Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How Do You Do It?

This is a serious question, because I know deep in my heart everyone is doing it better than I am. By "it", I'm afraid I don't mean anything interesting. I mean get it all done -live in something slightly better than squalor, work out, work, hang out with your friends, do whatever you do for solace and creativity, tend to your spiritual life, tend to your long-term plans....

I'm so deranged about this question, I actually read a 2-month old time management article in Woman's Day while I was at the dentist yesterday. (Bear in mind that I had had five full doses of anesthesia. I was a smidge loopy.) Their ideas were all stupid. "Learn French from CDs on your morning commute." Yeah, great. What I need to do is learn to wash underwear while on my morning commute, thank you very much.

I know this could be worse. I could be a single person with a big house AND have, say, toddlers. People do that and live to tell the tale. I have nothing to whine about. Yeah... whining happens anyway ;) During the work week, my serious reality is that I do no housework that involves anything more than pushing a button. I start the washer and dryer. I run the dishwasher. I push the button on Pink Floyd the Vacuuming Robot. That's it. Maybe I start the crockpot, but not all the time.

Come on, oh wise ones. What are the real tricks? Forget learning French on the morning commute. We're talking basic here. How do you make sure that you have clothes to wear to work, remember where your glasses are, and don't run out of toilet paper EVER??? Bonus points for being able to open the door to unexpected company, rather than saying "I'm so glad to see you. Let's go to the bar." and closing the door FAST!

I'm a desperate woman.


Yarnsmith said...

Fly Lady "Sink Reflections"... for all your housework issues.

I buy the 9 pack of TP every time I go to the store, because I can't remember buying it the last time. We have WAY too much TP.

Megan said...

Toilet paper: costco or bj's - get a 74-pack. You won't EVER run out.

Clothes: It's all about multiples for me. 2 pairs black pants, brown pants, khaki pants, and jeans. Add in: 5 crewneck sweaters in different colors, 4 white long-sleeved tshirts (i wear one twice each week), a bit of a smartwool sock addiction, 2 leather belts (black and brown) and 2 pairs of Keen Calistoga (black and brown). Everything matches and I don't have to think in the morning. Plus, laundry is easy on the weekends - one load of darks (pants/socks) and one load of whites (tshirts/undies).

Housework? I've got no clue. I live in dog-hair central and could use help in that area. I am a neatnik (but not a clean-nik) so everything's picked up. It's just not necessarily clean. Good luck on that.

People coming over? That's what the beer fridge in the basement is all about. (It sits next to the shelves which hold the 74 rolls of TP, and other various big bags of foodstuffs from bj's.) No one much cares how dirt is on the floors when they've got a beer in their hands.

Mollie F. said...

Well, first off, I live in a two-bedroom apartment, and I can actually clean it in a few hours (I wonder why I ever wanted to live in a big house, actually). I don't vacuum; I, too, have a vacuuming robot.

I cook on the weekends and freeze one-serving portions to microwave during the week.

I've had trouble getting to the gym lately, though, although I seem to be solving that by making appointments with myself.

I buy the largest package of toilet paper that I can fit under the bathroom sink, and I buy double rolls.

I do laundry once a week, clean while the laundry is being done, and iron (usually on the same day) while I watch tv. I use weekends for this stuff.

Lisa :-] said...

I have been chuckling while reading your post and the comments. The last comment--ironing. Ironing? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I don't live alone, but two years ago, I traded my "housekeeper" license for a "business owner" one. My house looks like hell, I'm lucky to have clean clothes to wear to work (somebody does laundry around here, but I'm pretty sure it's not usually me....) Work out? You've got to be kidding. Unexpected guests? Lucky for me, they'll find me where I can entertain them properly--at the restaurant. I vacuum about once a month, and could knit a mammoth with the animal hair I pick up at those times.

It used to bother me, but I have learned that I have neither the time nor the energy to invest in worrying about these things right now. Some day, when I re-retire, I'll "nest..."

Michael said...

You mean houses don't clean themselves? That would explain a few things about the way my apartment is looking these days, actually!

I did see a news note in Science the other day (it's in the March 7 issue). Researchers in Australia and Hong Kong are working on fabrics that clean themselves. (They coat the fibers with nanocrystals of titanium dioxide, which, when exposed to light, breaks down dirt and stains. Sunlight works best, but the effect works even with artificial light--so your clothes could potentially clean themselves while you wore them. The treatment also inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause odors. According to the item, the self-cleaning fabrics could be on the market in two years.

Lexy said...

Having lived in a fishbowl for the past 8 months while selling our house, I can say that I would clean several rooms and SHUT THE DOORS. We pretty much lived out of our family room and kitchen so it could be picked up and cleaned in an hour.

When I worked FT, I would plan a vague menu for the week and buy everything after work one day. Then we could eat whatever. I always had caesar salad in a bag and boiled eggs in the frig for another option.

Allow yourself take-out once a week or so. We have a Dinner By Design in town and I've also run over there and picked up something pre-made that just needs easy cooking.

Aside from the feeding people part, I don't care what my house looks like anymore cuz it's SOLD.

Mollie F. said...

I forgot to mention still another solution: cleaning service. I used to have a wonderful cleaning woman some years ago, when I had a larger place.

Loretta_S said...

I buy the 12 pack of double TP rolls. As for the rest of the stuff, I haven't figured it out yet with my current job schedule and long commute. I'd like to learn Spanish on my commute though. Hard wood floors=no vacuuming. Not caring what the yard looks like helps a lot.

I wish I had time for socalizing and spiritual development. But I'll settle for being able to work out 3 times a week at this point.