Days 12 & 13: The Really F*cking Hard Stuff

Cleaning out a closet is all well and good, but what comes next? The before and after photos are enviable but what you don’t see is what’s going on just out of frame. What is it that you aren’t seeing? Why, all the piles of shit that aren’t going back into the closet, of course.

You’ve pulled all the contents of the closet out and heaped them into a monstrous pile. You’ve dutifully wiped down shelves and done other cleaning as necessary. You’ve then gone through all the contents of the closet, dividing them into 3 piles: keep, dispose, donate.

And then you’ve put the “keep” pile back into the closet. 

Taking a step back, you gaze with pride at the results of your efforts. Your closet looks stunning. It is organized. You can see, and find, everything inside it easily. 

Ah, but then you turn around. And suddenly, you realize your home is covered in piles of crap you’ve decided you don’t want.

Normally, this is when I’d throw my hands in the air, get despondent, and give up. On Sunday, I did the opposite of this.

I brought the donation items to Goodwill. The leftover paint from the previous owner of my home went to a paint recycling location. The trash went into the dumpster. And I got it all done in one day.

I also went out to brunch with friends, went to the supermarket, made a big batch of chili, and brought the chili to a friend who is going through some hard times.

And, finally, I also lay on the couch reading for hours after I finished everything up.

As advised in “Unf*ck Your Habitat,” I worked in 20 minutes cycles. Twenty minutes of work, and then a 10 minute break. This continues to work for me, and I continue to be amazed by how much gets done during 20 minutes of work.

That was my Sunday. And yesterday? Yesterday, I went to work, I was productive, and I relaxed all evening.

I didn’t even make the meal I was going to cook. I had fried eggs and toast instead. It was glorious.

Finding the motivation to clean and executing on it is something that is new for me and that I am incredibly proud of. I can’t wait to start the next project.

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