Thursday, July 07, 2005

Cleaning Frenzies

A Sort of Notebook: J-Hat Cleaning Frenzies for a P-Brain

This is SO ME-EE-EEE! I can't believe there is somebody out there in the world who is so much like me! I've been blaming it all on my ADD. (It's actually, AADD w/o H: Adult Attention Deficit Disorder without Hyperactivity)

By definition, "Attention Deficit" is really lack of focus; but I have the worst problem with HYPER-focusing. Maybe I have some OCD thrown into the mix. (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)

Anyway, this post (linked above) describes my exact feelings about how I hate to clean, but when I do get around to it I go into a "cleaning frenzy."

It's not unusual for me to be down on all fours, scrubbing with a toothbrush in some obscure corner of the room, when the rest of the room looks as though a tornado has blown through.

I know why I do it: my brain has trouble filtering and prioritizing. I see "the big picture" but that's all I see, and it overwhelms me. I'm too global-spatial!

I really do like making lists and organizing: As "Waterfall" calls it, "putting on my J-Hat" (Judging what needs to be done to act on your environment). I'm even good at it! But, my J-Hat falls off my "P-brain" too quickly, when I look around the room or walk into the grocery store. In fact, nine times out of ten, the list doesn't even make it out the door with me when I go to the store!

My coping mechanism is to break up the cleaning task into ridiculously small chunks, which is how I end up in the corner on all fours with a toothbrush. Hours later, I have one or two drawers completely cleaned out and organized, but the rest of the house is a disaster-zone. I have literally taken apart the dishwasher--and the vacuum cleaner--when I was just supposed to be putting away the dishes or vacuuming!

I need better coping mechanisms and tools to process the jobs of housecleaning and grocery shopping into smaller, more manageable tasks. A timer would help to keep me accountable to the task at hand, as well as move me onto the next one. A shopping buddy, like my daughter, could be the list manager for me, and help to motivate me through the aisles, so I don't end up randomly filling my cart with impulsive purchases!

As Waterfall humorously muses:
"If I didn’t wear that ill-fitting J-hat every now and then, I’d have my own little science laboratory growing in the bathtub (not to mention the fridge). You would need to be a pro-football player to make it through our house without tripping over the many obstacles in your way. The stacks of papers and junk mail would grow to untold heights.... And if I didn’t make crazy to-do lists for myself, then I would end up spending all of my time reading, writing, playing piano, and looking at flowers and birds (which is a wonderful thing to do … but I would starve to death because I would keep forgetting to eat)."

I would add: if I didn't invite people over to my house, I'd never have a reason to get into a cleaning frenzy!


  1. Ha! So true! The times that I get really crazy about cleaning is when I know someone is coming to visit.

    Thanks for the link. Nice to find another kindred soul!

  2. Glad to be your matchmaker ;)

    (I've added you to the INFP roll)

  3. I am pretty sure I have a sister like that; we have shared a room for almost her entire life. Oh the arguements we have had over her mess!
    My ADD is the opposite. I clean everything all the time.