As all of you who read my diary regularly know, I am not exactly Betty Homemaker. I do own a pretty good collection of hostess aprons (the little half aprons made of gauzy fabrics and lace, not aprons made of squishy delicious chemical cake), but they are reserved for looking at, and occasionally dressing friends up in with '50s dresses for humourous photographs with martinis.
Nope, I am not the housekeeper in the family.
But, the apartment was starting to look seriously like a candidate for Clean House, so it was time to get things under a semblance of control.
It's not just the chaos - if Niecy Nash and her team came over, they'd make me give up all my collections, and that is not allowed to happen until I get tired of them and sell them on Ebay for massive profits.*
The chaos in the house is a combination of unfinished projects, unstarted projects, fabric that might be a project someday, books being used as documentation for projects, art pens, notebooks, jewelry components, shoes, costumes, a studio full of Christmas presents hidden from Bob, papers in the computer room, and the giant pulsating chair of clothes that has started to develop language skills because I am too lazy to hang anything up in the evening.
(They're clean - I'm just lazy.)
The trouble with my experience of housework is that a)I am convinced that no-one really honestly adores doing it (they adore the results, but the actual doing is usually quite boring), and 2. If you let things pile up, then you get fun surprises as you unearth nice things you'd forgotten about.
This is a result of my training as a teenager - shove everything under the bed and in the closet until your mother puts her foot down and makes you actually put things away. Bonus points for not actually unearthing mouldy food in the process (how did that ham sandwich get under there? I don't even like ham).
Yes, as a depressed teenager, I did tend to forget about the plates and cups I took up to my room so as to brood and eat alone, but my mother had a cleaning service, so aside from the occasional scolding about being completely incapable of cleaning, I never really picked up on the whole "vacuum every day" thing.
(On the plus side, I save tons on the electric bill with my style of cleaning. I was also laundering everything in cold water before it was fashionably green, because otherwise stuff shrinks. And if it has the slightest possiblity of maybe shrinking, I will shrink it - or turn it pink, or grey - and washing in cold slightly reduces my odds of ruining another garment I like.)
But yes. Don't get me wrong, I don't like to live in filth (unlike my last husband, who considered it a point of pride that he had not washed the dishes in three months when I first went over to his place. In restrospect, I should have run then),** but I tend to keep all my projects in untidy piles, otherwise I forget about them. This is my only excuse for the fact that a pinned petticoat bodies has been sitting on my sofa for six months waiting for the lining to be stitched down.
See, I'm not forgetting to do it, I'm merely procrastinating. Unlike the pile of mending from three years ago that I found underneath the piles of fabric and patterns on the sewing table. I had completely forgotten about that, and also some nice fabric I'd forgotten I'd bought.
But the apartment is now looking a bit more like the "after" than the "before" (huge thanks to Bob), and slightly less like a fabric and knitting tornado hit it. Mind you, I still have piles of stuff by the sofa and on the sewing table, and the studio is beyond help until I get the presents wrapped and under the tree, but at least you can safely walk through the sitting room in the dark - no lurking piles waiting to trip you up and slither off, giggling to themselves.
We're trying to get the garage at the house finished this winter so I can move my art studio down there, and move my sewing into the current studio (the apartment complex calls it a "den", since it's a room without a door, but it's the size of a small-ish bedroom) so we can get more of the SCA stuff on shelves in the room that is currently serving as computer office/costume room/sewing room/library. As you can imagine, it's pretty crowded in there.
Of course, the other joy (aside from having a clean room I can actually use, y'know?) of finally tackling the studio is that there is stuff on those shelves that I haven't seen in years. Considering the kinds of things I collect, it should be fun seeing what I've forgotten. Assuming I haven't unwittingly harboured the spontaneous generation of independent life, and there is now a colony of skull critters hiding in the back waiting to nibble on my fingers.***
...Though I bet I could clean up if I caught them and sold them on Ebay.
See? See? Bonus!
*$0.01 on the dollar, but if I don't count what I paid for them in the first place, it counts as profit. Right? Right.
**Instead, I washed his dishes. What can I say? I was 18.
***"This one is Bitey. This one is Sir Chomps-a-lot. And this one is Nibbles."