Facing the tasks

As I said in yesterday’s post, the house is on the market. Most of the things on my to-do list have been completed. The interior has been painted, the walls are fresh and clean. That was the spring/summer project last year. Some minor repairs have been made. But I have a few things left to do, and I’m struggling to finish the last tasks. I need to freshen the paint on the sun room window sills where the dogs put their paws when they are looking out the windows at people on the sidewalk below. They’ve left evidence of their habit of looking out and alerting me to passers-by. And the window sill in the kitchen above the sink needs a little attention as well.

Then there is my never-ending process of sorting the boxed items in the basement. I had a burst of energy last fall and got through a hefty amount of stuff. Some I gave away, some I threw away, and some I kept. But there are more boxes to be sorted out. My incentive, aside from wanting to know that the stuff I haul out of Ketchikan is what I really want to keep, is that it is expensive to move off an island. Everything has to be barged out, so I want to be sure I’m not paying to ship out and store items that I could eliminate here.

So I have another ambitious list for the weekend. Touch up the windowsills. Sort a few boxes. Challenge myself to eliminate things that I no longer use, need, love, value. I always say that “things” have two best days: the day you buy something, and the day you find a new home for it! Of course, some possessions never leave. But there are an astonishing number of things that outlive their usefulness. The challenge is to determine which is which, and to remove the things that are cluttering my space and my life. After all, if I end up spending some extensive time in the RV, I won’t need a lot of stuff. I only need my partner, and he travels pretty light.

Why do I find it hard to deal with these tasks? I don’t have ambivalence about selling the house or moving to the “next” in life. Maybe it’s that the remaining tasks are not the major ones. Painting a room is a big project, but it also has a big impact. You can get a lot of satisfaction from walking into a room that has been transformed by new paint. The small tasks just don’t deliver the same bang for the buck.

When I reach this stage, I usually resort to bribing: I think of some reward for myself if I tick off the items on my Saturday list. Frequently my rewards have to do with some decadent chocolate goody and a chick flick. I learned a long time ago that I am not above a reasonable bribe. It works well with children too, and as long as everyone understands the deal up front, I don’t have any problem with a fair exchange of goods or privilege for behaviour.

So here’s hoping that I am energized and motivated this Saturday. It feels good to mark chores off my list, and if I get through my list, I’ve got a new chocolate bundt cake to try (but that’s a couple of postings back!) And the best reward of all: I’m getting ready to launch, ready to reorder my priorities, ready to renew my life.

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5 thoughts on “Facing the tasks

    • Hey, that sounds like a Flylady technique! I try to do this too, but sometimes get carried away with my efforts and realize I haven’t taken a break. I also find that I need morning energy to tackle big jobs. I do not have it in me to take on major tasks after work! But little by little, it will get done. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      • Yes! the timer trick I learned via FlyLady 🙂 as well as “dressed right to your shoes.” I’m with you on the morning energy for big jobs … you’re inspiring me now to want to get some things done and I don’t even have a house for sale! Cheers! MJ

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  1. Ooh glad to know I am not alone on the bribing trick, either! It is so tiring to sort through things so I prepare for it like I’m going to battle: 1) good sleep the night before, 2) healthy breakfast 3) workable clothing right down to socks & workout shoes, 4) well laid out supplies for the task (boxes, garbage bags etc) and a 5) timer. I set the timer for 45 min and just go for it .. My other secret trick is music: I load up my MP3 with some Motown & such and sing while I’m sorting & tossing. Good luck…! If I had to barge my crap out of here I’d be bankrupt .. Cheers! MJ

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  2. I’m all for a good bribe too. I use them in my classroom all the time, and they work. Enjoy the chocolate and a chick flick. I think I’m going to try a lemon version of the cake.

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