Operation Give a Shit

Being a selfish person, unused to spending day after day caring for children, cleaning the house and working on deadline for various outlets without seeing a regular paycheck or working regular hours, I sometimes have trouble "giving a shit." When life overwhelms me, I can spend all day until 4 p.m. in my pajamas. I can keep my kids indoors and shake my head at the state of my house, so deep under that I don't even know where to start.

I don't like living like that. So, last month, I launched a personal experiment called "Operation Give a Shit" or OGAS.  I would take my house one room at a time. I would deep clean and decorate it. I wanted a Pottery Barn house.  I would dress well every day. I would take nap time to shower, clean and write. I would start giving a shit.

Do I have a Pottery Barn house? Not really. Do I look like I stepped out of a Family Magazine spread? Usually not.  But my house is now livable; it's more our own. And it's still cluttered at times, but it's fairly clean. I'm not embarrassed when the neighbors pop by unannounced.

I logged this project, step by step, and I'd like to show you my downstairs and what I had to do. Part of OGAS is keeping clean what I've deep cleaned. That's, actually, the hardest part. When I'm cleaning, really cleaning, I can devote hours to the task. When I'm tidying, I clean like a 13 year old. I just don't see things. That week-old bowl of dry Cheerios on the counter, for instance, is obviously part of the decor. Once something makes its way somewhere, I leave it there. My mind ceases to see it.

So, I started in the kitchen:


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