Dirty Dishes by
(309 Stories)

Prompted By I Swore I'd Never

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I have to admit I’m a bit of a neat freak,  and I’ve  always prided myself on being well organized.   Marie Kondo is my hero,  and in fact home organizing actually became my second career.  (See Second Career)

And what I preached to my organizing clients,  I practiced.    I would never, ever leave dirty dishes in the sink,  I’d fold the laundry as soon as it was out of the dryer,  I would ruthlessly purge my inbox,  and unsubscribe from all the annoying stuff in my junk folder.

And every night before I went to bed,  I’d make sure the dining chairs were pushed in,  the throw pillows on the couch were fluffed up,  and all the empty coffee mugs,  banana peels,  and candy wrappers made it back to the kitchen.   And if we’d been eating popcorn while watching Turner Classics,  I might even give the rug a little late night dust-busting.

But I was most compulsive about making the bed every morning before I left the house.   Even back in my pre-retirement days when I had to punch a clock at 8 AM,  and was inevitably rushing out the door at 7:30 with a thermos of tea for the car,  I’d never fail to take the time to make the bed.

Those were habits of a lifetime and I would have sworn I’d never,  ever break them.  I’d have sworn such habits die hard.   I’d have sworn they were imbedded in my DNA.

But this is no ordinary time,  and this is not life as we knew it.   And so,  it seems,  this is my new normal.

Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Organizing
Characterizations: funny


  1. Marian says:

    I get it Dana, and it’s brave of you to show this stuff! Professional organizers are great, and a gal helped me redo my office, but she wanted me to get rid of ALL the paper, and I just didn’t feel comfortable with that. Then I took some of my mom’s memorabilia when she moved to a senior residence, and that is piling up in corners. Ah, well, alas …

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    This made me laugh, Dana. I definitely shared your dirty dishes and bed –making thing. My mother taught me to clean up and put things away while I was cooking. But since I will still be home a few hours later, I have allowed myself to let things soak. Still, I have to make that bed. If you think about it, who’s ever going to see it these days?

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Yes, these are NOT normal times for anyone, Dana. Thanks for emphasizing that point.

  4. Suzy says:

    Love this, Dana, especially that you show us in pictures the things you are doing that you swore you’d never do! As for me, even though I am not neat or organized in most things, I am compulsive about making the bed. That hasn’t changed with covid. The rest of the house may be a shambles, but I need to see that neatly made bed when I walk into my bedroom.

  5. I’m with Suzy on this one, once the bed is made, I’m good to go. Hooray for you for letting go of the compulsion to clean, Dee…you’ll do it when it’s necessary. I think we owe ourselves a little slack in these stressful times. And with that “DNA,” you’re not likely to become a certifiable slob.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Great story, Dana, right down to the illustrations — or Exhibit A, as we lawyers would say. But, as you note, these are not ordinary times. I think you deserve special dispensation.

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