January 07, 2014

Year of the Clean Person, Drynuary, and Delilah

Hi ho, Dust Bunnies!

Thanks so much for subscribing to my newsletter—by now you'll have gotten my welcome message, so you know that this will mostly be devoted to keeping you in the loop about my clean comings and goings. There will, however, always be some bonus content. It might be just what nail varnish shade I'm wearing, so don't get too excited about that!

Speaking of exciting things! I was thrilled by the response to a new project I've launched on Jezebel called Year of the Clean Person (#YoCP for all the hashtag-y places you visit). The premise is pretty simple: Each month, there will be a dedicated column describing a big ticket cleaning project, determined by me.

The idea for YoCP stemmed from two things: 

1. I wanted to harness the power of New Year's Resolutions and help people tackle some of the more daunting cleaning projects that we tend to promise ourselves we'll deal with this year, no really this is the year I swear. Things like getting a bookshelf in order, taming your shoe collection, cleaning and organizing a pantry. All that good stuff. 

2. I was looking for an outlet to address those type of bigger projects, and Ask a Clean Person isn't really right for it—that column focuses more on one-off, specific situational-type questions.

YoCP will be its own thing, separate of AaCP. And it's essentially why I started this newsletter—enough people asked for email notifications that it made good sense. Emails won't be overly frequent, but there will be at least one a month and likely more. The January assignment is to make a list of what your YoCP will look like. Seems simple, right? It's not as easy as you think, but will be well worth your time.

But hey, I promised you some bonus content, didn't I? Well sure, here goes.

After the YoCP post ran on Jezebel, I received several emails from people who were struggling with facing the task of sorting through and disposing of the belongings of loved ones who had passed. I imagine that many others who didn't write to me directly are also working through the same thing, so I'm sharing here the advice I gave one reader in the event it may be helpful for you or someone you know.

In terms of offering some advice on parting with belongings to which you have an emotional attachment, one thought process that can be helpful when bracing yourself to get rid of keepsakes is to remember that your mother wouldn't want you to be weighed down by her things, nor would she want you to sacrifice your comfort level just to hold onto her belongings. Your mother also wouldn't want you to feel sad! It is, of course, natural to feel sad but I find that reminding myself that a family member would not want me to be sad is a good way not to fall into a crippling grief spiral.
The memories of your mother will not be diminished if you don't hold onto her keepsakes, I really promise that. See if you can pick out a small handful of items that you'd like to display and have a trusted friend or family member help dispose of the rest so that that painful act doesn't fall on you, but rather on someone to whom it won't be as emotionally taxing.

Wow things just got a little heavy, huh? To lighten the mood up a bit, here are some non- or semi-Clean Person things I've done recently:

The history of the Roomba | Fortune

How To Make Bourbon Balls, And Be A Holiday Hero | Foodspin

Hang Onto Your Plungers, The Liquid Plumr 2014 Calendar Is Here! | Jezebel

The 2014 fragrance forecast | Fortune

Drynuary Returns | Foodspin

Speaking of Drynuary! (That exclamation point does not really belong there.) My pal John Ore and I have moved our Drynuary operation over to Foodspin, where the response has been … interesting. Be on the lookout for our Week Two report, which will run on Friday, for more on what the response from readers and the media has looked like.

In closing, it is very cold; I'm coping by drinking tea and listening to Delilah. Perhaps you might like to do the same.

Vinegarishly yours,