Well, it seems it finally has happened. I wasn’t going to say anything, as I have a bad habit of starting a project on the blog and then not finishing it. SO, this time I decided to do the project first, and then blog about it.
It all started in New York. My dad (on a vague technicality, he is my step-dad, but I haven’t called him that or thought of him as such in over a decade) called me into the kitchen when I got home, and proceeded to tell me that he was disappointed in me that while I did my dishes, I didn’t do the remaining dishes in the sink, leaving the kitchen messy. He was quite kind about it, and simply asked me not to do it again.
I went into my room, and promptly burst into tears.
I’ve been battling with neatness for my entire adult life. I have (thankfully) never been a dirty person, but messes are my forte. I never understood the appeal of a freshly made bed or not having a pile of dishes next to the sink. I’ve been talked to about it by roommates, my parents, and my fiancé, but somehow, this was the day that did it. I was staying with my parents, who were being so kind and generous as to put Anthony and I up for five weeks while we were in New York. They asked so little of me, and I couldn’t even clean up after myself. I felt, to put it mildly, like a total asshole.
There’s a concept known as hitting bottom which I hold dear to my heart – it’s the point from which you cannot continue to do what you are doing, so simply must change. It was at that moment that (I pray to G-d!) I hit bottom for the last time with being neat. I resolved to change.
I had gotten a facial that day, and bought some organic skin products from a line that I absolutely adore (Eminence. Amazing, amazing stuff, but not cheap.) I gave it to Anthony, and told him to take them from me for the month. If I kept neat for the month, I would get them back, and if not, he would give them (gulp!) to his sisters for them to use.
I started washing every dish as I used it. I started putting away books when I finished flipping through them. I started cleaning up after myself while cooking, instead of after. If I took something out of it’s place, I put it back. I have to say, it wasn’t hard. I felt so surrendered and powerless, that I just prayed to my guides (my higher power, the universe, whatever) to help me, and as they always do, help me they did. They guided me to put things away, make my bed, and keep my home neat. And here’s what the results are, five weeks later:
The kitchen is actually even better now as we reorganized the pantry to make space for the miscellany towards the right of the sink.
I can’t tell you how fabulous it is to walk in the door to a perfectly clean house, to not have to do a massive clean-up on Saturdays, to not have to do masses of laundry because I am doing it 2-3 times per week instead of when we run out of underwear, and to have a happy fiancé. It’s totally worth it. Plus, my skin is glowing from my new products. Win, win.