Monday, March 2, 2015


Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion...over all the earth..." -  Genesis 1:26 

Caroline asked the ladies at exercise class this morning if any of us have plans for major spring cleaning projects.

I don't do spring cleaning.

I don't really do summer, fall, or winter cleaning, either.

I used to clean. Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, my closets were always organized and the bathroom faucet never had water spots. I kept up with the ironing and vacuumed under the beds.

But then life got so BIG and HAIRY that there was no way I could keep up with it all. As fast as I picked up laundry and pushed it into the washing machine, seven backyard archaeologists created more. If I mopped the floors, the cat got diarrhea.

And I learned that being the "picker upper" made me the bad guy. "Do you know where my good writing pen is?" "No." "You haven't seen it anywhere? I thought I left it right here on the counter." "No, I haven't seen it." "Well, you were cleaning up in here yesterday evening..."

Of course, nobody would come right out and say it, but there was often the not-so-subtle suggestion that a person who cleaned up around the house couldn't be trusted. Like I had ulterior motives or a sinister plot to make whatever was precious simply vanish into thin air. (Maybe this was because of my Black Bag escapades.)

Anyway, I got discouraged and I gave up. I hated the mess. I hated the clutter. No one else seemed to care if stuff was piled all over everywhere, and I finally decided that staying on top of the housework was a loosing battle. Besides, I was tired of being the bad guy.

Except that now...

A friend on Facebook posted last week about a challenge she had accepted from another friend:  40 Bags in 40 Days. The challenge is simple:  every day for 40 days, declutter one area and throw out one bag of trash.

Merry is doing the 40 Bags-40 Days challenge in observance of Lent. One day last week, she cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen. One day, she cleaned out the cabinet where she stores small kitchen appliances. Every day on Facebook, she has been posting Before and After pictures, because she is techno-savvy and cool like that.

Merry has inspired me.

After years of not-spring-cleaning and not cleaning in general, my house is a disaster. If I think about all the cleaning projects that need my attention, I'll end up on the floor in a fetal position. But one drawer? One bag? I think I may actually be able to manage that.

Since I don't "do" Lent, and since the 40 Days thing leading up to Lent has already started anyway, I have created my own challenge:  30 Days of Dominion. I have resolved that for 30 days, I am going to exercise dominion over the clutter in my house, one bag at a time.

And because Merry's pictures have been so inspirational, I am going to share some of my own Before and After photos on Facebook. If I can figure out the technical aspect, that is.

And if I miss a day, no sweat. I'll just pick up the challenge the next day, or the next.

Kitchen Pantry - Before

Here is what the closet/pantry in the kitchen looked like this morning, before I began the 30 Days of Dominion challenge.

Kitchen Pantry - After

Here is what the kitchen pantry looks like now.

Actually, I cleaned the cabinet under the kitchen sink first, but I forgot to take a Before photo. Since I reallyreallyreally wanted to do the Before/After thing, I tackled a second project, the pantry closet. Don't expect a repeat of the 2-projects-in-1-day thing. Just think of this as sort of an inspirational,  kick-start bonus.

Hmmm, what do I want to clean tomorrow? I can't wait to see what I'll be able to accomplish in one month!

(For 30 Days of Dominion updates and photos, click on the 30 Days of Dominion link under Previous Blog Topics in the right-hand column.)

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