Domestically Disturbed

I am a procrastinator of the worst breed.

From opening mail, doing a load of laundry, hanging up clothes, taking items back into the house from the car, unpacking luggage, writing to my sponsored child in Guatemala, sending birthday cards to people on time, printing pictures of our wedding, to almost every little task you could imagine, I tend to postpone action until a later date instead of getting things done right away. To illustrate, this is what typically happens on a weekday evening:

(Cheryl and Howie arrive home together, usually around 7:30pm-ish)

Howie: Oh no! We forgot to take meat out of the freezer again! 

Cheryl: Augh! Why do we forget to do that all the time? 

Howie: I will walk the dog if you go get pizza...

Cheryl: How about I will walk the dog if you go get the pizza?

Howie: I don't like that as much.

Cheryl: Ok how about you walk the dog and I start defrosting meat.

Howie: How? We don't have a microwave.

Cheryl: I'll just put the package in hot water. It's fine. We
seriously have to stop eating out so much we have food here!

Howie: Ok, ok. Did you get the mail?

Cheryl: I'll get it tomorrow. Did you take out the garbage?

Howie: I'll do it tomorrow. Did you pay the hydro bill?

Cheryl: I was going to do it tomorrow.

Howie: I'll do it after supper.

Cheryl: (Reaching into dishwasher) Augh! I hate how this thing
never cleans the glasses properly!

Howie: Oh well it's just us. We'll clean them by hand before people
come over.

Cheryl: (Walking into living room) Oh Howie, look how messy it is!

Howie: Oh well who cares? We'll clean up Saturday.

So as you can imagine, when you combine a procrastinator with a gent who isn’t bothered by mess, you get a home that goes from neat and organized on Saturday morning to total chaos and anarchy by Tuesday evening. Then Saturday morning rolls around again and you clean up because you simply can’t stand the mess any longer or what is more likely, you have people coming over and you can’t let them see how you really live.

The problem with being a procrastinator is that you start an inner dialog with yourself rationalizing the situation and convincing yourself that you actually cannot complete certain tasks until you accomplish other tasks of which you have delayed action.

Case in point: I forbade myself from writing another blog post until we cleaned up our bedroom. Result: Bedroom still messy. Didn’t write a post for almost two weeks.

So from now on I’ve decided that blog posts and domestic issues will be kept on completely separate schedules, 100% unrelated to one another. In further efforts to slay the procrastination demon that lives inside me, I’ve decided to open up about my issue and expose my procrastinating life for what it truly is. The first step to recovery is admitting your problem (at least that’s what they say on Intervention) and so I will open up the door to my bedroom, let you all in. Divulge the mess for what it is. And somewhere, deep down, hope that this revelation will either a) Encourage us to never let my bedroom get like this again or b) Make me feel a whole lot better because I will find out other people live like I do. Personally I hope this accomplishes a little bit of both.

  1. Heap of clothes containing a mixture of both clean and dirty laundry. Since I can no longer tell which is which (the dirty ones have contaminated the clean ones) we will have to wash them all. Also, Monica has probably hidden her rawhide bone in here.
  2. Super expensive and awesome set of coordinating throw pillows which spend more time on the drying rack than arranged neatly on our bed.
  3. Compact drying rack that ironically spends more time holding super expensive (already dry) and awesome coordinating throw pillows than drying clothes.
  4. Our single Blackberry charger that we inconveniently plug into the wall that I need to walk by to get to my side of the bed and often trip on. Thus, unintentionally causing Howie’s charging Blackberry to become unplugged all throughout the night and cause Howie to arise to a still dead phone in the morning to which he angrily exclaims, “Cheryl! You did it again!” and I reply “It wasn’t me!” Even though it was.
  5. One of two Ikea chairs I used in university at my little dorm desk and we now use as nightstands because we haven’t bothered to find nightstands. I have two because I thought I lost my chair one summer and so I bought a chair to replace it only to discover that the first chair had been in storage in my parent’s basement all along. (See earlier musings on my propensity to lose objects)
  6. Space where second chair on Howie’s side ought to be but isn’t because we had to use it at our table for a dinner party roughly two weeks ago. Why hasn’t it been put back yet? It’s a stand-off issue between Howie and I at the moment. I’m waiting for him to put it back and I think he’s doing the same.
  7. Monica’s dog crate which she slumbers in approximately just 3 out of 7 nights a week despite the fact that I swore I would never be a pet owner that allowed a dog to sleep in my bed. You may notice it’s missing the “o” in Monica. I am planning on fixing that at a later date.
  8. Hamper that never holds the dirty clothes because we obviously like to keep our dirty clothes on the floor.
  9. Annoying window fixture that came with our condo that I’ve been meaning to replace for the whole six months we’ve been living here. It has one single defective panel that strategically allows streetlight beams to hit directly into my eye at night.
  10. Half unpacked suitcase lying in dis-array from a weekend at my parents’ 7 days ago. One small victory, Howie now packs his clothes in here instead of plastic grocery bags.)

