’t think about it,” she says, with the wave of a hand. “Just do it.”
I know it sounds … like a sneaker ad… But it’s really good advice and it seems to crop up when I least expect it.
But her voice crept into my head not long ago when management let the residents of my apartment complex know that they would be conducting their annual inspections recently. It’s funny how content one can be being incredibly messy – until one is going to have people in her dwelling space.
My spare room was, at one time, used for guests. But over time, as my schedule got busier and guests became more sporadic it went from spare room to catchall. There are extra lamps, a television, my desk (which sadly does not get used enough), a guest bed, boxes (and boxes) of notebooks and … well you get the idea.
Some people like to make an organized plan of cleaning. In some cases, that’s my plan of action. While I have a particular method to cleaning the kitchen, it’s a completely different story when it comes to the rest of the house.
Don’t think about it, just do it…
Even with a weekend chock full of things to do, physical fitness training, wrapping up work items that didn’t get done from the week, writing articles for other outlets that need to be finished by their deadline, I dropped everything suddenly and cleaned out that room.
And it wasn’t just a surprise – it was a relief. Until the other day, I never opened the door to that room to hide the mess. Now, I don’t mind going in there.
I might even clean my bedroom.
I said ‘might.’
I travel quite a bit for work. Not too much, but just enough that returning to my own apartment can sometimes be the sweetest feeling in the world. Or, depending on its cleanliness, make me yearn to be back on the road, in the comforts of a generic hotel room, orderly and sterile-ish.
Last week I spent several days in Las Vegas for a convention at the Venetian. I left on a Sunday and spent the entire morning packing and picking up around my apartment. My place looked presentable…but for some reason that wasn’t good enough. I think deep down I knew I couldn’t spend a week in Vegas – of all places – and come home to an apartment that was unclean.
I decided to finally get to all the hard-to-reach places and pain-in-the-neck tasks that are so often neglected. I broke out the Cooktop cleaner. Scrubbed the bathroom. Even cleaned out the refrigerator. It was possibly the most productive few hours I’ve ever spent during a weekend.
So when I left the apartment and headed to the airport, I felt good. A little grossed out by the scrubbing and some things I found in my fridge, but overall pretty good.
But the big payoff was yet to come…
When I arrived home after several days in Sin City and a full day of traveling back from Pacific Time, I was so relieved to have an apartment worth coming home to. It was clean, it smelled halfway decent, and I was proud of the work I’d put in before my trip. It made it all worthwhile.
Of the 115 Groundhog Days on record since it began in 1887, Punxsutawney Phil has only predicted an early spring 16 times. Fortunately, this year we’re lucky the groundhog did not see his shadow, so 2013 is off to a great start!
Based on my calculations, what with the vernal equinox falling on March 20 and Phil’s gift of six weeks less of winter, that means Spring should be happening….now?
This is actually fantastic news. Not only because flip flops are my favorite and I will wear them as soon as my toes can tolerate the weather, but because my apartment needs a spring clean like it’s nobody’s business.
More often as of late, when I have people over, I feel like I’m showcasing the “fake apartment.” You know, the one that is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but heaven forbid someone opens the wrong door and ski equipment tumbles out of it (but you don’t even ski). This needs to end! And I know exactly how to put a stop to it.
One thing that I really need to procure is a dresser for my clothes. I don’t know how it happened, but my bedroom floor is now an extension of my closet. It’s relatively organized, but there are piles everywhere. I’ve been putting it off, but I know I need to buckle down, pick one that I like and get organized!
Dusting is also a major issue. I’m allergic to dust, so you’d think I’d have this under control, but apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. It just isn’t something that crosses my mind, coupled with the fact that I have yet to find a duster/product that I like. But I know dusting really does make a huge difference in the appearance of all surfaces so this is definitely another thing I need to tackle.
Lastly, the kitchen is always a big one. Getting grime out of those harder to reach corners and concentrating on spots that are often overlooked (I completely ignore that area underneath my dish drying rack) will definitely be a focus. I also need to actually clean the sink, not just the dirty plates in it, and give my stove a good scrub as well.
There’s definitely a lot to be done, but it’s totally manageable! And thanks to this year’s early spring, I’m going to get a head start on turning my “fake apartment” into a clean one.
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t have a ton of spare time. Between work, family, social obligations, time just flies by and I hardly have a minute to myself. So what happens when your days seem to shorten and a few free minutes are tough to find? Things get prioritized, other thing get cut out entirely.
Unfortunately for me, what ends up on the cutting room floor is usually the gym and cleaning my apartment. These routine-driven activities are just too easy to push to the side and marginalize when faced with deadlines, commitments, and other responsibilities. It’s a shame too – both activities leave you feeling refreshed and feeling better about yourself. These endeavors can put you in a better place than you were when you started, and that’s pretty hard to replace.
So what I do is try to combine the two. I know that sounds silly but hear me out a second. When you carve out the time to clean your apt, throw some reps in there too! For example, for every dish you scrub and dry by hand, drop and do five pushups. Vacuum for 30-seconds then do 30-seconds of jumping jacks. How about throwing in a few lunges when taking the trash out?
Will you look like a crazy person? Maybe, but that’s for your neighbors to decide. Point is, cleaning and exercise are two aspects of your life that shouldn’t be compromised. In this month when so many New Year’s Resolutions have died or on their last legs, recommit yourself to finding the time. Ok, so maybe reaching the highest shelf to dust isn’t part of a typical yoga vinyasa, but you can get creative.
And don’t worry about the neighbors; they’ll go from asking “what is she doing?” to “how does she do it?”
Catch Affresh this weekend on the lifestyle list tv show, Downright Domestic! Show host, Rebecca Webster, provides ideas and information on how to improve your domestic life.
The segment airs:
Saturday, November 24th: CTV TWO Kitchener and London, 11:30am
Sunday, November 25th, CTV TWO Toronto, 11am
Don’t miss it!