Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bills, Chores, and Coffee Cans


                     There are some chores  I like to do, but some should go away

                     They are the ones I promise that I'll do another day

                     They're areas within my home that only I will see

                     But, even though they're out of sight, it always bothers me.

                   


Many years ago, when I first started working for Kroger, I met a man named Bill Bennett. I should say that he was more of an acquaintance than a friend. We worked side by side during our shift, but rarely ran into each other outside of work.

Bill was a nice enough guy, but he had a reputation for being less than responsible with his finances. He was known for not paying his bills. He told me a story one day that I will never forget.

Bill told me that as his bills would come each month, he would write each one on a slip of paper and place it in a coffee can. When they were all accounted for he would reach in and draw one out. The one chosen was the "lucky creditor" of the month. This was the one destined to receive the minimum payment.The remaining bills were promptly transferred to his garbage can.

As you can imagine this didn't work for very long. Bill starting getting phone calls from everyone he owed . He would promise to send a payment shortly, but he knew it wasn't really going to happen. Bill told me he had reached the point where he quit answering the phone at all. There was no caller I.D. back then so he played it safe. Weeks had gone by and one morning the phone rang and Bill answered it without thinking. As you would expect, it was a creditor threatening to send his account to a collection agency. Bill promptly told them that if they didn't quit calling him, he wouldn't even put their bill in the coffee can. It would then have no chance of being selected.

There have been times when I have considered doing the same with my household chores. I would pick a job from the coffee can and complete it. That way I would not have the option of putting off cleaning certain areas that I had avoided.

Yesterday I decided to clean up my laundry room. I had put it off long enough and just how hard could an area that small be to clean? I got the answer to that question almost immediately. It turned out to be a nightmare! There were clothes from both of my sons on the four shelves as well as things that had not fit me in many months.

If you are going to clean an area correctly, you will always start out by making an absolute mess! I did not break that rule yesterday. I had piles of clothes for each son and myself scattered across my bathroom floor. After cleaning the laundry room itself, I proceeded to do laundry until the floor was completely empty. When everything  was clean I put my sons' clothes in a closet and my "wearable" shirts and jeans back on the shelves

My laundry room is now a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. I no longer need to squint when I open the door.I do hope that I can keep it looking this way. If it gets this bad again, I might not even put it in the coffee can.