How to Mise Tip #1: Time Limits

August 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

After that first entry I sat down and made this list.  This reeeeally long list detailing everything from the kitchen sink, to the bathroom toilet, the boxes of picture frames I have lying around, to balancing my checkbook.  It’s entirely overwhelming so I had to take a day off, obviously.

Really, none of the cerebral stuff (itemizing receipts, planning my evenings better, writing letters to friends more often) can happen until I’ve hit the very basics.  And right now, that is the fallout site that is my apartment.  The prospect of spending an entire day cleaning and facing up to my filth is impossible, so I am employing the “hour of clean” method that j. and his old roommate, e. devised (much to the chagrin of their future live-in girlfriends).  This is also called “Sunday Morning Clean” more formally, like a version of worship for the OCD and coincidentally agnostic and/or atheists of the world.

But this is an emergency, so imposing limits on the scrubbin’ and shinin’ days of the week isn’t possible.  However —

Outlining a very clean timeline for cleaning is REALLY helpful.  Here are some approximates that might surprise you (I’ve timed these, however unscientifically, throughout the years):

Sweeping the kitchen and bathroom floors – 5 minutes

A sink of dishes – 10 minutes

Folding/putting away laundry – 15 minutes

Tidying the livingroom/bathroom/kitchen – 30 minutes for all three

The bathroom trifecta (toilet, sink and tub) – 45 minutes

So in black and white it really isn’t that bad.  Dedicating a chunk of time with a serious time limit means there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, making Comet and Windex psychologically easier to deal with.  Which leads me to my first goal and you, fine readers, will have the pleasure of seeing before and after (as soon as I get around to it, okay?!):  Clean, organize and decorate the bathroom.  Time limit:  3 hours. 45 minutes to clean the trifecta, 15 minutes to go through toiletries and throw away what’s useless (99% of it), 30 minutes to hang art on the wall and 1 hour 30 minutes to sew shower curtain and window curtains.  Ambitious!

This might just be the small victory needed to get the ball rolling.


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