Cleaning the clutter at home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 29, 2004

I usually do a good job cleaning my house, especially when I expect visitors. But lately there haven't been enough hours in any given day. So when my brother and his girlfriend come to see me this weekend (not to mention a newly adopted dog), I could be at wits end not to look like a total slob.

First, there is the issue of my closet. It started out as any other closet, it really did. It has taken several months for it to transform into a catch-all. A catch-all of what, you ask. You name it. From empty boxes which I'm keeping because of the off-chance of stuffing in a Christmas present next year to piles of clothes I've been meaning to bag up and give to the Salvation Army soon. It looks like the victim of a natural disaster. And, in a way it is, because I naturally keep unneeded things and let them clutter space.

Then there is the issue of my yard, the first impression of how I maintain things. Once again, clutter. I told myself in October, when leaves started falling from the trees in my yard that I would break down and get a rake. Well, I lied, and a somewhat thick blanket of brown and orange now covers most of the green.

I've come a long way in the past week, which isn't to say I still have a long way to go. The "dust elephants" which have haunted the dark corners underneath my bed have been removed, and I even cleaned my bathroom sink - there were things starting to grow from it, I think. I even dusted the television. It's amazing how much better the picture looks, and to think I thought there was something broken inside it.

I now have about 28 hours to get my house into order, but let me break it down further: I will spend about 16 hours at work, possibly more. I will spend an additional hour eating and 8 hours sleeping. That gives me three hours to clean everything, and I simply don't see it happening.

I'm not really a slob, but it will be an uphill battle convincing my brother that. One I'm bound to lose.