However, when I do want to buckle down and do some heavy-duty housekeeping (most likely organizing and purging), there are some things that I need to have. In the spirit of one of my favorite picture book heroes, Scaredy Squirrel --
From my favorite of his adventures, Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
A few items Jennifer needs to insure a successful housekeeping session:
- A clear schedule -- Nothing impedes my already-shaky motivation like having to take a kid somewhere or get a few items at the store. A block of time bids me to fill it and use it so that I have something to show for it later.
- Comfy clothes -- This isn't that different from any other at-home day, but ideally the clear schedule (see above) extends throughout the evening so that I don't feel compelled to undergo any beauty rituals at all.
- My ipod, and a great podcast or audiobook -- This turns my chores into an almost-enjoyable activity. I can spend a couple of hours tackling a particularly brutal cabinet mess (one of the goals for today) or an unhinged closet if I have good entertainment. I added "Listening" to my sidebar on the right and will keep it updated with my current podcast series or audiobook. I bought a bunch of audiobooks from audible.com at the members-only sale, and I am excited to have many many hours of wonderful entertainment. I'm really enjoying the one I started this week, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.
- Pockets -- In order to most effectively use my ipod, there are two hoodie sweatshirts with the hand-pocket in front that are perfect to hold the ipod. The most effective is this cheap oversized fleece pullover (bought in San Francisco one "summer" when we were all freezing!) that has two large side pockets.
- Trash bags -- The key to making a big housekeeping/organizing session effective for the long-term is to get rid of the stuff that is causing the problem. I always keep one bag handy for trash and another for Goodwill, and I'm always amazed at just how much stuff I get rid of.
- Blinders and earmuffs -- In order to overcome by biggest obstacle of distractedness, I need to wear those figurative blinders to shield me from other projects I could jump to, leaving the first unfinished, or the computer, which beacons me to just "send that email that I remembered I need to send," or the TV that begs me to veg out and take a break. The earmuffs protect me from incoming chatty phone calls that will cause me to jump off track.