Phew! That feels a lot better. I feel that I need to follow up this post with some sort of bedroom makeover story! How inspiring would that be? I will definitely get around to that as soon as we clean up this room.

Thoughts on procrastination welcomed!


19 thoughts on “Domestically Disturbed

  1. Ahhh… a fellow procrastinator. I have learnt a new habit (encouraged by The FLYlady – google her, she’s great) – just do 15 minutes a day, and soon enough it will magically all be cleared up and easy to keep that way. If it seems like that wont work, I thought the same, but it does. It is magical! Good luck!

  2. Love it! Looks like my room!! And by the way….just a tip for those dirty glasses from the dishwasher…..soak and wash them in hot water and vinegar!! They’ll be shinier than new!

  3. LOL, I love this because it’s all so true! I faced a lot of the same problems too but the difference is, even though hubs and I are both lazy, after a week or so, neither of us can stand the mess. However we have found a few things that helped so let me attempt to hopefully share some advice:
    1. About the clothes, hubs is the worst at this! Personally, when I undress, the clothes go straight into the hamper. If it’s something that I don’t want to wash right away, I’ll hang it on the side or put it on the bed, which forces me to get a hanger before I go to sleep. And I end up throwing hub’s clothes in the hamper half the time.
    2. I feel your pain on the pillows. Though mine aren’t expensive, our bed also almost never gets made because hubby wakes up after I leave the house so he won’t do it. We vow to make it on weekends as a compromise.
    That’s about all the tips I can offer. I feel your pain on the lack of furniture or wanting to fix this and that because we’re in that rut ourselves. But the bottom line is we found a routine we could fall into easily. For me, it includes countless alarms on my phone to help me remember, and for hubs, it also involves putting things where he notices them. We also have to schedule cleaning sometimes and that seems to work for us. Your bedroom looks like it has potential, BTW! I bet it’s beautiful when it’s clean! 🙂

  4. You are hilarious!!! I was wondering when you would make another blog post – I was missing it. You can blame me for your procrastination tendencies; your father is a “doer” and drags me along for the ride, so I do appreciate him. Just think of all you could have accomplished during the time it took to watch 7 Harry Potter movies in one week – just saying. However, this is the pot calling the kettle black.

    • Oh mother… just think of all YOU could accomplish if we didn’t watch Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version of course) so much. Then again, our British accents wouldn’t be nearly as flawless.

      Pot calling the kettle black indeed!

  5. This is hilarious. And I can relate a lot. You are not a lone. Besides telling people I have an Inner Child and an Inner Critic, I’m convinced I also have an Inner Sloth. If all else fails, you can always fake innocence and say, “What are you talking about it? It’s not me! It’s my Inner Sloth!” 🙂

    P.S. My procrastination was so bad, I created the template for my blog almost TWO years ago but procrastinated posting anything. The only reason I finally started posting was because I finally got an accountability partner who “forced” me to start writing 10 minutes a day. I needed that royal kick in my arse to finally start blogging! (But it wasn’t me! It was my Inner Sloth!)

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