My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Mr(s). Clean

It might take me less than 1.66 years to become this....

I’ve always been a person who likes neatness, cleanliness, order, and organization. In my first apartment I just happened to have a roommate who was even more fond of neatness, cleanliness, order, and organization than I. Belongings left in common areas for more than 2.2 hours would magically appear in a pile in front of my bedroom door, once a week cleaning was of supreme importance, and I swear that she would clean the bathroom after me sometimes when she might have thought I didn’t do a good enough job. All of this sort of solidified the neat clean person in me and I became a beast (for those of you who realize that I’m exaggerating, try not to blow my cover). My next roommate was quite the opposite of the first, and suddenly I was experiencing a reversal of roles as I played the cleaning Nazi to my unsuspecting new comrade (no pun intended). :S (She later became more conscientious about household chores than I, for which I do not wish to claim responsibility)

Thankfully I have been able to temper my preferences after years of learning that when living with others, their style of keeping house may not coincide with my own (and reminding myself that I’m not married to them, thank goodness), and that that’s ok! (The differences part, not the married part, though that really is ok too… I’ll just quit now…)

When I move to Michigan, however, I’ll be living on my own without roommates for literally the first time in my life. Without the necessity of tweaking my insanity in order to coexist with other women sharing my kitchen, I have semi-terrifiying visions of myself turning into a hyper-vigilant neat freak, bent on keeping every speck of dust in its rightful place. I can only imagine how my cat would suffer with her long luxurious fur which might look a little dusty to a wild cleaning eye. There would be benefits, of course, such as the gleam in my boyfriend’s eye as he gazed with approval on the evidence of my superior housekeeping skills, but do I really want to go there? Giving in to the neat freak psychosis would make living with someone else again all the more difficult. I’d really like to plateau somewhere between Anal Angie and Sloppy Suzy. My worries about this aren’t tempered at all by my recent frenzy of organizational escalation. People, the other day I, seriously, I organized all my shirts, sweaters, and dresses by color in the order of the rainbow!!! For some of you this may be normal, but I have NEVER done it before. If I start alphabetizing my drawers, I may have to check myself into the psych ward. I lie awake at night envisioning my new home and in my mind it’s the vision of perfection and cleanliness. This vision blocks out the fact that I have pets, am clumsy, get lazy, and am easily distracted.

On the other hand, and this is much more comforting, perhaps the renewed urgency for organization is a symptom of moving. I do believe it’s a lot easier to know what I have and where it is, and to decide what I do and don’t need to haul across the nation, when it’s all nicely organized, alphabetized, colorized… Is anyone with me on this? Before I go on a trip- before I even begin to pack for a trip- I feel a deep deep need to clean and straighten. Then it’s so simple to pluck certain items from their natural habitat and pack them neatly away into their suitcase. I have a friend who’s boyfriend seems obsessed with deep cleaning the car before taking a roadtrip, so I think I may be onto something here. My mother also spends the wee hours of the morning before any trip doing everything she can possibly think of to do that she has written on a massive list (and it will make your head spin around in perfect circles). I must have gotten some of that genetic material from her. Recently this phenomenon has been directed toward my clothing, but I expect it to spread shortly to other areas of my living environment, maybe to my food pantry (that’s an extremely glorified term for what I have) or (oh NO!) bookshelves! I’ll keep you updated. It’s always my dream, though, before embarking on any kind of travel, to achieve ultimate organization and cleanliness… a goal that always seems just barely out of reach….

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Moving Mojo

For a few days this week I was like the Roadrunner being chased by Wiley coyote as I planned and packed for moving! I sold things, I threw away things, I cleaned things, I packed things, I gave away things, I smelled things, I fixed things, I looked at things, I imagined things… I stayed awake at night thinking about my plans for packing things and getting rid of things and unpacking things and not breaking things. I thought about and acted on moving all the time.

And then, suddenly- I came to a screeching halt. And this is not okay. Why? Because I’m flying to Michigan for a week and I have to bring 2 suitcases full of things that will then permanently reside in my boyfriend’s closet until I make the move and place them all in my new dwelling. I need to think carefully about what to bring and make the most of the available space so that I’ll save space in the car later on. I’ve packed about one half of a suitcase, I don’t know what I’m wearing for the week I’m there, my room is a disaster zone, my dishes are piling up, my cat has figured out how to unlock my door, I need to go shopping, my bed is barely made, I need a shower, the house needs a once-over, I’m hungry, and my parakeet’s cage needs cleaned. I have one day to do all of that, but all I’ve accomplished so far is standing clumsily in the middle of random rooms focusing on nothing in particular. Just now I got a load of laundry out of the dryer and was supposed to put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, but instead I sat down and began writing this…. oops.

What’s happened to me?! Well obviously, I’ve lost my moving mojo. Obviously. And now I need to get it back. After a long and painful period of confusion, I have formulated three simple steps for doing just that. They would work not just for me but for anyone:

Step 1: Stop writing. Some things that may seem important (like writing a blog about moving) might actually be counterproductive to the main goal (moving). Quit doing that stuff!
Step 2: Eat some of Keri’s enchilada casserole (for energy). I know most of you don’t have a Keri to make you some enchilada casserole (and I pity you), but the point here is to take care of any important biological needs (eat, use the bathroom, blow your nose, take a shower) first so that you’re not constantly distracted by them as you’re trying to recapture that mojo.
Step 3: Get back to work, slacker! Simple, though harsh. The number one cure for not being in the mood to get stuff done, to kick some moving butt (or whatever butt) is to just. start. doing it. 90% of the time when I know I should be doing a frenzy of something but all I feel like doing is sinking into my pillow, actually starting will get me in the mood fairly quickly (and then just try to stop me, but that’s another topic).

Let’s see if I can follow my own advice today and regain my moving mojo 😀

January 14, 2010 Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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