Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring's coming, honest

The weather may or may not agree depending upon where you are, but Spring really is approaching, and with it the widely recognized "spring cleaning" season. PCCX is here to help. Really the PCCX chore list is virtually identical in all 4 seasons, except that Spring and Fall have season-specific transitional tasks. For that reason, and also because I think people tend to be more receptive to the concept during "spring cleaning" and when preparing for major holidays, Spring and Fall PCCX take up 8 weeks each instead of 5. It's sort of understood that some of the more detailed or out of the way things can reasonably be skipped during the Winter and Summer rounds, but since I'm in no position to draw those lines for people the cleaning lists are the same each time.

Prior to last Fall's PCCX we debuted the 20 Days of Clutter preparation. It seemed popular so I'm bringing it back for Spring, starting tomorrow. Since it's more difficult, if not impossible, to properly clean surfaces and areas that are piled, stuffed, overflowing with *stuff*. Each day there is a new focus, some area or category of clutter to tackle. How you choose to deal with it is left to the individual. If you want to spend 5 minutes on a 27 Fling Boogie of the most obvious or intrusive items, fine. 15 minutes is great. If you are so moved, spend longer on a particular area and really get it taken care of. Every thing that is gone or put away when we start to actually clean shelves and drawers and floors is going to be seconds or minutes saved. The purpose of the 20DoC is to remind you of things you might have too many of, or that may have outgrown their usefulness or their homes, things that are perpetually "out" instead of put away, and to prepare your home for a good spring cleaning. I hope you find it useful.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Letting things slide

There's been a lot of sliding around here. So much so that I'm having a hard time getting my footing back. And not all of that is metaphorical, given that we've had more snow and ice this winter than any other in history for this area.

In happy news, I now have a brand-spanking-new set of laundry machines! Not a matching set, not even the same brand, but new and working and all that good stuff. There was a little drama with the dryer (mostly because I'm an idiot), but as of yesterday both are fully functional and have been running almost nonstop ever since.

I am cautiously optimistic about improvements around here. The washer and dryer are a big part of that, and also that today was bright and clear (still cold but I can't ask for much in February), and I have some new toys to play with. But I'm also wary because I know that my disposition, as well as external factors, can be mercurial and while I'm up and functioning and ambitious tonight there's no guarantee for tomorrow, much less next week or month.

I am determined, from now on, PCCX or not, to do one thing a day that is not the bare minimum. No matter how small an act that might be, if it's something that does not have to be repeated one or more times per day it counts as progress. Today, for example, when I was putting away yesterday's non-urgent groceries I also picked up a large amount of trash from the "pit" end of the kitchen. This is the dead end corner of the room between the freezer and the microwave where food packaging tends to be discarded without regard for any receptacle in which to place it. I didn't "clean the room" or even that side of it, I didn't "finish" the floor, I didn't get every last bit of everything, I just took a few extra minutes to go that one step beyond the task at hand, which was putting away food.

Which, by the way, is getting ever more impossible. I really need a bigger pantry.

I've also fallen waaay behind on my blogging responsibilities. Even if I'm only responsible to myself in my own mind, I'm still off kilter. I know better than to promise, but I do intend to make an effort to post much more often, if only to list my one "extra" task of the day. Winter can be such a blah time of year with weather restricting activities and affecting moods, among other things. It's going to take a concerted effort to not effectively hibernate until spring, so this is my declaration of intent.

Help me out. Leave comments. Post your own entries (you know who you are). Set goals, brag about accomplishments, even if it was only that you got all-the-way dressed on a day you weren't going anywhere, and have a conversation about how the season is affecting your work.