Four Legs + HOUSE: Newburgh + Life + Health

Sunday to-do.

There is only one thing on my to-do list for today, and it does not involve sitting in a patch of sunshine on my favorite chair over by the window.

SUNDAY TO-DO:
• Finish cleaning the house

But since I like to over-complicate and procrastinate, let’s break it down room by room…

KITCHEN:
Clean on top of fridge and cabinets
Organize cabinets, drawers and pantry
Clean freezer
Vacuum & mop
Clean windows (inside)

DINING ROOM:
Put away the giant pile of folded clothes that’s been sitting on the dining table for the past month
Iron those stupid pillowcases, already, and sew on that button
Find the right spot for the Kubus candleholder

DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY:
Put away all of the piles of stuff lurking everywhere
• Clean out that basket next to the trash can
Clean and re-seal the marble top on the credenza
Vacuum

UPSTAIRS HALLWAY:
Bring the painting supplies down to the basement
Vaccum

OFFICE:
• Deal with that bag of “miscellaneous items” that’s been sitting under the desk for the past year
Take measurements for a rug
• Figure out what we need to do to turn the room into a comfortable music studio for Evan
Yes, you guessed it, vacuum

GUEST BEDROOM:
Put the clean sheets back on the bed
Change the bulb in the ceiling light
Vacuum

BIG BEDROOM:
• Make some kind of decision about what to do with the two unused dressers that are STILL sitting in there waiting to either be refinished or given away
Put the aforementioned ironed pillowcases back on the pillows
Yeah, vacuum

DRESSING ROOM:
• Figure out what’s going to Goodwill, and put it all in bags
Put everything else away, including extra sheets
Vacuum

Okay, so, it’s noon right now. Do you think I can get this done by 4:00PM? I’m going to give it my best. I think if I stay away from the computer and don’t get obsessive about over-organizing (this is always my downfall—I get way too thorough with boxes and drawers, etc., and never make any progress), I can have a truly clean house by late afternoon. I’ve been really bad about cleaning lately (probably because I’ve been spending so much time down in the basement), and living in a state of total disorder and dust is really starting to make me a little crazy.

EDIT: Well, it’s just about 8:00PM and I’m still not done, so I guess I really have no idea how long anything takes. I can’t believe I spent my entire Sunday cleaning, and I still didn’t finish. Sad…

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40 Comments

  • Reply .amanda. March 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I am a list maker too! [it helps to make things seem more manageable]

    Knowing you, and your past posts, you will get MUCH of this accomplished!

  • Reply Jason Hudson Dot Com March 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I’m only a little embarrassed to say that we hired a cleaning woman several months ago. For our 600sqft apartment. She comes twice a month. And it has revolutionized our lives. The knowledge that I never have to clean the bathtub feels like a gift from God.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      I didn’t grow up with a cleaning woman coming to my house (in my mind, that was something that rich and famous people did—like owning a Lamborghini or having a pet giraffe), so that’s kind of something that I can’t even imagine being a part of my life. Also, once I get going with cleaning, I find it really puts me in a good frame of mind. I can focus on the task at hand and do what needs to be done without anyone telling me to do it differently. Plus, when I’m done, I have a sense of completion and accomplishment, and that’s huge for me.

      But yes, I totally get why it must be amazing to have a cleaning service of some sort. It’s not something that we can afford right now, but someday I can see having someone come three or four times a year to do a REALLY thorough job—but I’d have to scrutinize all of their cleaning products and have a million references, and I’d probably wind up cleaning the house before they came out of embarrassment (and then insist that they sit down and have coffee and chat instead of actually cleaning), so…um…maybe I’m not ready for that just yet!!

      • Reply Jason Hudson Dot Com March 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm

        Hah! It was extremely strange for me too. I still have trouble coming home and knowing she was here. If tchotchkes are an inch out-of-place, it gives me anxiety. And I worry that she’ll break something irreplaceable. #fingerscrossed

        I totally agree about cleaning ladies being for the rich and famous. The Brady Bunch had a live-in! That was nuts.

        • Reply Anna @ D16 March 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

          Huh. I kind of forgot that Alice was a live-in maid, so I guess that means they were paying her? Mike Brady was obviously a very successful architect.

          There were just about as many kids in my house growing up, but we didn’t have an Alice. And I don’t remember the house ever being dirty…

  • Reply Sue March 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I was just getting ready to make a list myself….for tomorrow!

