I often joke about my trio of ne’er-do-well fairies: cleaning, cooking and laundry. The truth is, I struggle with maintaining our home. I can and do occasionally turn into a cleaning fool, and deep clean and organize to the nth degree.
(You know, “a Place for Everything and Everything in its Place.”)
Our new home makes that a little easier to do, but even with more storage, my shoes wind up covering the floor of my closet (Mr. Official is truly thankful we no longer share a closet, I’m sure.) The daily mail may wind up in its designated spot, or somewhere on the kitchen table or island. And it might hang out there for a day or two or ten.
Did you know? Dust bunnies multiply almost as fast as their real-life counterparts, especially under beds and couches and chairs. It’s a fact and I have the evidence to prove it.
However, my view of housekeeping has evolved over time. In the beginning of our marriage, I viewed it as a chore to be delayed as long as possible, then I would dole out just enough of my precious time to get the job done. Done well, but not happily. Repeat as needed.
Then I realized that while I didn’t like cleaning the house, I really do like having a clean house. For some enlightened people, that is the moment when a cleaning service enters their life. I salute them for making the obvious and wise choice; it’s just not in my nature to go that route.
A few years ago, I decided to dig into what bugs me most about cleaning. I thought long and hard about which chore(s) I despised most, and why.
Truthfully? No single chore fills me with dread. When I thought about it, I can’t say I hate any specific task, and some are pleasant..or at least it’s pleasant to step back and admire the results of some of them.
So why the foot dragging? Mostly, I begrudge giving up time. Which is why I struggle with FlyLady’s method. I’m all about cleaning my kitchen daily (and I thank her for the shiny sink routine), but I just can’t bring myself to stop everything and do a prescribed task each morning and evening. For starters, I am not convinced a bathroom is really clean after 15 minutes of effort. Nor can I do a whole-house blessing in an hour each week. I’ve tried, I’ve failed. More than once. And once I start, I’m sucked into a half-day cleaning marathon. I’d rather knock it all out at once, rather than do a bit here and there, and never feel my house is totally clean. Shrug. I know it works for some – just not for me.
And so I spent most of Saturday catching up on housework I had postponed in favor of spring gardening and maintaining a schedule filled past capacity for the past several weeks. Mr. Official and Oldest Son made plans to head to my mother-in-law’s for yard work; my inner child would have preferred to tag along and be in or next to her pool for the day, but my dusty baseboards and baskets of unfolded clothes won out. I vacuumed, cleaned baseboards, mopped, caught up the laundry, dusted, cleaned our bathroom and the guest bath, and gave the kitchen a once-over, then headed to the store for a few groceries.
By the time I was done, I still had some daylight to water the garden and play in the dirt for a bit. Not as refreshing as a day at the pool, but summer hasn’t officially begun yet, and there will be other days for that.
So if you’re a housework dodger or hater, take heart. And take stock: ask yourself what you dislike about housework. Your honest appraisal may surprise you and start you on an evolutionary path as it did me.