Anti-aggravation Week #1: Just Fix The Little Thing

Something around the house bugging you? Are you being held back from doing a particular thing or using favorite stuff because of some minor breakage or missing piece?

Just take care of it.

Sew that button back on. Replace that broken drawer pull. Buy a new backpack that doesn't have a broken zipper. Replace the damn lightbulb already.

It'll take less than half an hour and it will finally quit annoying you.

Catalog Avalanche

Here they come, the seasonal wave of fat catalogs overflowing your mailbox!

You will almost certainly get some from companies you've never done business with and have no interest in doing business with. Don't just toss these.

Put them by the phone and then when you're doing some task that allows for having a phone by your ear (I do this in the kitchen usually), call them up and ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Yes, it's kind of a pain to make the call, but it really does help reduce the flow of junk mail once you've been doing this for a while. I get far less than I used to.

Top to Bottom: A clean sweep

You know what must be done and it won't REALLY take that long. Close the nice clean bedroom's door, grab the broom and/or the vacuum and give the rest of the house a good round of detritus removal.

Listen to some music or a book on headphones (with an iPod or what have you) while you do this and it will go even easier.

When you're done, look around. The place looks pretty decent, huh? Enjoy the weekend!

Top to Bottom: Fighting the Dust Bunnies

Gird yourself for battle and head to the bedroom.

Cover the pillows so they don't get dusty & make you sneeze later. Wear a dust mask if it's really bad.

Shake the curtains to get the dust in them heading down to the floor.

Take everything out from under the bed, wipe it off, vacuum up all the dust, and shove what you still want to keep back under there.

While you're at it tackle anything else in the room that isn't flush to the floor & get the dust out from under there too.

Give the whole room a good pass with the duster and after the air settles a bit, vacuum the whole room.

Hooray! Non-itchy bedroom!

Top to Bottom: Up Against the Wall

Today's quick chore is to take a damp cloth and clean up marks on the walls & around the light switches. (In the latter case, less damp is preferable; electrocution is not all its cracked up to be).

Give the windowsills & frames a wipe too.

Last, look around at the art you have up on the wall and your curtains. Happy with everything? Or are there a couple projects to add to your list to change to something better?

Stack Attack 2!

Yes, it's time again. Get rid of a bunch of that kipple that's invaded your home.

Today, every time you are in a room in your house, you must eliminate 3 things from a stack that has piled up.

(Hiding in one room all day is not only cheating, it's ridiculous. You can do this!)

This Discardian tip is a great one to pull out whenever it occurs to you. Lollygagging around the house? Before you leave a room find something that doesn't belong there and take it to where it goes – put that dirty glass in the sink, toss that tissue in the trash, hang that coat in the closet, file those papers away. If you make a habit of leaving a place nicer than when you found it, your home will be getting more pleasant all the time.

The Wednesday Restoration Trick

This is a choose your own adventure tip:

If you're a bit frazzled, go to #1 below.
If you're feeling energetic, go to #2 below.

1. What really, no, really, absolutely must get done tonight? Maybe those dishes from Monday? Maybe mail that bill? But how long will that take? Not so long. So, do that which must be done and only that. Then be a big lazy slug and enjoy the hell out of it. Read a trashy novel in the bath, play video games, go watch cartoons, whatever is unproductive. Let it wind you down and get a good night's rest. Thursday & Friday will go better.

2. Whirlwind cleaning dervish! What can you do fastest that will make the place look best and stress you out less when you get home from work tomorrow? Put on some perky music and round up the stuff that's where it doesn't belong. Get the piles put away or at least made more neat. Then find one icky chore that ya don't wanna do but you'll wanna do even less on the weekend and knock that sucker down. Take a shower before bed and go to sleep with the pride of a job well done.

One Sane Room

Okay, you don't have to get the whole house in order tonight – don't feel overwhelmed, just pick the one room that's closest to sanity and get it together.

If you're going to spend extra effort over the long term on one room, I do recommend your bedroom be high on the list. Seems like I just get better rest when I lay down in a clean, reasonably tidy place and wake up without a bunch of to-do's as the first thing I see.