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  • Writer's pictureAndy Ross

The Motivation to Clean


Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not that messy of a person. I’m not even all that disorganized. However, I do tend to put off getting my house ready for company till the very last minute, or I randomly will pick a day to do it without putting much thought into it. Case in point, this weekend I have some guests coming over, and for weeks I’ve been thinking that giving my game room a little tidy over is a thing I needed to do.


There isn’t anything bad strewn about the place, I don’t have crumpled fast food papers loitering anywhere. It’s more that thing of “Oh, the coffee table looks a bit messy, I need to take care of that.” I’ll note the thought and then a few days or maybe a week or so will go by before I do anything about it. I’ll pass by the coffee table as I’m about to head out the door or something, and then I’ll stop and decide “The time is now” and I’ll clean it up.


The most haphazard when it comes to organization is my movie shelf. As you might imagine I have a rather large collection of physical media, and it often grows a little at least every other month. I have a bad tendency to sit the new discs on top of the filed away discs on the shelf, then weeks will go by before I finally stop and go “Oh, I need to file those away.” This is always, most, usually, because it’s the day before I know company is coming over and nine times out of ten, someone wants to look over the movie library.


If the factor of how unkempt something is determines the mess, then my home office is the biggest offender in my home. I don’t recall offhand who said it, but there’s some quote about “A clean desk is the sign of an unproductive person, a messy desk is the sign of hard work.” Using this metric, right now my desk makes it look like I’m the most productive human being alive.


There are crumpled papers, two sets of Post-it note pads, two months' worth of correspondence from a friend in South Carolina, a tube of chapstick, an almost empty bottle of sunscreen, a reminder for a dermatologist appointment I had a month ago, and notes from rehearsal for the play I directed that closed over a month ago, so you can imagine how long those have been here. There’s also an empty coffee mug with residue at the bottom which indicates it once had coffee in it.


How long has this mug been here? I don’t know, it may be that I need to run a carbon test on it to determine its age. It is Christmas themed so that’s a bit disconcerting. I think a home desk becomes something of a “catch-all” for a lot of people. I’m not gonna judge myself because a coffee cup from Christmas is still hanging around here. I must have been doing something important that day.


The one thing I am super lazy about doing with cleaning is dusting. The work areas of my desk, the main part? Not dusty. The top area—my desk has storage that hangs over the pain work area—where I keep some Funko figures and other assorted things. That is almost always dusty. You’d think as someone who has allergies bad I’d be more on it, but if I’m keeping six-month cold coffee mugs on my desk, dusting is the last thing on my mind.


But as I type this it’s starting to click with me how bad it is and how much a good dusting would help. So now the motivation has been planted in my head and I bet as soon as I finish this I’m going to grab the duster and give the top a going over. Then we will repeat this cycle in six months. I wonder if I have any summer-themed mugs I can leave on my desk for that future cleaning session? See you next week.



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