A Cleaning Struggle

I feel fortunate that I live in this time. We have some of the best tools available for self improvement. We also have better medicine than even a decade ago.

Having the gumption to chase dreams helps a lot too.

I’m also grateful for having experiences that have taught me things like smart goal setting.

I have a long way to go to get my house clean, but I’ve found a lot of resources on the Internet and at the library. I know I can’t be the only one who struggles judging by the popularity of The KonMari Method and Tidying Up. During the Japanese Festival, I picked up a book called, A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind. It’s a small book, so I’m almost through it, but it’s jam packed. Some tips are very specific to living in a large home with many people to help, which don’t apply to my current situation in my 500 sqft condo with just me. Washing my floors by hand daily is just not going to happen. There are a lot of other ones that grip me like that if you leave the cupboard doors open in your kitchen, it’s a sign of an untidy heart. Another is that a dirty light promotes suffering. It’s inspired me to write little reminder notes to myself and post them around my kitchen and bathroom. I even took the time to shape them based on what topic it was about. There’s an interesting one about using shower water to clean the home to save water. It has to do with water being the most important thing in life. The shower, dining room, and bathroom are all supposed to be places for silent reflection.

Why is cleaning so hardly for me especially? I have a parent who is kind of a hoarder. Not as bad as those extreme cases on that hoarding TV show, but definitely bad. Sinks piled high with dishes, clean and dirty laundry everywhere, and more plates/cups/bowls/cutlery than needed along with expired/rotting food. That’s a piece of where I come from and I refuse to live that way in my own home. It’s hard though. I don’t know how many pieces of clothing one should own, as one example.

More from the book on clothing is that it is important to have different clothing for a new season from the old season or you risk a lackluster year. In Ottawa, we need to change our clothes to survive the seasons!


I have been getting some ideas about my other projects, but I haven’t been pursuing them, only writing them down to prevent forgetting.

I have made some progress this week on the novel. Not as much as I would like, but a small word increase and as I’ve been going through and Americanizing it, I’ve been writing ideas down for later in the book that I can pull on from earlier pieces to expand the story.

I may focus on a more dramatic story after this one. I have one in my heart that wants to be told. I’ve basically got an outline from a school project of mine, so I wouldn’t be starting from scratch.

I have so many stories in me wanting to be told! It’s wonderfully frustrating.

  • The Page & The Magician: 71,993/80,000


With my car paid off, I’ll be better able to focus on the credit cards and OSAP Loan.

Yesterday, I finally was able to afford to get my winter tires changed to summers. I couldn’t do it last year because I needed two new ones and couldn’t fit it in the schedule. I found a place closer to home that was able to get me mid-range tires at low-range prices! They also have Saturday hours, which is fantastic! My workplace is pretty flexible with working from home and such, but I don’t like to have to do it too often. Also, the old place was a nightmare to get to and from using the bus. The new one is on my usual bus route and I could walk it if I really had to in about 30 minutes.

Soon I’ll probably be getting some dental work done. It’s also past time for an eye appointment. I also want to save up for a chaise that has storage space in it, though that’s really probably going to be my Christmas present. I should go to IKEA soon just to try them out and ensure the one I’m eyeing is actually comfortable. I need a couple of corner shelves for my bathroom anyway. I’ll feel better about driving out there with proper summer tires! And when I visit my family next month too. I haven’t really been wanting to go anywhere because of them.

  • R. Card: 73.22%*
  • S. Card: 4.7%*
  • OSAP Loan: 6.86%
  • Savings: TBD**

*This is a bit misleading because the one that is less paid off actually has a lower balance.
**My adviser and I will meet again in the fall to get things rolling here.


My scale says I’ve lost 30 lbs, but I think the batteries may need changing because the time frame was too short for that to be realistic. I only started trying to lose weight a couple of weeks ago and my clothes aren’t fitting any better.

  • Gym: New plan on the gym front. I think I’d much prefer a Gazelle Supreme that I can hop on while watching TV. They aren’t too expensive and fold away nicely. I’ve never been much for going to a gym. I always prefer an activity like golfing or martial arts. Plus, I’d like to try cross country skiing and this would be a good way to get in shape for it.
  • Iaido: I guess I better start really training for my Sandan if I’m going to challenge it in December.


  • General: I’m tweaking my chores list to find what works best. Now that my tires are back in storage, things will get easier, I hope. They were weighing on me quite a lot.
  • Office: I intend to get my desk set up to transition easily between sitting and standing, so I can do some work while standing and be healthier. I already have a desktop stand made for that purpose, so it’s mostly cleaning the desktop.
  • Bedroom: I got the curtain rod and curtains for the closet and put them up. I need to do a lot of laundry to clean the space up.
  • Bathroom: I thought I might start the cutting of the bathroom vanity this weekend. This will let me move the new one into the room instead of it hanging out in my hallway. I didn’t get to this, but I’m feeling okay about it. Instead, I did other things like moved my air conditioner to the living room as it was too hard to sleep with it in the bedroom.


No news here, but I should get back to reading my book.

  • Read: 9/30
  • Class: I haven’t heard anything. Might be time to poke my boss. They could be on vacation though.


  • Piano: I haven’t practiced as much as I should. I’m going to make it a point to this week.


4 thoughts on “A Cleaning Struggle

  1. My father was a hoarder while my mom was extremely (pathologically?) neat…
    That struggle has been within me forever… Sometimes I keep the most preposterous things (like fabric when I can’t really saw and don’t see myself learning before I’m retired…) and at other times, I just get rid of stuff that I end up regretting… They broke me, aha…
    But the hand washing of floors is something you only see in Japanese temples, right?


  2. You have got a lot going on.
    I used to have a long list of goals in every category but cut that out the first of the year. It was just too depressing to see nothing getting accomplished. I might have to go back to it though, as my list of goals is way too short right now!
    Don’t sweat the cleaning and decluttering. I think that is just one of the new trends right now that everyone thinks they need to follow. I follow my mom’s mantra on that – my house is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy!
    Have a great week!


  3. I’m doing the same thing with decluttering my house and trying to make my chores go more efficiently. The biggest thing that helped me, honestly, was getting rid of a lot of furniture. It takes up a lot of space, creates a space for clutter and dust to accumulate, and makes the space feel less open. Plus, when hubby and I get ready to move, moving pieces of furniture would be exhausting. We still have furniture, obviously, but we’ve parted with numerous bookcases, a china cabinet, a dresser (I keep my clothing in the closet now), and our coffee table. I’d love to read the book you mentioned. It sounds fascinating!

    And I relate to having more ideas than the time to write them. Every day there’s a shiny new idea zipping by (or fluttering, in some cases). Having a publishing schedule keeps me focused, but it can be hard at times!


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