“A Clean House…

…is a sign of a wasted life.”  This is one of the those refrigerator magnets that you see at some random time in your life that sticks with you forever.  You say, YEAH! EXACTLY! and use it to justify your actions for the rest of your life.  Well, at least I do. 

I will make this perfectly clear: I hate to clean.  I love a clean house, and clutter makes me itch, but I hate to clean.  I know people, friends, who say they love to clean- it’s therapeutic and the reward is wonderful.  To them I say:

a)I feel that way about cooking

b)I am happy you found something rewarding to do with your time

c) Feel free to come over to my house any time and get your therapy on. I will cook you something delicious.  As long as you clean the kitchen when I am done.

I think what gets me, if I have to analyze it which if you know me you know I do in fact have to analyze it, is the tedium.  It’s boring.  I can put on music to drown out the deadliness of it, and it does help a bit. But mostly while I clean, I ponder how bored I am, how many other fun and interesting things I could be doing with my time, how it is unfair that I am cleaning up other people’s messes, and how five minutes after I am done it will be dirty again. 

I am not sure how and when cleaning the house became my responsibility- probably around the time we had children, and I did a stay-at-home stint, and took on most of the cleaning.  Somehow, though, when I went back to working full-time, the fairly even division of housework did not magically redevelop.  In fact, I now had five people making messes and just one little old tired me to deal with it.   I have a wonderful husband who can do all kinds of things, but apparently he either hates to clean as much as I do, or he is just “too busy.”  In his defense, he has told me to get someone to clean the house; we can afford to have someone come a couple of times a month, it’s true. And I have tried.  Many times. But I always wind up letting the house-cleaners go after just a few days.  I am not a white-glove tester but if I’m paying someone, I want the house really clean.  If not, well, I can do just as well with no help, thank you very much. 

Lest you think I was ever good at cleaning, I wasn’t.  As a teenager, my room was an absolute hazard. You risked life and limb walking in my tiny room.  At least you risked your feet and ankles, and on a really bad day, even your knees.  You could probably swim across the crap in my room at some point.  And it wasn’t until we moved a few times and I learned to purge unnecessary stuff ,that we became clutter-free; except for kids toys. And clothes. And books. And…but that is just temporary clutter that gets better as the kids get older, and keep their crap in their rooms. Which you could sometimes swim across. Hm…

Now the main issue in our house is pet hair.  Shedding animals make for a constant flow of fur and dander.  It’s everywhere, and most of us need allergy medication on a daily basis in order to deal with it.  If I could have someone come in once or twice a month and vacuum and dust and wipe and wash, it would be so much nicer around here.  Aw, maybe I will give it another shot.  It’s been a while since I fired anyone.

smudge josie 2011 1

callie on the shelf

About ordinarywomanextraordinarylife

I began writing at seven years old. My first rejection was from my mother who would not come off a nickel for a hand-published and self-illustrated scary story. Over thirty-seven years of teaching writing to elementary age children, I honed my skills in storytelling; which led to the completion of my first novel, Woven.
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