Stardust

Writings from my little corner of modern domesticity.

Old Habits

With the return of the school year and the strange scheduling that accompanies full-time studenthood, I see the shift in my daily routine and timing of various chores. Instead of having a nice, measured pattern to certain things- dishes, laundry, the bathroom, a quick vacuuming- everything goes up in the air until I find a good niche into which to squeeze it for the year. The only thing I’ve gotten settled so far is that laundry is Tuesdays, because I only have one class.

But it yields some fun moments. Cleaning is often accomplished in brief, stolen pieces of time, as a reading break or as procrastination. Last night, I scrubbed down the shower/tub around 10:30, and it reminded me how much fun it can be to do things in the middle of the night.

I started doing that in junior high, when I first started battling insomnia. I’d typically fall asleep at some ridiculous point in the night, wake up two or three hours later, and be unable to fall back asleep. So I’d get up and do something until it tuckered me out and then go back to bed. If it happened again, I’d just repeat the process. I had an immaculately cataloged CD collection, you know. The layout of my tall white bookcase changed every few weeks as I redid my room over and over in the middle of the night.

My sleeping habits have now improved- forced more sharply into place by employment, expensive classes, and an adult sense of responsibility. And while my insomnia still haunts me from time to time, I have learned to sleep more than naps at a time. I continue to enjoy a good midnight reorganizing, but it is no longer often out of necessity and more often happens because I got too involved in too big of a project too soon before bed than being a momentary whim.

It’s also a lot harder to do those things when you share a tiny apartment. I’ve never been one for late-night vacuuming, but some other activities also make a lot of noise or involve too much movement for another person to continue to sleep soundly on the other side of the wall. Especially when I really get to cleaning- I need music. And I sing along, whether I can sing the particular song or not. Celine Dion? Out of range, yes- attempts made regardless. (Besides, there’s nothing quite like reorganizing a shelf while belting MCR’s “I’m Not OK” or “Helena” slightly off-key). Somehow, Ryan is not a fan of this.

Do any of you clean house in the wee hours of the morning? What’s your favorite late-night housekeeping activity?

(And have you seen the moon tonight? She’s full- and so very beautiful. Right around 8 or so, she was almost due east and gigantic and beautifully red…Made me want to dance.)

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1 Comment

  1. The middle of the night used to be the only time I did heavy cleaning, because I was too tired to do anything involving thinking but (of course) couldn’t sleep. The bedrooms were on the other end of the house from the kitchen and living room (remember… rectangle), so I wouldn’t bother Teresa and Patrick. And yes, I always play music when cleaning — especially when doing dishes. This occasionally annoys my house, because I’m currently on a Top 40 kick. They’re really tired of hearing NIcki Minaj, Katy Perry and Adele. Though I think I’d like to hear you sing MCR off-key…

    Tonight was the Harvest Moon. Yes, it was wonderful to see.

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