Aug 25, 2008

In the Closet With Amy Winehouse

My role this week is House Bitch, not to be confused with being a bitch in my own home--I can do that whenever I want. I'm rehabilitating the house through a detoxing process, a balanced diet, and a 12-step program; finally, something that needs rehab more than me.

Entering our apartment is like falling into a recently divorced landfill that has gained some weight and let itself go. The other day I was in our bedroom, and I heard a scratching noise from within the wall, next to our bed. And I actually thought, if I were to find a rat under the bed or in one of the closets, I wouldn't be alarmed; I wouldn't even scream. Instead, I would say something like, "Have you seen my brown Franco Sarto shoes, or that box of expensive art supplies? What about the Oilily handbag that Cali stole from her ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend? No? Well, keep your eyes peeled." I'm like the Pied Piper of Organization, everyone knows that.

One of the organizational tips I've followed is going into each room and assessing the situation. Instead of going into the room and actually cleaning it, I was encouraged to observe the room objectively, write down what isn't working, and figure out what can be changed. Although I was dubious at first, I quickly realized that this task was the easiest part of rehabbing my home; I decided to dedicate most of my time to observation (which included eating, napping, and blogging), in lieu of actual organization. My assessment came out looking like this:

Observations: The room is a fucking mess.
What isn't working: I'm not cleaning the room.
What can be changed: I could clean the room, I guess.

Other observations were broken down by each room; I wrote down everything that could be improved, and ideas for improving them. I tried to see my home as a stranger would see it--objectively, politely--but that made me want to turn around and leave. I would only come back in the hopes that the building had possibly burned to the ground.

My bedroom is a wealth of paperwork, bills, clothes that are clean (or maybe they're dirty?), and half-empty glasses of what started out as water but now looks like Scotch. As a "stranger", the first thing I noticed upon entering the bedroom--besides 'wow, they waste a lot of Scotch'--was the open sleeping bag on the bed, in lieu of a fitted sheet. I honestly believe that fitted sheets are for wrestling champions or people with patience; I am neither. If there were pathways on both sides of the bed, fitted sheets would be a dream, but since there aren't, putting the sheet on requires me to be part-contortionist, part-pogo stick. Our solution: subbing in a flannel, open-faced sleeping bag instead. It works, but it's not pretty; I mean, it's flannel, for Chrissake--it's like sleeping on a lumberjack.

The living room is fine, except for two things: 1) We never use it, and 2) The Black Hole is in there. The proper way of describing a black hole is this: it's a region of space in which the gravitational pull is so powerful that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull. In layman's terms: it's my closet.

If my closet were a person, it would be Andre the Giant; if it were a movie, Titanic. And I don't mean Titanic in a Leonardo-DiCaprio-is-a-stud kind of way, I mean it in the everyone-is-going-to-perish-or-need-therapy kind of way. It looks like Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty have been squatting in my closet for six months, minus the hypodermic needles. Everything about this closet screams 'HELP!'--and by that I mean it actually started screaming the other day. I was all SHUT UP ALREADY, but the damage was done; I flung open the door, and what should come flying out of its dark and lonely depths? All of the hopes and dreams that Martha Stewart had for me as a future housewife. Harsh reality sucks, especially when it sounds like a weeping walk-in closet.

I read on that your house will always be as clean as your kitchen. This makes sense in our home, because our kitchen is what I like to call 'developmentally disabled'. It can't possibly develop when it's bearing the weight of every dish we've ever dirtied; we've lived here a year and it's been cleaned seasonally. I'd say our kitchen has the brain power of a two-year old, and the motivation of a hamster. Which is why it looks like it was cleaned by a two-year old hamster. In the dark.

I am cleaning, but more importantly, I'm organizing the shit out of our life, and feng shui-ing in the process. Might as well do it with excellence, rather than half-assing the entire thing (which is my preferred method of doing pretty much anything). Of course, it would help if I quit procrastinating online and actually started. I'm usually a Starter, and not so much of a Finisher; now I've come to realize that if I don't Start, then I won't disappoint myself when I don't Finish. This is why we live in a landfill, and sleep with the lumberjacks; this is why the rats are my friends, and my kitchen is a toddler. Things have to change, or I really will burn the building down. I'm almost more motivated to do that, to be honest. I'm going to go see if we have any matches.


FreNeTic said...

When I add up all the hours on I put into this or that project, I wonder why I didn't just burn the house down the day I moved in. At least I'd end up with everything I wanted, right?

I guess having all the money in one place at the right time is the big obstacle. Until that happens, it's 'tear this little bit apart and mebbe put something prettier in it's place in 6 months.'

Buttercup said... wanna come clean your house more. I am like Monica on Friends, seriously yo. I wanna grow up and be those British ladies on BBC who clean the really dirty house. Not only because of the cleaning but the fact that I would really like to be British.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Griz: I will burn your house down for you, instead of doing mine... that's like a win/win for me.

Buttercup: My dishes are calling to you. They used to call to me, but now they're giving me the silent treatment. I love those old British biddies--with their blonde beehives and crazy capped teeth. I miss that show.

MichelleB said...

Yay for Ab-Fab! All I've got to say is thanks again for not hesitating to make me laugh and also for bringing some positive feng-shuing energy up in here!

Snotty McSnotterson said...

I wouldn't be so excited; it's OUR building I'll be burning down. You live right underneath us--I would start packing now.

konichiwa, bitches. said...

i grew up in a house that was never ever ever clean--stuff on the floors, under and on the tables, moldy dishes, rooms piled knee-high with garbage and God knows what else, total CPS-should-come-take-your-child-away nastiness. As a result I'm very sensitive about a mess. My house never takes longer than an hour to clean from top to bottom, but if you want to keep a clean house, you have to clean constantly. I like the idea that the basic change a person needs in her life in order to keep a clean home is a bit of organization, and by "like" I mean "find amusing". If you want to have a clean house you have to clean it every day, but I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know.

that said, my house is a total wreck at the moment. If only I had some more stackable shelves from IKEA...

and where does the Esq fit into all of this? Why does it sound as if you are doing this all on your own? I should go beat some sense into my own lazy sack of shit boyfriend...

WenigGluckliches said...

After you find the matches, be sure you have renter's insurance.

Snotty McSnotterson said...

Renter's insurance! Good thinking.

Where is the Esq, indeed? Well, where is the Esq's MESS, is what I would counter-ask. He came into this apartment and relationship with some paperwork, clothes, and a computer; everything else is my crap, which I leave everywhere and don't clean up. He's perfectly willing to help out, but for a deep clean and a week of organization (of mostly my stuff), that's my responsibility.

I also feel like since I'm not bringing in money right now, this can be my way of contributing to our life. I'm also trying to cook more. I feel like I'm auditioning for the role of Happy Housewife, and it's kind of bizarro.

RiverMist said...

just move out. and start clean. lol