It was closing in on two a.m. and I was winding down my evening. Scrolling through a last couple links, I was in that headspace of telling myself that I really needed to stop "just one more"-ing myself because that's a deadly game that I never can win, and head to bed.
But then, I ran into this.
Oh dang. I've been waiting for this.
Apartment Therapy, if you're not familiar, is "a home and decor site, designed to inspire anyone to live a more beautiful and happy life at home."
Their words, not mine. Though as a long-time reader and all-around fan, I'd say that hits the nail fairly well on the head.
What I really like about AT is its unpretentious style and realistic point of view. The homes featured on the site are not extravagant beyond ordinary means; quite the opposite. They tend to be beautiful and unique, but also affordable and do-able for most of us ordinary folk.
It's one of a handful of websites that routinely sits on my daily check-in list, and that's saying something.
To be fair, AT targets Millenials - and even Gen Zers at this point - relative newcomers to adulting who are still figuring out how to keep house. My impression is that the editors sometimes take this mentorship too far and, in my humble opinion, occasionally talk down to the young home-dweller. Since I am decades beyond their intended demongraphic, I don't take the condescension personally.
But I digress.
That Spring Cleaning Challenge sat me up on the edge of my post-midnight seat and instantly kicked my adrenaline into overdrive. I've had a lot of fun with this annual feature in the past, and while sometimes it goes a bit far for my tastes - I'm not going to waste time slathering my oven in a baking soda paste just because of some urban myth that says automatic oven cleaning cycles are evil - I'm always game to check out the daily tasks and play along.
So I scrolled past the introductory chatter and looked at the first chore:
Day 1: Clear One Small Surface
Hmm. Okay. Now that's a fun one. Eager to participate, I mentally searched my home for a place that needed this kind of help. But right off the top of my head, I couldn't quickly land on a horizontal surface in my home with a currently messy situation.
I know. The benefits of social distancing. I'm totally on my clutter game.
But at this point, I suddenly and desperately wanted to clean something so I was bound and determined to generate an idea.
And then I looked right in front of my face.
Oh, right. The desk upon which my computer sits. Not exactly a pigsty, but with a messy stack of books on left side, a couple of empty LaCroix cans on the right, and Lord knows what kind of dust bunnies lurking in the cords behind the screen, I knew I had landed just the right job.
So delightedly, I leapt into the project.
Books whisked back to their proper shelves.
Cans deposited in the recycling.
That was fun.
But I finished my project with barely two minutes of work.
Clearly this was not going to satisfy the burning desire to clean that had been so quickly and completely ignited.
So I did what any over-stimulated late-night clean freak would do: I attacked the drawers.
My bamboo desk has three cute little cubbies for stationery, notes, important papers, what have you.
And while they weren't exactly a mess, I emptied and wiped out and decluttered and straightened until my desk was a masterpiece of tidy and I was satisfied.
my favorite art gum eraser in a bubble-painted clay pinch pot,
and a paperweight I made in first grade.
Greeting cards tucked in the back.
a leopard print case for glasses that I never wear.
A stack of useful business cards,
a couple of very important memory cards for my camera,
and a little red box.
Hiding in the far back: a pile of IKEA receipts and a pom-pom.
^ A super cute 2020 date book that I always forget to use,
and a utilitarian/ugly spiral notebook that I use almost every day. Go figure.
My favorite Crayola fine-tip markers.
Underneath the notebooks, a few important papers.
With a sigh of contentment, I snapped off the desk light, called to my dog, and headed up the stairs to bed. And as I fell contentedly asleep, my final thought for the day was, "I wonder what tomorrow's challenge will be."