If you are a parent, perhaps you have read the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. In it, a boy gives a mouse a cookie, which results in a huge chain reaction of exhausting events.
This sounds like a simple task, doesn't it? "Hammer in hooks for laundry pole." I wanted to hang a 7-foot bamboo pole across a niche in our bedroom to use for drying laundry indoors. All I have to do is pound in two hammer-in hooks for the pole. I have hooks; I have a hammer. DD15 can climb on the footboard of the bed to do this.
Want to know why I have such a long list of simple tasks?
Hmm... maybe we better dust the ceiling fan, or it will throw dust on the laundry. But first we better cover the bed with a drop cloth, since fan cleaning inevitably drops chunks of dust. We'll need to lug the big vacuum cleaner upstairs, to vacuuming loose dust off the fan blades. Then we need the ladder to climb up and manually take off the rest. Ugh, the glass light fixture needs a wash.
I love ceiling fans, but they get really dirty in the city with the windows open all summer. A ring of dust develops on the walls at fan level, so DD15 and I will also have to dust all the walls and woodwork. Then all the furniture and lampshades will need dusting. And the humidifier still on the floor from last winter needs a good cleaning.
DH has to help sort all the treasure on his bureau, which lives in the bottom part of the niche. The broken X-Box must be ceremoniously removed, dusty martial arts gear sent to launder, unidentified cables that "might come in handy" taken to the bin where such things are kept. The pile of old X-Box games will have to be taken downstairs to list on eBay. While we are ripping apart the room, it will seems like a good time to wash the windows, so they will be ready for bubble wrap and the heavy drapes (a separate item on the to-do list). Then I will have to deal with the pile of "this doesn't belong in our bedroom" junk that needs a new home.
That pile includes a stack of summer clothes that I can put in the plastic trash barrels we use to store off-season clothing in the cellar. But first I need to go through the winter barrels to make room. Uh oh, the barrels are covered in kitchen trash bags full of clothes I told the kids to "take to the barrels" all summer as we bought them at yard sales. It all needs sorting.
I can use the top of the washing machine to sort clothes. But first I better empty it. It's raining, so the stuff can't hang outside to dry. Oh! I can hang it on the new laundry pole! Crap, there aren't enough extra hangers. Have to find the box of extra hangers. I bet they are in the attic. Oh dear, the attic steps are full of stuff that was supposed to go up there for storage...
But first, I need a nap under the drop cloth.