Overhauling the upstairs

As I’ve mentioned, the Valkyrie and I share a house with her mother.  The upstairs is ours — den, bedroom, bathroom, and a “kitchen” (it just has a table, a microwave and a mini-fridge; no water or stove).  With the help of Honorary Niece, I’ve been cleaning like a mofo.

I get stuck in a vicious circle when it comes to cleaning.  When I’m depressed or otherwise mentally messed up, I am unable to clean.  Then, when I start feeling better, I get anxious about how messy things are and am so overwhelmed that I can’t fix it.  So the mess keeps growing and growing.  there weren’t dirty dishes or food trash laying around.  I take care of those.  But there was a lot of other trash, like mountains of soda boxes.  I am ashamed that things got that bad.  I’m admitting it here because maybe the shame will keep me from letting things get bad again.

I’ve been doing better mentally over the last several days, so I asked BFF if I could borrow Honorary Niece to give me a hand.  I couldn’t do it alone, so I thought maybe hiring HN (in return for some spending money) would be the way to go about things.  And boy was that a good idea.  HN is a strange girl who enjoys cleaning.  she also likes helping people out.  She would have done it for free, but there was no way I was going to do that to her.  I would have felt guilty as fuck for taking advantage of her good nature.

The cleaning began Sunday afternoon, and it continued today.  All the trash in the kitchen was thrown away.  She swept and mopped while I tackled the bookshelves in the hallway.  I’ve needed to get rid of 3/4 of my book collection for years, so I sorted through what I wanted to give away.  And then HN and I broke down a shitload of packing boxes that were cluttering up the back of the den.  Everything is mostly done and I am delighted.  HN’s part is done with; all that’s left is a little organizing I need to do on my own.  It looks beautiful.  We have a small table in the kitchen; now that the room looks nice I’m going to hang a couple of posters in there and make it look a little less sterile.  I had cleaned out the fridge a few days ago, and today I stocked it with little snacks like cottage cheese and sugar-free Jello.  It’s an actual, usable room again.  I also threw out a shitload of trash in the bedroom and vacuumed in there.

I’m proud of myself, and I’m especially proud of HN for cheerfully doing a great job.  She’s a wonderful kid, and I considered myself lucky to have her in my life even before she helped me this week.

Sunday night she, BFF, and I decided that once a week we will have a Cleaning Day.  We will alternate houses; one week we’ll clean BFF’s house, and the next week we’ll clean mine.  After we finish getting everything set up at both houses, it should only take an hour or two to whip everything into shape on the designated day.  BFF has problems with depression and cleaning too, and the three of us keeping each other company makes the work so much more pleasant.

I’m happy about all this.  And happy that I’m feeling well enough to have some initiative.  It’s a nice feeling.

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