Failure with To-Do Lists

All too often I will wake in the morning with great plans and expectations for the day, ‘to-do’ lists in my head which after pouring my first 20 oz. cup of coffee I will rush upstairs to my office to transcribe. I will sometimes do this, grab coffee and take the stairs two at a time before I even complete my morning absolutions because I have a very short memory in the morning and my ‘to-do’ list will have come to me in that in-between state of sleep and wake.

  1. Clean & Sort the Closets

  2. Organize Office

  3. Sort Bookshelves

  4. Sort Music Cabinets

  5. Sort Clothes & Shoes

  6. Clean / Sort Garage

  7. Clean / Sort Kitchen Cabinets

  8. Clean / Sort Pantry

  9. Clean Refrigerator

  10. Clean Oven

Cowgirls have To-Do Lists

That is my list right now, does it look short, easy, simplistic maybe. I wish it were. It might be actually except for one little, tiny thing. I simply have no real enthusiasm for most of the items on that list. Oh, I know they all need to be done; in fact some of them are horribly overdue, some of them I have even started, which makes my world even worse than it was before I started.

There is more to the list above but this is the gist of it. Last year we did a significant update to our ground floor, I love the finished product but hated getting there. The upstairs feels woefully neglected and outdated now, it isn’t well loved, especially by me. I have always, my entire adult life despised carpet and need desperately to rip all carpet from my homes. This  house has lasted the longest with carpet on the floors, not much longer though I am coming to the end of my patience. It is my feeling if I am going to replace the floors I should get the big stuff done all at once, so I can feel at home in my home. Before I can start any remodel though I have to rid myself of mess.

Why can’t I seem to get the get up and move it, the inspiration, the just do it, the whatever it is that gets any of us to do what it is that we do when we finally get up off our butts? My answer is I don’t know, I start a project such as pulling everything out of my office closet that contains years’ worth of electronics, software, books, files and other things I haven’t yet identified and begin to sort these into boxes marked:

Sorting for Good or ill


Last Week

During a frenzy, a fit of enthusiasm I decided I could no longer stand to work every day in an office that did not reflect my personality or live up to my standards. That was it, I was done. Even if there was still carpet on the floors, mini-blinds on the windows and popcorn on the ceilings I was still going to at least begin the de-cluttering and scrubbing of my office. Once this was done, I knew I would be all revved up and ready for the next closet, the next bookshelf, the next task on my to-do list.

Disaster Strikes

I am certain you are thinking to yourself, how bad can it be? Really, how could this marvelous erudite, funny and lovely woman be a hoarder or a mess, who would have thunk it, behold my office closet.

Views of Closet Hell

As much as I would like you to think this is the disaster, it isn’t. I took it so I could be proud of myself when I completed the de-clutter project, the worst of the closet organization tasks. The disaster, I have dragged much of this out of the closet, some has even hit the sorted boxes. Woe is me though, some is in piles in my office and all the way out to the hall; the job is half done (this may be an exaggeration).

I live in Texas, land of 105 degrees. Land of central air. Land where even children know heat rises.

Last week my second story air conditioning died. Coughed once and died. Every single ceiling fan in my house is twirling at full speed. My first floor air is set to 65 to help, my bedroom feels like an igloo; but the upstairs, where my office is located feels like a sauna from 11am to 11pm every day. The compressor for my air conditioner is on back order, if we are fortunate it will arrive Thursday and will be installed this coming Friday.

Will having a cool breeze blowing across my neck re-energize me? I sure hope so. For now all I can say…


  1. Not only is looking at a monumental task mindbending, in the heat it is absolute murder. I feel for you and no a/c. I used to like cleaning and sorting etc. etc. Not anymore. I avoid it when I can. I wonder if something happens as become involved in more important projects?

    • Right now I think I am a bit mad (as in crazed) while waiting for a/c to return. My closets and other storage spots are emptied into the middle of the room and hallways, shoved up against the walls are all the collected debris. I can’t stand the heat, even I who loves the heat can’t stand it.

      I still love sorting it out and giving it away periodically. I think of it as purging.

  2. I have to clean my house too.
    I love this song of Janis. 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend Valentine. 🙂

    • I use to love cleaning, now it is just a chore and a difficult one at that.

      I love Janis, can’t think of a single song that I don’t love, but this one, ah me this one I truly love.

  3. oh the lists! I have them too and I wake up with the best of intentions 🙂 Well we do our best with the time we have.. now where did that pen go?

