I’d Phone It In–If I Could Find the Phone

I’d like you to believe that each and every one of my blog posts at ENALR is a carefully-crafted work of conscientiousness.

But then there are days like this one.

I’m in the middle of The Whole Enchilada. I’m sure I’ve posted on this before–probably every year I’ve been on the blog. Each summer, I do a top-to-bottom house cleaning. I have an eight-page single-spaced checklist which I’m continually refining of exactly what to clean and in which order.

And when I say “top to bottom” I mean upstairs bedrooms, main floor, and finally basement. Why this order? Because gravity. Dirt falls down. So on day one (once the washing machines, crockpot and bread machine are started) I begin by stripping all the movable object out of a room and dusting from the ceiling fan blades down. Then the vacuuming. Then the wet-wiping of surfaces (including Magic Erasing walls). Then the vacuuming. And finally–next week, the carpet steaming.

The Whole Enchilada has gotten a whole lot more high tech, thankfully. I keep my checklist in Evernote now, and my assistant and I know in an instant what is left to be done.

There are rules: #1 stick to the list as far as possible, because if you go out of order you break rule #2 NO RECLEANING! If you vacuum before you dust the ceiling fans, then you just have to vacuum again. Because gravity!

There are also consequences. At the rate I work, it takes about one full day to empty a room. A significant amount of material isn’t allowed back INTO that room–it gets pushed down the stairs to the next (unclean) space. Eventually, all of the stuff I don’t want ends up in the trash, Goodwill or gifted to someone else.

So today, I can’t get to my dryer because there are six bins of toys blocking it. Yesterday I bought a new phone charger cord because I cannot for the life of me figure out where my old one is. It’s here–that much I know. But it is in the unclean zone and won’t show up until I’ve enchilada’d the space where it’s hiding.

When it is over I will roll on my damp carpets like a happy dog. But until then, every other task, bill, responsibility and blog post gets phoned in–if I can find where I put down my phone.