We have all seen “Clean House” or “Horders” shows about people’s lives disrupted by the state of their living space. It’s terribly tragic what these people go through. Not to mention incredibly unhealthy for them and their families. And there are so many roads that lead to that sort of disarray too. I think that Narcolepsy could be one of those roads at least for some of us.
With our amazing ability to forget things, start something and never get back to it, or simply falling asleep in the middle of it…. lets face it: Things like cleaning house, just don’t get done! Not when our functional hours have to be devoted to other more important things. Some of us are blessed with family who understand and take delegation well, some of us are not so lucky.
I am going to share my techniques with you all in hopes that I might be able to make life a bit easier for my fellow PWN’s. It’s not fool-proof. It’s not perfect or necessarily work with any situation. But it might be able to serve as a guideline or an inspiration to help you find your own cleaning “modus operandi”. And remember even I get to tired or distracted and let things go. Sometimes to long. (Sometimes Very very very to long!) It happens to all of us, don’t get upset… Get help!
Get help is where I would start with this. If you are already in over your head, whatever your level of over your head might be, get help. The stress and anxiety of feeling like you have done so much and accomplished nothing is just to overwhelming for some of us. It makes the situation worse not better. You get more tired, more depressed, more feelings of worthlessness thus more symptomatic. The longer it goes on the worse it gets and can affect your relationships with your friends and your family.
So if it’s already too much, get help, get it done, get it over with, and start brand spanking new all cleaned up and ready to make a routine. I know it can feel really bad having other people come to help you, and it can be embarrassing, but remember, you have a damn good excuse for all of it. Have people over to help who understand that. If they are chastising you or belittling you in any way, regardless of how much cleaning they have done, they are not helping you.
Now that you have a totally clean house going for you… here is my example of how to keep it that way.
- First thing you want to do is get a calendar. This is all about routine, and planning ahead. (I personally use a Marvel Comic Calender because it makes me think of super heroes. You kind of have to be your own super hero some days you know?)
- Think of how many rooms you have in your house including closets and bathrooms. You will need to assign rooms to a day of the week. If you have a large house, likely you have a family living there with you. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
- When assigning rooms to a day of the week, think about your general week and what plans you have. Do you have Boy Scout meetings on Thursdays after school? Clean the living room Wednesday then. What day does your trash guy come? Clean the kitchen the day before. (That is crucial, for cleaning out the fridge because of expiration dates!)
So this is my schedule. Seems silly doesn’t it? All of this is programmed as alarms on my phone, and written on my calendar. Even the everyday stuff! I tend to lose track of days and time so easily, that I will completely forget to do the dishes for a week and not realize, it has indeed been a week!
Let me explain “Common Items” real quick. It’s a crucial part of decluttering every day things. Previously, every room of my house there was a basket, box or bag, to hold things that do not belong in that room. At the end of every day, I would pick one that has more than a couple of things in it, and I put it away. This worked pretty well, but required a lot of running up and down stairs. I have since revised it to a bag at the top of the stairs of things that go downstairs, and a bag at the bottom of the stairs that go upstairs. At the end of the night I bring the upstairs bag down, put things away, and then take the downstairs bag up and do the same. There are never more than a couple of items like that, but if things don’t go in their place, then they get lost, and that is incredibly infuriating.
Think of keys, wallets, etc… where do the actually go besides in your pocket? We lose these types of things the most. Give them a permanent home out side of your clothing where you know it will be everyday. ( I rarely carry a purse, so this is an issue for me. Giving them a home saves me from searching the laundry everyday. I certainly have no idea what I wore the day before!)
Once you have your schedule going it will be much easier to keep up with. But you HAVE to keep up with it. (Its your new religion. Pray it works.) Since you are starting off with a clean house, the first thing you might notice is, you have nothing to do. That will change rapidly. If you find things are not needing cleaned, you are missing something. Lets look at my Tuesday for example. Its time to look under the couch, behind the couch, in the cushions on days like that. Perhaps the drawers in my desk need organized, or my shelves need dusted. Maybe I just need to get down and dust the baseboards. If you are doing your “Common Items” every day, there shouldn’t be a lot to pick up, leaving you with little to do. And doing little is what we are good at!
I realize it seems easy because I live alone, but I promise I struggle with this as much as all of you do. There are people who can tell you just how terrible things would get around my place, especially if I was going through some sort of emotional problem, like we sometimes do. Forcing myself into OCD tendencies has really made a tremendous difference and made my life significantly better to handle. I hope some of these idea’s are helpful to you, even if you have families. And if anyone has suggestions for me, I would absolutely love to hear them!