Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The apocalypse may be near...

I intend to do a little bit more about BEA and what it was like, but at the moment, I'm once again in my omnipresent state of tiredness. Not that it's a bad thing to be tired at 10 pm at night.... just that it's earlier than I'm usually tired, and I did want to try kniting a sock today.

Anyway, I've had a couple of good-sounding resumes for interns come my way, and I've come to the inescapable conclusion that I must clean my house, before I can interview anyone. Not only because my office is currently a mess (although, the offices of most literary agents are a mess), but because my pile of slush is threatening to eat my kitchen alive. And Chris is still ripping wallpaper off in the dining room, so altogether, we're in a lovely state of disarray.

I toyed with the idea of getting a cleaning service to come in, for a one-time thing, but then I came to the conclusion that most of the mess is clutter and slush. So I'd end up having to do most of it myself anyway, even if there was someone to dust and vacuum.

Be forewarned that I'm going to take part of each work day to buckle down and get some cleaning done because I desperately need that intern... =)

And because this is a largely boring post about me needing to clean my home and office, let's talk about *your* homes and offices. Do they ever get into wonderful states of mess? How do you deal with it? Have you ever been tempted to hire someone to come in and do it for you? And how many of you have been scarred by childhood experiences of being made to clean unpleasant things, like toilets?


Army spouse said...

So far in my life I have moved 12 times and am about to move once more. This does much to eliminate clutter, believe me.

Amie Stuart said...

OMG My mom was a neat freak and we fought all while I was growing up. I think some of us are just bad cleaners. My house is always in disarray including the small corner of my room that makes up my office. *sigh*
I'd love to have someone come in and clean but I'd have to clean first.

Jordan Summers said...

My desk is always in some form of disarray. Pages stacked with notes stuck everywhere. The rest of the house isn't too bad (most days), but we do have cleaners come in every other week. Eliminates the need for me to clean toilets, dust and vacuum. YAY!

Laura Kramarsky said...

the only thing that makes it possible at all for me to work in my studio is the fact that I am an insomniac. Periodically, I go down to the basement and clean from about 2am to 5am. Otherwise, the clutter and "noise" would slowly suck me down into the depths and hundreds of years from now some explorer would find fossilized Laura....

Robin L. said...

Actually, my kitchen was just in that very state! I deal with it by conscripting my DH to clean it. He's so freaking fast, I feel there's no need for me to slave away.

Oh, Chriiiissss!!!!

SJB said...

I work for the county council. So, my office is a pit of paper, desks rammed into the smallest space possible, and a computer that is running a system that you can make a cup of tea while waiting it to load.

Home; I keep tidy, clutter is mostly hidden in cupboards, save for my study(fourth bedroom.) Books, notes, files all over the place, but I know where everything I need is. ;)

Bernita said...

I only remove the dust bunnies when they start chasing the dogs around the living room.

Colorado Writer said...

Definately you should treat yourself to an intern AND a housekeeper.

It's worth it.

Every Saturday, my mother made me use a toothbrush to clean the tiles in the bathrooms. Also, we didn't use a toilet brush, but had to put our hand in the toilet with ammonia and a washcloth.

To this day, I hate cleaning the toilet.

Jeff Lyman said...

My wife and I are actually both quite nitpicky about orderlyness (not specifically cleanliness - we're not up to date on the vacuuming and toilet cleaning, etc). So stuff that I want to get done, I put into neat piles "out" somewhere, and it drives me nuts until I do it, or throw it away, or put it away. My wife too. Right now she's taping all of her receipts from last year into a notebook, to save for seven years in the unlikely even that she gets audited. (She's worse than I am. Shhh. Don't tell her).

The only cleaning we're both really good at is the dishes - since they're "out" and therefore disorderly and therefore just upsetting. :-)

This isn't something I can teach you all. It's a disfunction in it's own right.

Jeff Lyman

Anonymous said...

Hey - if I come clean your apartment, will you let me pitch my novel while I do it?


Adrienne said...

The key thing is to have guests over, preferably at least once a week, so that you have an incentive to clean the house. I hadn't cleaned my place before I left for BEA, and then I came back and it was a disaster, fortunately I was having a friend stay over the next night, so I just had to clean. And I did. And now she has left and the house will get messy again. I must have someone over again soon!

The Temp, The Actress and The Writer

Diane said...

At Book Expo did you get to meet Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (YarnHarlot) or Crazy Aunt Purl (book coming out Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair). Hope you get to start your sock. I'm currently doing two socks on two circulars. Helps me with the one sock syndrome. Good luck with cleaning and the interviews!

Chris Redding said...

There are two kinds of people.
Verticle filers and horizontal pilers.
I am a horizontal piler married to a vertical filer.
We have reached a compromise.
In most rooms there is one drawer that is mine. I can pile to my heart's content. But when it doesn't close I need to clean it.
Makes me proactive about cleaning it. Those drawers are never empty, just not full.
My approach to housekeeping, too.

Jillian said...

Flylady.net has been my saving grace. Baby steps, 5-minute hot spot cleans, weekly "house blessings" that only take 10 minutes per task. Yep, that's what I needed.

However, my office, which, like yours, is at home (I'm a full time mom as well as a writer), isn't on the radar. Perhaps it's because my office is a third story room with bare drywall and floorboards. Perhaps it's also because almost everyone uses my poor little office as a "catch-all" for stuff that has no other home.

Or perhaps I'm just an inveterate slob in my work space. :)

froggy said...

My husband and I have a cleaning service every two weeks. We decided years ago that it's cheaper than marriage counseling. Our cleaners are great, they know they're counselors and keep threatening to charge what a therapist would.

It's good because it means we have to pick up the clutter every two weeks.

Yes on the guests. Good incentive to pick up the junk.

My office is also the guest room and TV room. Got houseguests coming next week... gotta muck it out soon.

kathie said...

Jenny, you just worry about that slush pile (I mean my partial), and forget the rest of that housekeeping stuff! Just kidding. I too can work around a mess, but it always reaches a point where I have to clean it to move on. It sounds like you've reached that juncture. Hang in there.

Tori Scott said...

My office is usually cluttered, with papers piled on the desk and boxes in the corner. I try to keep the rest of the house clean, but my husband is the ultimate packrat. We cleaned out the garage this week and found the clothes he was wearing when we met in 1971. Shoes too. He still refused to let me throw them out. Grrrr.

Karen said...

Day job, husband, kids, cats, a dog, and I write. Something has to give, and guess what? It's housework!

I keep hoping those advice columnists who say kids never look back and remember fondly how clean the house was are right.

LadyBronco said...

Unfortunately, I cannot have a mess anywhere or I freak out. Everything must be in order, and must be put in the proper place. My desk at work is even so clean that the big-wigs often comment on it.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder bites at times.
And it makes me very tired.

Melinda Goodin said...

I'm a big fan of Flylady http://www.flylady.com/ who advocates fifteen minutes of decluttering a day to reduce hotspots and mess to manageable proportions. It's hard to clean around clutter, no? If you've a tendency (like me) to want to get it over and done with, there's a risk of getting burned out and still having to live in a mess.

(She also advocates giving the toilet a quick swish every day - I do that and it never builds up to gross levels, even with a little boy who doesn't always have good aim)

I did have cleaning ladies for a while - I had to move the clutter so that they could clean, and the clutter just seemed to shift around rather than ever going away.

But an occasional spring clean for yucky things like shower grouting, oven cleaning and a good in-depth scrub - why not?