  4. –as Annie Lamott says “One bird at a Time.” ❤

    Looooooooooooove that song by Janis. My Fave. Xxxx

    • Janis is one of my all time favorites forever…and ever and ever. She touches me.

      Yeah, one at a time I know. But disarray makes me a bit mad (as in crazed) and so this is getting on my very last single good nerve right now.

  5. I feel for you, Valentine! The list + no a/c is brutal! Especially in Texas! (I love Texas, btw, I didn’t know you were from there!)

    • They say it will be Friday before I have a/c again. So till them, well the boxes and the list will just wait.

      Third generation Texan. It is home. I have always moved around a bit, but always come home. I love it too.

  6. Oh no … Much too ambitious. 😉

  7. There is only one thing that should be on that list:


    I’ve determined that things will not get cleaned. They will get burned, whether I might some day need them or not.

    I am not advocating arson. Nope. Simple controlled burn.

    • Many of the things that are coming out of the closet will go into boxes for a couple of my much beloved charities. I simply can’t bring myself to burn them.

      I do think I will be paying my housekeeper extra to take a couple of those items off my list though! 😉

  8. Androgoth says:

    Hey Val ditch the list, it works for me as I never use them 🙂 Actually I think that your list of chores has too much cleaning involved, now if it were something more exhilarating then I would imagine that your enthusiasm would be at melting point after the initial stages with an all-embracing plan for later on 🙂

    Nooooo you have to compile your own naughty list, but with some of your most wicked thoughts materialising it will be easy to achieve a doable list that will enhance your daily cravings and give you an incentive for the rest of the week 🙂 😉

    Have fun now Val but be good 🙂 lol

    Androgoth XXx

  9. Running from Hell with El says:

    I haven’t met a single list I haven’t hated LOL! And the broken A/C alone would be reason enough to hide, scowling, from said list!! xoxo

    • Those stupid lists, every single thing on them needs to get done. Every single thing on them would result in really nice things happening for very cool places in the area like my favorite woman’s shelter, a back to school collection group and others.

      But you are right it is so f’ng hot.

  10. I am list challenged…have tried making list but failed now whichever clutter shouts the most gets my attention rest wait for their turn
    about the AC i hope normalcy and cool air is restored earlier than expected

    • I am simply challenged right now, that is all it is. Clutter is shouting from all corners and driving me to distraction, I thought the list would help. Clearly not.

      Perhaps the cool air will, we will see.

  11. The only list I ever make is a grocery list. Other than that, I don’t make myself lists. I find that they cause and overwhelmed feeling that somehow has the power to keep me from getting started.
    Instead, each day I try to get something done that is not part of my normal domestic routine. If I want to take on another (one, two, three or more) , then so be it. If not, I know I accomplished something, that was not done the day before. Surprisingly, it seems to work well.
    Now you stop beating yourself up…your closet looks fine. 🙂
    Hugs xx

    • Hugs first!! XXOOO

      I don’t make grocery lists, funny isn’t it.

      I suspect you might be right, my list is making me crazed. I am trying to follow Flylady right now with her tips, she is great. But with the heat it is simply hard to motivate myself out of the doldrums.

  12. Triple digit Ugh. As to the list, I say write one thing on your list everyday…Accomplish something. If you do it once or a handful of times, you win.

    I say go out and read a book somewhere where the drink is cool and the fan and air are swirling coolness around you.

    Much love and wishing I could email you some cool air. ❤

    • That list, well it will just remain ‘THAT LIST’. To be done when it gets done. Right now I will just concentrate on getting done what is making me crazed a bit at a time during the coolness of the morning. It is just overwhelming right now.

      Thanks, for your direction to the cool air and a good book. Think I will take you up on both.


  13. You’ve got you hands full with that list, and especially with no AC. I say put down the coffee and have you a nice tall glass of lemonade on the first floor.

    I don’t do well with lists either. I simply don’t follow my own directions to myself very well. Once I look at the list, I feel pretty good because I wrote it all down but the next day, I don’t want to be bothered with what I wrote. Matter of fact, I forget all about it usually, because something else comes up. Usually works better if I just do it and save the paper.

    • I am taking your advice! It is off to a cool shower and then someplace (anyplace) with cool air and cooler lemonade.

      Funny about lists, I live by them in work situations, making them and checking off completed items. But at home, well for some reason they just don’t work. Like you I just can’t seem to get through them.


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