I've been planning on cleaning house since January 2012.
That's the first step; the planning.
One must take inventory to assess what needs to be done, should be done, and in what order.
Take this morning, for example.
I poured my second cup of coffee, propped my feet, then started assessing, notebook in hand.
Yes, I need to store some books. I can't possibly read all those books stacked on my coffee table.
I prefer to read three at a time, but a dozen, no. I must put some of them in the bookcase.
Second, the junk mail has to go. How many Dish ads do I need before I toss them? And how many pizza promotions do I need to save?
There is the accumulation of weekly newspapers, too. They spew forth from a large red basket that can no longer hold them.
They need to be tossed as well. How many newspapers does one need for wrapping fish or starting a wood fire?
Newspapers and junk mail take up too much of my limited space. No more just moving them from place to place, stack to stack.
Okay, now I need to assess the kitchen. The dishes piled in the sink from supper need scouring. The dishwasher is already full so I need to hand wash the dishes in the sink or unload the clean dishes and replace with dirty ones.
I need to remove the crumbs from the toaster and also empty the morning coffee grounds.
I realize I need more bananas so I add that to a list I keep on my kitchen counter. Usually after I add items to the list over a matter of days, I forget and leave the list on the cabinet when I go grocery shopping. But it is mandatory to keep the list, nevertheless. There's also a to do list. I must phone my doctor for a new prescription; I must call my sister in Missouri and check on her health. I must pay my Metlife bill.
And I must answer an important email from a friend in Ohio.
My assessment list continues.
Shoes in the master bedroom need cataloging, removed from the bedroom floor and placed back into the closet. It's as though those shoes play musical chairs all day long, never settling in one spot.
The clothes in the closet are a major problem. Taking inventory of them will take the rest of this year.
The desk needs clearing off, again. Old calendars need disposal and reminder notes from previous months, need pitching into a waste basket that overflows already.
I must empty all wastebaskets and deposit the trash into the trash container outdoors.
Dust all the ceiling fans.
Run the dust mop over the hardwood floors, lest I have company.
Then there's the furniture dusting, a never ending chore. The curio cabinet needs emptying and dusting (a major job). Heavy glass shelves need washing and drying by hand.
I must replace the liquid no soap in the soap dispenser.
I must shake the bathroom throw rugs, and clean the commodes with Pinesol or other cleansers.
I take inventory of the back bedroom, then as usual, close the door, as I shake my head in futility. That bedroom needs tidying, the floor cleared of nonessentials, like extra pillows, boxes filled with summer tops, stuffed animals. Clothes on bed need rehanging in too full closet.
That is a challenge, noted in the inventory list.
The wrap-a-round porch needs sweeping and the garage needs sweeping, too. Swirling leaves have flown through the open garage and littered the concrete floor.
In fact, leaves are taking over the patio out back and are filling the bird bath.
Don't forget the hand washing of the delicates that should not be washed in the washing machine with the regular loads.
I need to change the towels, wash the dirty ones.
And fold the dried clothes that are in the dryer.
Sheets must be changed.
And don't forget the telephone. It has fingerprints and scuffs that need wet wiping.
The computer screen and television screen also need cleaning (not every day, but often).
Rearrange the pantry canned goods to make room for more.
After taking inventory and logging housecleaning chores, I decide it's time for a refreshing change of pace.
And a rehash of the political debate.
As Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."
And, hey, you guys. You might think we women do nothing all day but watch soaps and eat chocolate.
Not so. We do a lot of planning.