Who Cares If The Bed Isn’t Made. I Wish It Wasn’t Me

hospital cornersOld habits die hard for sure. It took me until my third son was 16 years old – which just happened a month ago – to stop making his bed. I know, I know. But there’s something about having all the beds made in the morning that I find appealing, even soothing.  Maybe it’s because when I grew up the beds were always made, and I had to make my own. My mother taught me early, and taught me well. I had hospital corners down like an army sergeant.

But that’s not necessarily a good thing. Because in addition to growing up learning how to make my bed without wrinkles, empty the trash every day, clean the house to pass a white glove test, do the laundry being sure whites were separate, and whatever other chores I was enlisted to do – I also became fairly OCD. To the point that my house until recently was ridiculously neat – everything has its place.

unmade bedThat’s why I’m a little proud of myself for looking at my son’s bed and not making it. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy. I get that pull to pull it together in no time flat, ensuring it’s fluffed and neat. I ask him to do it and he knows how, he just doesn’t do it like me, if he does it at all.

It’s ironic, all three of my boys are not neatniks, in fact much to my dismay, they’re sort of all big slobs. I guess I get that – they swung the other way after watching their mother toil daily over her version of house-perfection. Which in the great scheme of things is stupid, but it’s engrained all the way to my bones.

OCD

So I’m trying to change that, I just don’t know to what degree. I can’t go cold turkey and be a slob, and that’s not even necessary. I just want to ease up on a few things, so I’m starting with my son’s room.

Most people know OCD is a control issue – when we feel out of control we have these rigid ideas about how things need to be, so our actions, reactions and thoughts all steer us toward that sensation that everything is ok. It’s a relief to me when I look around my house and things are in their place. The beds are made, the laundry is done, there aren’t any hairs in the sink. But I really don’t like that about myself, I’m tired of being uptight.

I told Sir Husband I was going to try to lighten up on my incessant need for neatness as I ponder getting a job that wouldn’t be working from home, where I can work and still clean up.

He said to me, “Yes, things would definitely change and you’d have to let a lot go, but truthfully I like your neatness and how organized the house is, it’s nice to come home to the clean.”

Say no more. He doesn’t know this, but he sort of let me off the hook from breaking my habits too fast. Not sure I can go from hospital corners to leaving dishes in the sink, although I guess anything is possible. But for now, baby steps are okay.

small steps

 

 

 

When It Comes To Everyday Items, Bulk Is Not Always The Best

Some people have issues with food…or beverages…or other compulsive behaviors that span a gamut of human idiosyncrasies. My internally-driven compulsion of choice? Buying in bulk.

I don’t know where it came from – this need to ensure I always have more than enough important basics like paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, napkins, soap and baby wipes on hand. What if we run out? God forbid.

BJsI think it started when I had babies and joined BJ’s Wholesale Club. The first time I went in I was hooked. To buy enough daily-use items to only re-stock quarterly sounded heavenly. It was hard enough to haul the babies and all of their paraphernalia around, let alone paper towels and toilet paper…and back then diapers and formula.

bulk paper towelsBut somewhere along the way I got hooked, enough that the habit of keeping a closet stocked full of super-sized packaging became my norm. My motto was always, “Use one, have a spare on hand…use the spare, buy a back up.”

No, I am not a hoarder, in fact just the opposite. I embrace the minimalist mentality. I just don’t want to run out of the things we use every day.

supersizeAmericans love to supersize everything from meals to cars to houses or whatever makes them feel secure. Bigger is better and more is mandatory. And our think-big mentality – no matter how hard we try to resist it – can be contagious. I never subscribed to super-sizing my meals, but for everyday household items – bulk seemed best.

need lessSomewhere along the line regular big box stores also adopted the wholesale club m.o. Step away from the paper towel aisle, Sir Husband said to me in Target the other day when they had 16 rolls of Bounty on the end cap. He told me I have to go cold turkey – from buying in bulk to buying one maybe two items at a time because of our new small space.

There’s downsizing and then there’s getting rid of nearly everything you own. We had to do the latter after the movers ran out of space to put our things last week when we moved into our new city dwelling. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. Being close to the city in an urban condominium setting is a perfect match for me.

very little is neededBut I didn’t realize that when we filled our moving truck that we still had too much stuff. For several days Sir Husband and I had to make serious decisions about what was staying and what was going. It wasn’t even deja vu from a month before when I thought we had already done that at our other house. This was truly eliminating everything we don’t need – bulk packages of paper towels included. No doubling up on anything anymore.

I had a hard time doing it. That’s when I knew I had a bulk-item problem. Sir Husband had to literally pull the shopping bag of plastic grocery bags out of my hand and throw it in the recycling bin. We have cats – I use plastic bags for the litter box – we need plastic bags. But apparently not as many as I had.

Since every inch of space counts now, for the moment I put as many of the paper towel rolls, Kleenex boxes, toilet paper, and napkins that would fit under our bed. And when those are used up we will see if I freak out or celebrate the new-found freedom of simplicity. Because sometimes less really is more.

 

less is the new more