Having felt so depressed at being home at the weekend, I woke up with renewed inspiration at the idea of continuing the Battle against The Stuff. I don't know why. Perhaps a better night's sleep... perhaps the fact I cleared a few things on Sunday evening (using my 9-minute timer trick) which gave me fresh impetus... who knows.
Anyway, I got a lovely message from a friend today to say she sympathises with the feeling of being drained by domestic drudgery and surrounded by clutter and to thank me for the blog. How lovely! Makes all the writing very much worthwhile if I know someone, somewhere, has enjoyed reading it. And is going through the same turmoil. She also gave me the name of some Ted talks (called 'The Minimalists') which could inspire. So I have a fresh source of inspiration. And I will be playing these to Michael...(whether he likes it or not). Last night I listened to a podcast about the life-changing effect of making your bed. It was, as usual, the Jen Fulwiler podcast. She said that an Admiral - someone who knows a thing or two about the difficulties of life - said that 'if you want to change the world, start by making your bed.' My friend Melanie also told Michael and I that her Mum used to say that your day hasn't started until you make your bed. To which he replied that he'd never started a day in his life, then.
(this is not my bed, by the way). But I like the idea and I hold to it.The basic philosophy behind what he said is that success builds upon success, no matter how small the first success. And then you're onto a positive spiral.
This leads me to a rather embarrassing confession. I am so BAD at putting off domestic things and find them so boring that I have to live by The Photocopied List if I want to get anything done. This is my own personal system for getting through the day. It's fairly neurotic, but seems to work. What it involves is basically a list of all the humdrum things I do every day, which I would put off ad infinitum if I didn't have the satisfaction of ticking them off my list. I then split the piece of paper into four boxes, to create four sections of the day, and have certain jobs for certain boxes. It's linked to the idea of making your bed (though that isn't on the list, actually) because it's the idea that you achieve one little thing and it gives you a touch of mojo to get another little thing done. Before you know it you've conquered the day. Or at least haven't completely run away from it. When I first embarked on this, I wondered if it would work. Now I almost don't know how to operate without it. When I leave it on the kitchen side, and friends see it, I'm sure they think I'm bonkers. But it's the only way of giving myself any structure. And I'm so scatty and impulsive that if I didn't have this, it would get to the evening and I wouldn't have done any of the necessary but mind-blowingly boring tasks before me.
On another note, I visited a website last night called teamwhitaker.org. It's set up by someone called Kathryn Whitaker, who has six kids and keeps her home beautiful. She has loads of tips on there for how to run things. I listened to her on the podcast too yesterday. When I visited the website, the main feeling it gave me was one of intimidation, but perhaps because of my negative mood. I think I'll like it one day.
Speaking of small successes, I will end on a positive. Have been setting my timer today for 9-minute blitzes and managed to get rid of some more baking ingredients (like nutmeg) that expired in 2014. Felt good. Though can nutmeg really go off??