As I have mentioned before, I am not a domestic goddess. I, on occasion, try, but usually fall back into bad habits. I blame my failures on having children late in my adult life. You know, I had already gotten set in my ways without the extra mess. We lived in the city so all my husband's pants and shirts were sent to the laundry. Since I worked outside the home many of my clothes went to the cleaners. I assure you two people who live and work in a city do not make the same quantity or type of mess that four people living and working in the country make.
When we moved back to Mississippi my mother noticed my failures and began giving me self help books in home management. I added to these with my own purchases. I have read them all, but reading and implementing are two different concepts. I hired someone to clean and do laundry, but it hasn't worked because I don't like people in my home, pilfering through my things. I also feel guilty having someone do something I don't want to do.
Since the housekeeper failure, I have been doing better. I don't mind washing the laundry, but I hate to fold. I don't mind loading the dishwasher, but hate unloading. And sweeping just isn't my thing. So, I have begun to set a timer to jump start my least favorite tasks. I can talk myself into five minutes of just about anything. The timer is set along with some snappy music and off I go. It works - even for me!! Amazingly, none of the tasks I dread is anywhere as bad as I make it out to be before I actually begin.
Another help I have begun using again is "the smallest part rule." This came from a book about overcoming procrastination, which my mother loaned me, which I loaned to another procrastinator and never got back. It is probably sitting in her to do pile even after all these years. Anyway, the best thing in the nameless book was to break the task into smaller pieces and start on the smallest segment you think you can manage. Today, I will take a ladder to the living room, in which resides an entire wall of floor to ceiling(17 feet) bookshelves which hold a hodgepodge collection of books that I will attempt to organize and catalog. Looking at this disorganized mess is distracting and overwhelming, but if I make a start, even a small one like taking the ladder, the momentum usually carries me forward into the next smallest part. I relied on "the smallest part rule" in graduate school and again when I was teaching. Now I will use it for home management.
Anyway, with folded clothes, empty dishwasher, and a swept floor I am ready for the day. I will go extinguish fires at work and return home to start on "the next smallest part" by getting the ladder in the house.