4 Steps to Sanity

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have control over anything. Which is probably true. But it doesn’t mean I like to feel like it’s true.

It’s not even that I’m a total control freak. I’m just a little bit of a control freak. And honestly, it’s not even that I care what other people do. I just like to be a control freak over myself. Which…just makes me sound like a weirdo.

Anyway, the point of that accidental revealing of my inner psyche is that one of the main things that starts to make me feel out of control is when my apartment is out of control. When the coffee table starts getting a little too cluttered. When there is one too many pairs of shoes just…sitting there not put away. When there is one too many piles of papers sitting on every available surface. (Joey is the piler, for the record.) When the laundry hampers actually reach the point when they could be described as overflowing. When I kind of start to freak out.

Sometimes I get really jealous of some the women whose blogs I read. The ones that always seem to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m insanely inspired by them and I love seeing the clever storage solutions they come up with (and then stealing them for myself). But the thing is…I just don’t have the time to do what they do.

As much as I like to pretend to be the perfect “housewife,” the fact is, I’m not a housewife. I work full-time. And then I cram meetings, service, errands, the gym, family time, writing, cooking and cleaning the house in around that. Oh yeah, and sleep.

I have officially become one of those people who walks around thinking (in earnest), “Well, gee, there just aren’t enough hours in the day!”

And since, as we learned yesterday, it doesn’t look like my schedule is going to let up anytime soon, I figure it’s time to find a way to take more control over my life. Or, at the very least, my apartment.

So I’m making a promise to you right now. Every night, I will at the very least do these things (so when I come home from work the next day, just walking into my apartment doesn’t stress me out):

1. Swiff the floors. At the very least the kitchen. Because there are always an assortment of crumbs and things on the floor that just make me feel gross if I step on them.

2. Clear the coffee table. There’s usually a collection of glasses on the table each night, but from now on, they sleep in the sink.

3. All shoes get put away. Floor space is limited enough as is.

4. Go through the mail. No more piles.

It’s only four things, but I think it will help. As long as I keep the surface stuff under control, I’ll only have to do a deeper cleaning on the weekends to keep anything from getting away from me.

Do you have rules for what needs to be done every night? One blogger I read has a husband who insists on cleaning off the kitchen table every night. Anyone else have something like that?

Lesson learned: Baby steps are better than tantrums.

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6 thoughts on “4 Steps to Sanity

  1. Every couple of weeks, I go on a bender to try and clear out all the mail (it seriously feels like the mail multiplies overnight), but my husband is also a piler, so my efforts are usually short-lived. Someday when I’m rich, I’ll hire someone just to deal with the mail. 🙂

  2. I’m the piler in my household, but that doesn’t make me yearn to be neat and tidy any less than you. I think even going through the mail every night would be huge! Brad and I have divided our chores and swiffering is not on my list, but I like to have the dishes washed before bed. I also am in charge of flipping off the lights and locking the door before bed, so I take that opportunity to put some smaller items back in their homes. It’s just nonstop!

  3. Rooms transform when shoes are put away. I have been following a rule that seems to be pretty helpful for me. Pick up 20 things before you go to bed. Sometimes I start counting as soon as I come home but sometimes I’ll do it right before bed. It is a nice rule because it doesn’t matter how big or small it is you just have to put it where it belongs.

    Also my husband put our name on the no mail list and I didn’t realize it until now but it has transformed our lives. Sometimes the mailbox is actually empty. It is INSANE. Spend a Sunday afternoon researching that. Stop the mail at the source.

  4. I wash the dishes and sort and put away the mail every day! Also, I never leave shoes out, except when I forget.

  5. I’m a HUGE neat freak, and of course my hubs is not so I can totally relate to your cleaning dilemmas! Coffee table is always cleared off at night, hubs shoes always put by the back door, and I always fluff the pillows on the couches! Oh, and for some reason the mail pile always wins. grr.

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