Tuesday, April 20, 2010

(On and) Off the Rack

The key to getting those little annoying chores done is to figure out exactly why you don't want to do them. I'm not talking about big things, like doing your taxes or going to the dentist -- everyone knows why we don't like doing those! -- but the everyday things that you just keep putting off. Do your dishes pile up in your sink? Do you get dust and pet hair tumbleweeds rolling across your living room? They're such small, easy chores, and you know that, really, you do, but you still just don't feel like doing them.

I totally understand. I used to hate doing the dishes, and I'd turn a blind eye to the cereal bowls and spoons that were growing their own green fuzzy sweaters. But then I realized it was because I didn't like getting my hands wet doing the dishes -- the hot, soapy water irritated my skin and caused it to dry out. So I started using kitchen gloves, and it wasn't a pain anymore! I used to hate vacuuming (and my poor cat Bubo really hates me vacuuming), but I realized it was because it was so loud it hurt my ears. I started using my iPod while cleaning, and ta da! I now have clean floors and a terrified black cat who's hiding in his litter box. (Ick, I know.)

The trick is to remove the invisible roadblocks to getting things done, and to even make them more fun. I love listening to Josh and Chuck on the "How Stuff Works' 'Stuff You Should Know'" podcast, so while I'm not running for my vacuum every day, I do look forward to some quality listening time.

In a tiny-ass apartment, you can't let cleaning tasks go undone for long. You don't have the room! If your laundry gets out of control, where will you sleep? I'll freely admit this -- more than once, I've put my clean laundry on my bed, but put off folding it all day and ended up sleeping on the couch. You don't want to live like me! Learn from my fail!

If sweeping and mopping are your downfall, here's a tool that might help. I purchased this myself when I moved into my current apartment, and after installing and using it a few times, I stood in front of it and declared, "You are the best purchase I have ever made."

My Container Store handled tool holder may not have understood me (maybe it speaks Spanish?), but that's okay. I still love it. I can store my mop and broom in the teeny-tiny space between my fridge and my wall, and grab them off their "hooks" without a second thought. It's like magic, the way the roller-balls inside the unit clamp down on the handle, but release them with a light upward motion.

I wish I had seen the sliding version when I bought my rack; I might have married it. This version allows you to utilize space that was previously out of reach by sliding your tools out for easy access, then back into the depths again. It's absolutely brilliant.

Using every nook and cranny, and keeping your home clean -- 'cause a clean TAA is a happy TAA (unless you're my cat).


  1. I recently discovered Stuff You Should Know and I love it too! It keeps me happy while at work. :)

    You're right that messes add up quickly in a small apartment. That rack looks like a great way to save floor space, but I'd rather not put any more holes in the wall right now! I have to fix the ones I already made before we move out...

  2. So true. I have parquet floors that I'm forever sweeping... I just got a vaccuum cleaner this week and wow, what a difference. I could get behind the nooks and crannies and suck out the really old dust bunnies!


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