Healthy Disorganization

The month of May has always been busy for me. Not only are there three family birthdays, but it is also the month for State Special Olympics, Mother’s Day and—drum roll, please—spring-cleaning! Yep, you read that right.

Years ago, I would round up my kids, map out all the dirty chores (they didn’t know about child labor laws) and fill the day by cleaning windows, curtains and mini-blinds, along with polishing woodwork and furniture. We would also vacuum carpets, mop and wax vinyl floors and organize the kitchen. Of course, the job was not complete until bathrooms were cleaned and disinfected. By the end of the day my house was “spit-shined” from top to bottom.

But something happened in the last couple of decades. Spring-cleaning has not been a top priority. Oh, I still try to keep a reasonably clean and orderly house, but it’s getting harder. I’m disorganized and I keep forgetting things. Here’s how my last major cleaning venture went.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I knew it was time to put away the Christmas stuff (okay, I’m exaggerating—a little). After clearing the hall table of the nativity set, I pulled out family photos that had previously occupied the space then suddenly decided to transfer a couple of them to a different grouping on the dining room buffet, which of course, now had to be rearranged.

I then carried Christmas wrap to the guest room closet only to find it crammed full. Putting the wrapping paper on the floor, I pulled out old coats, clothes and various items, boxed them up for the next charity that called, and then carried them to the garage. En route, via the utility room, I realized that I needed to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer but couldn’t until I folded the clothes already in the dryer from the day before.

While putting away the folded clothes, I found a humidifier sitting on the bedroom floor and took it to the bathroom to empty. While there, I grabbed the plastic trash bag, replaced it with a clean one, then rounded up all the other trash containers and emptied them into the “mega” garage trash can. Coming back into the house, I notice that I haven’t put the morning dishes into the dishwasher, which of course, needs to be emptied from last night’s washing. After that, I tackled the bathroom mirrors and vanities but ignored the rest.

By this time, my energy was gone; the Dr. Phil show was calling my name and the wrapping paper was still in the middle of the guestroom floor. At the end of the day, I had little to show for my day’s work and wondered why I had not made it to my office to write or edit stories for this magazine. A little discouraged, I glanced at the pedometer I had been wearing all day and was shocked to find that I had actually walked over four miles during my haphazard cleaning.

So, who says “disorganization” is not healthy?

On another note, I want to send a special Mother’s Day wish, with lots of hugs and kisses, to my beautiful, 91-year-old mother, who still likes to take care of her brood of six children, 20 grandkids and 25 great-grands. From my earliest memories my mother’s love and integrity guided me and helped shape my character. Her unwavering faith in God continues to inspire me. Married to my father for 69 years before his death, my mother is a wonderful example of love, loyalty and lifelong commitment. She will always be my hero!

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you!”

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