Things have changed since I started this two years ago. And yet in two years you’d think I’d have more accomplished. I’m not even sure I’m half done. Is this how bad I’ve let things go? And now a new problem has surfaced and while I’m not giving up I had something of a revelation this morning I’d like to share.

You’ll note that this article posted later than usual. Before then I had nothing. No cleaning got done this week. I’m barely keeping up with projects I have already. Plus there’s the regular cleaning like vacuuming I need to worry about, right after this posts today. So what’s been the problem? A few things actually, and that’s where the thinking comes in.

The main reason I started The Clutter Report (later adding an “s”, although it was too late for the URL) was to get myself to clean every week. However, back then I had the time. I only worked five days a week and until my boss at the time started playing games from day to day I knew my schedule and could schedule personal activities around it. This allowed me time to get my articles and comics done as well as choosing a day to work on a bigger project, sometimes related to my other site and sometimes to organizing my junk. While the occasional hiccup is normal I didn’t have a lot of interference. Go through the archives and you’ll see that I’ve gotten a lot farther thant he early images in this article.

Things “improved” when I was working three days a week as the store started losing serious money and couldn’t give us the hours we need. This improved things for my projects, but often left we worrying how to pay my bills every week. With the new owners and some lucky breaks (and we can’t rule out divine intervention) all but one of my big debts are now paid off–at least until I get the next car insurance bill at the start of next year. I’ve been able to attend a few more cons…but I had to ask for time off from work to attend those.

This is the problem for my projects. There is no set schedule anymore. At work I have a “floating schedule”. Every week the hours and days off change. This week I only had one day off, and I needed that day to go shopping. Today I have off and I plan to spend it doing some mild clean-up after getting this week’s comic done and some general household cleaning so that’s going to be hard.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up. I’m no slob unless I’m sick or in a bad mood, but I’m no clean freak either. I still want this place in order. I still want a work area I can do my artwork from without swimming in clutter. I still want to use my comfy chair once in a while. I still want to find things when I need them. What it means is that now I have to balance all my activities so I don’t end up with a cluttered schedule. This project will not die nor does it need to evolve into anything else. It just means that life is fighting me and now I need to find a way to come to mutual terms to get all I want done to BE done. A price we all pay, so if there isn’t an article some week (like next week I have my last convention of the year to attend) I’m not slacking off (at least I hope I’m not) as as soon as I’ve worked out a gameplan we should be back full steam. The toy reviews will resume, as they’re my biggest draw according to the site stats. I’ll continue to do interesting things with cardboard. And the organizing using things I find cheap or free are still going to happen.

I end this article with a question: any of you who try to balance a busy un-set schedule with your clutter maintenance–how do you do it?