Cleaning bug makes me work

Saturday I planned to work on the family finances. I went to look for the canceled checks among the boxes on the closet shelf. I knew they had to be in one of three boxes, but the boxes were blocked by a very wobbly pile of slide trays and college books.

“We don’t use all these books,” I said.
Books thunked to the floor. Behind the books were the tennis rackets we had looked for in the summer.

Clearing off the rest of the shelf, I told my son to take the box of train cars to the attic, moved the three-year supply of Christmas wrapping paper and found a Russian Bible Story book we were looking for last winter.

Out with the junk, anything not used in the past couple of years and the clothes and shoes that are no longer worn. Boxes and sacks of miscellaneous went to the garage for storage, to a pile for our next garage sale or straight to the dumpster. I actually vacuumed the carpet all the way back to the back wall of the closet. Re-arranged boxes of slides no longer threatened to topple on my head and I even found the checks.

Finding the checks led to sorting through all the important papers in the desk and its 10 drawers. Between toting out garbage bags and moving things to the attic for me, my teens had plastic card cooking party with credit cards, ATM’s cards and phone cards we no longer use.

About 1 p.m. I remembered I had made tentative plans to meet with a friend that afternoon. I promised myself I would call – as soon as finished cleaning out the last desk drawer and took care of the stuff on my bed.

At 2 p.m. she called, “Are we going to get together today?” I looked around at the stuff still waiting to be sorted on my bed. I told her that the closet had lots of space, the back of the bookshelf had lost 12 years worth of dust and the desk was totally organized. “I have a few more things to take care of and then I can take it easy.”

She laughed, “You sound like you are in a cleaning mood. We’ll get together another day. That mood might not return for a long time.”

I didn’t believe her. But when I went to vacuum the hall closet, the clutter of cold weather clothes and swimming goggles annoyed me. Coats, hats and gloves went flying.

At 10 p.m. both hall closets and the utility cupboard were neat, the desk was organized and the bookshelf dusted. I decided to go to bed and read a good book. I went to the kitchen for a dish of ice cream to eat while reading. The ice cream sat melting on the counter while I relined two shelves with clean paper. Unable to concentrate on my book I decided to brush my teeth and go to bed. As I was brushing my teeth, the jumbled bathroom drawers demanded my attention.

By 11:30 p.m. after unscrambling the drawer in both bathrooms, I turned out the light so I couldn’t see anything else and collapsed into bed. May the cleaning but hit me next time on a day when I am far, far away from home.