I have a problem: I am no good at cleaning.
Ok, that’s not my real problem. I am good at cleaning, but I have this problem in my brain where I become overwhelmed by trying to figure out where things go–and I can’t put them away in a place that my brain doesn’t think they belong.
Additionally, I have a problem focusing my attention for an entire task. Doesn’t matter if it’s a 3-hour task or a 3-minute task: about 2/3 of the way into it I will become so tired of it that my brain tries to tell me that I am too weary to finish. For example, just the other day I was folding laundry, and when I got to the point where I had just 3 pairs of jeans left to fold, I felt like I couldn’t finish. I had to tell myself, “It is THREE PAIRS OF JEANS! JUST FOLD THEM, for crying out loud!”
So when it comes to cleaning the house, these psychological hiccups (that is the nice way to say “characteristics possibly indicating insanity”) really get in my way, as my half-unloaded dishwasher, partially clean bathroom, and cluttered bedroom will attest.
I have tried explaining to my husband how my brain works, and he just looks at me like I’m nuts. However, I am reassured by members of my immediate and extended families that I come by it naturally.
My cousin Keri, for example, has the same affliction. And since we understand each other, we decided we should do something to help each other out.
We’re calling it “Chatting with Piles.” (CWP for short.)
Once a month, she will come to my house to help me tackle a problem area, and I will do the same for her. We figure that we are well suited to help each other because we understand each others’ cleaning neuroses but don’t have the emotional attachment to each others’ piles of … clutter. Plus it will give us a chance to get together and chat. With said piles.
Our first appointment is at the end of this month, and I am already prioritizing problem areas for when Keri comes over. Hopefully we will be wildly successful, our houses will be clean, and we can start having “Chatting with Lunch and Ice Cream” instead.


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