  • Reply mijk March 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    It looks like my list! And actually I came pretty far. (almost 6 pm here in Europe) I work from home and it always messes up my week to start in a dirty house on monday. i love the clean slate at the beginning of the week..

  • Reply Karen March 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love reading your lists. They motive me and it’s nice to see that other people have those bags of “miscellaneous items” under the desk and the piles of folded clothes.

    On the subject of cleaning help, when I lived in Germany, my apartment came with a putzfrau (cleaning lady) who was unbelievable. My apartment was very large with enormous windows in all the room and I could never figure out how she did it all. She would arrive on Tuesday morning after I left for work, and by the time I’d get home at lunchtime, she would have washed and waxed the wood floors, washed the windows inside and out, defrosted the freezer, cleaned out the oven and refrigerator, vacuumed, dusted, done all the laundry, changed the linen and made the beds, scrubbed the bathroom and kitchen, ironed my clothes and anything else she could find. She used to plant little flowers for me in my windowboxes and she always brought me bottles of wine that she and her husband had made and armfuls of flowers and veggies from her garden. When I’d come home for lunch to drive her home, she would have always made me a lovely little meal and we’d sit and chat about over lives. I begged her to come back to the States with me. Damn, I miss her.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Wait, she cleaned the windows EVERY WEEK? My windows have been cleaned once. In five years.

      I want that putzfrau (what a great word!) to come to my house, too!!

      • Reply Karen March 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        EVERY week. And the windows were HUGE. She dragged her little ladder with her to do the outsides, even in the winter. She was a cleaning machine. Once I found her cleaning all the washers and dryers in the building’s laundry room because she finished everything in my house and went looking for more!

        • Reply Monica March 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

          I live in Germany, maybe she could stop by my house.

  • Reply Angharad March 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I’m such a list maker as well. I truly thinks it helps though – gives you a chance to see your progress as you go because you can cross things off and know (from the clock) when you’re spending too long on something. Go!

  • Reply Alexis March 13, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I keep giving myself extensions before I really, really have to get up and clean the house. Check facebook one more time, wait until the dryer finishes (there’s about 10min left), look at pictures on NYTimes, dryers done…put another load in, check D16…read Anna’s list and… Ok! Fine! I’ll get to work. (I love reading your lists too.)

  • Reply Kathleen March 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I keep thinking that when I turn 30 I’ll hire a cleaning person to come weekly (or every other week) to do our deep cleaning. Everyone I know who has this kind of help says it’s worth every penny.

    • Reply Gracie March 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah I always thought hiring a cleaner was waaay over the top until we had builders in and the landlord sent in cleaners afterwards and they did an amazing job, they really are professionals!

  • Reply victoria March 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    i’m gonna keep sipping my coffee and think about you doing all of this. overachiever. 🙂

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      Hey now, I refuse to view cleaning the house for the first time in…um…weeks “overachieving”!!

  • Reply Bethany Joy March 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Way more ambitious than me.
    How do you manage? We have 950 square feet (and a giant yard) and still I feel like the worst home owner ever. My to-do list never gets shorter and the laundry is never all folded 🙁

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Same here, believe me! I’ve kind of hit my breaking point this weekend, though. I can’t take the mess any longer…

  • Reply Gracie March 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Much like my day so! Even cleaned a pesky old stain off the carpet…tick!

  • Reply Jane March 13, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I’m impressed! I’m not a very tidy person generally, but I love to clean, and I love the feeling when you’ve finished. Right now though, our flat is in such need of renovation that I’ve kind of lost all motivation to keep it super-clean, or let’s be honest, clean… Good luck with this very ambitious list 🙂

  • Reply Monica March 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Your doggie is super cute and the pink pillow frames him well. Good luck with your list.

  • Reply Fiona March 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I wish I enjoyed cleaning. I love a tidy house but resent every second of getting it that way. Also, two posts featuring pink. Nice. Not really a pink person normally but I’m finding myself pretty jealous at the moment of people with cherry blossom trees in their gardens.

  • Reply Holyoke Home March 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    seriously? I’m exhausted just reading your list.

  • Reply victoria March 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    all i’ve done all day is walk lucy and play in the park, grab coffee, and blog. kudos and send some of that over here.

