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There are several sites I visit every morning in my quest to finish William’s to-do list projects. I found them when I was searching for ways to DIY the backyard furniture. Every day they have articles that help me accomplish at least the things that need to be done before I can tackle an item on the list and often have ideas on ways to do the items on the list.

This year one of the largest items on the list is laying tile in the bedroom. Well, there’s no way to tile the bedroom until said bedroom and closets are organized to the point they can be easily cleared to lay the tile. Apartment Therapy is doing their annual January Cure (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/collection/january-cure-2015-468) and I elected to participate. Lord knows the house needs cleaned and organized, but also, the lack of organization is in the way of completing Billiam’s List.

Of course, the very first thing on the list is FLOORS. Our assignment from Jan. 2 – Jan. 3 was to vacuum and clean floors and rugs. OH, and buy ourselves some flowers first to make ourselves feel better about it. Well, the flowers were supposed to come first, and I bought them, but then had to find space on the cluttered counters to put them, which meant cleaning space on a counter before I could get to the floors.

Manual wheelchairs and upright vacuum cleaners are not happy together. I have bruises, scrapes, and a lump on my head from each time that damned vacuum attacked when I moved the floor attachment so much as 3 feet. I don’t even want to know how high my blood pressure rose while constantly having to disentangle the cord from the wheels and brake handles, and why the hell can’t manual chairs easily roll over a cord no thicker than 1/4 inch?! The floor is my nemesis, the vacuum is possessed by the spirit of Ted Bundy.

In spite of the 6 hour battle with the vacuum, I did manage to get the rugs clean, for a day, and all but the heaviest furniture vacuumed under. It was time to mop/scrub/pray over the floors. Mopping our tile has produced less than pleasant results forever. If I use nothing but clear water, the result is two days of living in a house that smells like a combination of locker room and kennel filled with dirty wet dogs. If I use anything at all to combat odor, I get a sticky film that does not come up no matter how many times I clean rinse it. The end result is always that it looks better and smells better with coffee stains and barn dirt than it does after I spend a day mopping and scrubbing.

Again, please don’t tell me how well vinegar works for this. It doesn’t. I continually believe that vile, smelly liquid will work and all I end up with is vinegar odor added to the kennel/locker room aroma of a sticky, haze covered floor.

Yes, it would be easier to hire someone to come in and clean the floors, but A. I can’t afford to hire this out every week and B. I’d have to have everything organized first so that furniture could be moved out of the way. I live in a puzzle box. If one thing needs to be moved, 4 other things have to be moved first.

So, in the first three days of my January Cure, I managed to place cut flowers, vacuum three rooms, clean rugs, and partially mop/scrub/pray over most of the main room. No. There are no before/after pictures. At this point, I’ve just made a bigger mess.

Our assignment for today is to move through the house, and make notes on things that need to be changed, organized, cleaned, and repaired. I’m afraid my list will be long and arduous. Once the list is completed we then narrow it down to the 3-5 items that will make the most difference in each room. That smaller list will be almost enough to put me in bed the rest of the day just thinking about it. However, I’m fairly brave at home so I intend to see this thing through. I’ll play heroic stuff on the stereo and cowgirl up.

If you’d like to join me in house cleaning and organizing hell, pop over to the Apartment Therapy January Cure (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/collection/january-cure-2015-468) and come commiserate or brag with me. In spite of my struggles and abject failures, the house has GOT to come out of this better than before.