Start Somewhere

I have family coming to town in three weeks.  And while they’re not staying at my house, they will, at some point, set foot inside it, so I’ve been stressed about cleaning.  It’s not that my house is dirty messy (okay, maybe a little), more cluttered messy because we have too much stuff and not enough space.  But when I told Hubby I was stressing out about this and didn’t know where to start, he replied, “Start somewhere.”

Which is frustrating to hear when you’re already overwhelmed–where exactly is “somewhere,” anyway?

By comparison, our road to baby-making was well-mapped and clearly marked.  We knew we were headed for IVF, and we knew Hubby would need to endure months of injections before we’d have any sperm at all to work with.  We knew exactly where to start, even if we sat in the car, idling away, for years before applying a foot to the gas pedal.

The same is true for me finally starting therapy.  I knew what I needed to do, even if I’d put it off perhaps a little too long. I made some calls and have now (I think) found a therapist that can help me navigate this especially stressful time.

When it comes to house cleaning, though, I’m at a loss.  I keep thinking we’re going to move, and I need to purge some of this stuff anyway, just to make the process a little easier.  Hubby keeps teasing that I’m a hoarder.  It’s not that bad.  There are no insurmountable piles of newspaper or meaningless crap to which I’ve ascribed sentimental importance.  I’m just a little too much like my dad.  There are certain things lying around here that, while I don’t use them on a regular basis (or at all), I might want to…someday…for something.

The thing is, I know what I need to do.  What I don’t know is where to start.  Every time I think about it, my head spins.  I could start in pretty much any room in the house.  But I know that, in the process, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  I know I have to start and finish with in a reasonable amount of time.  And it all seems so daunting.

I could fake it.  I could tidy up here and there, hide the things that can be hidden.  But that doesn’t solve the problem.  So I’m just going to start.  Somewhere.  And soon.

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9 thoughts on “Start Somewhere

  1. I think, once you get started, it will all seem a little less daunting. The hardest part is surveying it all and letting it get to you. But once you start to make progress, one small step at a time, you can find a direction to go in and it will all fall into place nicely. At least, that has been my experience. With house-cleaning and with life.

  2. I tackle a big clean much the way I pack and unpack. When I pack, I go first for the things I use the least because I won’t miss them in the big scheme of things when it’s in the countdown for the move. Then as we get closer to the move date, I start packing the more important stuff. Then before I know it, it’s just our tooth brushes, a change of clothes for the morning and the cats litter boxes left to pack. 4 moves in 6 years helped me iron out the kinks to moving and it really did keep my mom sane when she moved and had to pack up 26 years of memories and things she planned to do but never did get to. But the same thing works for big clean ups. Start small. If you have a bunch of small, think about the thing you would miss the least and deal with that first. Repeat until you find your stride because you will find your stride and it will go from overwhelming to a set plan in your mind before you know it. 🙂

  3. As overwhelming as hubby’s advice can be – I get it. When I don’t have any idea where to start I just randomly pick a room and start….well somewhere. Usually I find a flow that makes sense.

  4. Since we are on the go people and are rarely home during the week, our house becomes a dumping ground. When we have things planned for every weekend, cleaning always takes a back seat. Therefore, I totally get what you are saying as E said the same thing to me this weekend. Long weekends like this I find myself starting in the corner of one room and working my way out (much like you would when you are mopping a floor).

    I have a long ways to go, however. It will not be a finish this weekend (or the next or the next). Although it is about starting small.

    Loud music and a few intermittent badly choreographed by me dance routines, help things go along.

  5. stays in the same place for five minutes. Though I’m pretty sure James goes through the bin late at night while I’m asleep to see if anything needs rescuing. maybe make a list and knock off the easiest things first to get a bit of momentum? Be sure to put ‘write a list’ at the top of the list so you can cross it off when you’ve written it, it makes you feel like you’re off to a good start 😉

  6. D’oh, that totally stuffed up my comment! I meant to say…. invite me over, I chuck out anything that stays in the same place for five minutes. Though I’m pretty sure James goes through the bin late at night while I’m asleep to see if anything needs rescuing. maybe make a list and knock off the easiest things first to get a bit of momentum? Be sure to put ‘write a list’ at the top of the list so you can cross it off when you’ve written it, it makes you feel like you’re off to a good start 😉

  7. We are the same – I also describe my house as “cluttered messy NOT dirty messy” – in reality though, the floors could use a scrub! lol! AND I never know where to start and hate that it always hs to get worse before it gets better! When we got our dates for IVF, that got me in gear. I don’t know why. Maybe I needed something to keep me busy? Maybe it was the deadline of knowing I could be pregnant in 6 weeks? For whatever reason, I did spend much of the next six weekends cleaning! In the end we got the basement closet reorganized, donated 1 box of shoes and 5 bags of clothes to goodwill, donated 1 box of books, and reorganized our closet. The only thing that didnt get done was the garage (too cold) and two bags of miscelannous junk that it will take me a whole day to sort! It actually makes me feel more relaxed now (we had our transfer yesterday) so I am so glad my IVF schedule kicked my butt into gear! Hope your house guests do the same for you!

  8. I really loved my time in therapy and I hope to do it again sometime. It can be so helpful to have someone who (for that hour) is just there for you. Glad you feel like you’re making progress, moving forward. I wish you the best in your cleaning! I have no advice to share besides be sure to give yourself breaks and reward yourself when you feel you deserve it!

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