  • Reply traceyb65 March 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    you’re a designer, you should know by now that anything you THINK will take 4 hours will always take 8?!? but your list was impressive, i mean, the laundry on the dining table was FOLDED? you ARE a domestic goddess! xt

  • Reply MKH March 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Could you use the unused dressers in the basement for storage, just a thought?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 14, 2011 at 12:27 am

      They’re both too nice (and too big!) for that. I think one of them (at least) really needs to go to a good home where it can get the love it deserves!

  • Reply lesley March 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

    “Well, it’s just about 8:00PM and I’m still not done, so I guess I really have no idea how long anything takes. I can’t believe I spent my entire Sunday cleaning, and I still didn’t finish. Sad…”

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! Look at how much you did accomplish. Impressive to say the least.

  • Reply Katie March 14, 2011 at 9:13 am

    You got a ton done. I do this about once a month – big lists of to do, lots of chores, and plenty of time contemplating in between tasks (not sure if you do that part). It always feels great, though, to check things off the list even if I don’t finish. Hope you felt great in the end.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 14, 2011 at 9:20 am

      95% of my life is spent “contemplating” my next move, Katie!! Some people call this “procrastination”. 😉

  • Reply mopar March 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Oh, c’mon, this is nothing short of miraculous. It takes me three hours to clean a floor-through apartment (900 square feet minus staircase = 700 sf). That’s just putting everything away, dusting, dry mopping the wood floors, and cleaning the bathroom.

  • Reply Fiona March 15, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I read your list and was impressed, but yeah, it was totally unrealistic. The Goodwill sorting thing usually takes hours in itself!

  • Reply me March 17, 2011 at 9:50 am

    I love your lists. I am so jealous of your ability and motivation to get it done. Alas, with a full time job and 2 kids I just don’t get to spend enough time with, I never find the time to do that thorough or organized a cleaning. I do what I can to keep the house from being a disaster, but alas, it often is. Not dirty – but more unorganized. A week old pile of mail to be gone through, things of the kids that need to be put back in their room, a bag of this or that destined for salvation army or hand me downs for another family, shoes that should be put away in a closet rather than by the door, too many coats on the coat rack… oh well! It’s home!

  • Reply Curious March 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Do you mind if I ask if your husband attacks half of your monster Home To Do-list? It seems like working a full-time job on what should be your Sunday off! So I hope you both work Sundays, at least.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 March 18, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      There are plenty of things that he does that I don’t do, but I don’t blog about that stuff! If he wants to start a blog and make lists of his chores (which are extensive, given the fact that I don’t drive…or want anything to do with money or telephones or human beings) to share with the entire world, that’s his business. 😉

      I guess it’s a nice thought that we should all be able to relax and do nothing on the weekends, but for the majority of people working full-time jobs, that’s not really a reality. I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary for a person to spend an entire day cleaning once every few months, anyway…

      • Reply Curious March 23, 2011 at 12:39 am

        Good to know! Thanks! I am curious about your domestic life because you put so much of it out there for us to see (and I’m glad you do)!

  • Reply Pistachio March 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Something must have been in the air this weekend. I was a clean freak too!

  • Reply erasure April 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Just discovered your blog, and loving it!

    Like another commenter said, just LOOKING at that list makes me want to curl up on the couch and not move.

    You all should look into FlyLady if you haven’t already… as a graphic designer I find her website kind of painful, but if you ignore that and just sign up for the email list — she’s a godsend and is full of good ideas. Like STOP punishing yourself! Perfectionism makes us think it has to take 12 hours every time we clean the house because we have to get every nook and cranny. Another of my favorite concepts from her: It’s easier to KEEP house than to CLEAN house. It’s all about baby steps and creating routines that become habits. She starts you off with just cleaning your sink every day, and eventually that spreads to the rest of the house. Just brilliant.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 April 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm

      Funny how no one seems to think I actually ENJOY doing a really thorough cleaning of my house a few times a year. Surely I’m not the only one.

      I’m not punishing myself, I’m not unhappy, and I actually do get a sense of satisfaction from completing various tasks. It’s lying on the sofa and doing nothing that makes me unhappy, not being productive and efficient.

      Please try to remember that what you see on this blog is a TINY SLIVER of my overall life. I know you mean well with your comment, but honestly, I have a good life. I’m not trying to change it. Do I wish I were more productive? Yes, of course, but it’s not because I hate myself or because I think I should be “punished”, it’s because I like have orderly surroundings, and I enjoy having a nice home. I’m not walking around in a state of utter chaos or lying on the floor crying because I have to wash the dishes. Honestly.

      If you sit down and itemize everything you do in a single day, it will look like a lot.

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