Housecleaning has always been a big deal for me. I was that kid that would let mess accumulate in my room until there wasn't even a path to the bed, and my mother would ground me to my room with no phone privileges until it was clean. Even in the closet. And under the bed.
The ridiculous part is, I LOVE a clean and organized room. I KNOW I feel better and work better in a tidy, well-ordered environment. I just can't seem to keep it that way. This weekend, while tackling the soul-sucking hole that is my recycling closet, I pondered the possible reason for this conundrum.
The problem? I crave the dramatic. What I love to see is massive transformation. The big payoff that says to me "your time is worth SO MUCH!" Taking a space from disaster to spotless is like winning the Mega Millions in one lump sum.....whereas these fantastic systems that force you to maintain that tidiness and order don't feel like much of anything. Kind of like getting your lottery winnings in monthly payments. No doubt, that's definitely the better option in the long run. No disputing that fact at all, ever. But as far as emotional rewards go? Apparently I REALLY CRAVE that big payoff.
So, instead of taking back those 20 soda cans the week after the birthday party, I just let them accumulate through party after party until there are 200 of them and they're preventing the closet door from closing, and spilling out into the walkway. $2 in returns? Hardly worth it. $20? MUCH more satisfying! Instead of running a bag of resale shop donations in every month, I'll let the pile accumulate until it is not only big enough to fill my van, but also big enough to impede my path into my bedroom. One quick stop? How is that fun? Nobody at the resale shop offers to help you unload ONE measly bag!
It's an illness, I swear. I mean, I know I'm a hoarder. I know I have a difficult time letting go of items that I brought into my spaces intentionally. That's an easy one to accept - after all, I can usually tell you just when and where I bought any particular thing in my house, and just how much I paid for it. Every piece of fabric had an intended use. Every art supply. Every kitchen utensil. Everything has a story, a plan, a brilliant idea. But the trash? The piles and piles of waste that I have NO REASON to hang onto? I could never figure that one out. It shouldn't be a difficult thing to "pick it up, don't pass it up." It shouldn't be a mental waste of time to sort the recycling and get it out on recycling day. To empty the waste basket when it overflows. This addiction to dramatic transformation needs to END.
So, my friends....the time has come. Time for me to grow up. Time for me to make that responsible adult decision and take those monthly payments instead of that one lump sum, and do that whole daily maintenance thing. It'll be hard. I know I'll probably revert back to 4th grade me quite often, and find myself curled up on my bed crying about how mom (me mom this time, not MY mom) is so mean. But I think I understand better now. I'm pretty sure I can do this. Well, you know, after this month's big payoff, anyway.
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