Clean House.

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Clean House.

I DO appreciate a clean house.

My house is rarely ever spic and span clean, but occasionally it is for about an hour.  Today is my cleaning day…not a beach day or errand day…but a much needed cleaning day.

Yes we load/unload the dishwasher daily. And fold mountains of clothes daily…even scrub the bathroom multiple times per week with seven people in one tiny house…but clean clean weekly?

Nope.

Haven’t done this kind of cleaning in months.

Dust has moved in almost permanently as well as cat hair on literally every piece of furniture and somehow lampshade.

Organizing? Forget it…

Almost every drawer and closet is filled to capacity with misplaced items shoved in wherever they will fit.

Clean houses don’t seem to go hand in hand with busy lives…we shove things away to make the small living spaces look tidy, as we run out the door for the tenth time in a day. I may even occasionally use a dirty dish towel to dust off a few table surfaces as I walk the towels up to the laundry basket. If I am lucky, I will hit all three tables I pass by on my way up the stairs, if not too distracted with the twenty pairs of shoes/books/papers/bags piled on each step on my way up the stairs.

In my distraction up to the laundry, I may even notice the clumps of ever-growing cat hairs on the stairs, and blow them down with my breath to the landing (so then they are more consolidated) or use my now very dusty dish towel to shoo them down below.

Entering the hall bathroom where all the laundry hides in the closet, I come across wet towels and clothing strewn across the floor, then see the closet oozing with more wet towels and clothes as if it vomited dirty clothes all over the floor.

I remind myself daily that all these chores can be done quickly if all seven of us pitched in one day a week (along with the bickering of who-did-what-and-when and that they collected the trash already this week or did the dishes)instead of me giving up a whole day on the weekend…then I remind myself of these weekends…

My clean house weekends…just me, and some of my music, cleaning and schlepping up and down the stairs for hours…it sounds like torture, but for some reason, in my weird motherly way…its almost like a much needed Mommy Timeout.

I crave these days...for dusting to be an actual completed task, not just one or two tables at a time…the laundry done and put away…at least for one day.

To sit back when I am all finished, with a cocktail in hand (trust me…by the time I am done, it will be five o’clock here too) and actually seeing order in a very lived-in chaotic world.

cleaning

But in all honesty, I am starting to appreciate the messy days here as well, as two of the kids leave for college very soon…they will take some these messes with them, but also some of my heart.

My house will be a little less messy but also a lot more quiet.

I am excited for the future and watching our children grow into individuals, but I am already beginning to miss what I have today…

A very dusty/ messy/ loud home…

But also full of life and love.

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8 responses »

  1. I could not agree with you more. I grew up in a pristine house. I am one of many siblings so the house was always over capacity and full of hustle and bustle but my mother cleaned and tidied obsessively so that it always looked shiny as a new pin. You could no sooner put something down than my mother would whip it off back to its proper place. Was it nice growing up in a neat and tidy house? Yes. But would I rather I had more memories of my mother playing with us, having fun with us, or of her actually just relaxing and having a bit of a life beyond childcare and chores? Absolutely.

    That is why I resolved to keep my home clean and tidy but not to an obsessive degree. I want to invest my time in engaging with my kids more than vacuuming the floor for the umpteenth time that week. My benchmark is that my home should never be a source of embarrassment should a visitor turn up unexpected. If such a visitor should turn up and wander through my home and there not be something present that makes me feel even a little flush of shame then I have met my standard. I also really find no pleasure in cleaning and housework – in having a nice house, yes, but not in the chores themselves – so I don’t want cleaning and tidying to become the dominant use of my time. I want to invest time in the things that do bring me pleasure. Besides, my kids are only going to be wee once and there will be ample time for a spic and span house once I am an empty nester. Time with them, on the other hand, I won’t get back.

    I have a chore chart that I keep pinned on my fridge. It tells me which chores to do each day of the week – over and above the daily chores, of course – which means I know that all the bedlinen has been washed at least once a week and that the bathrooms have been scrubbed every two or three days. It stops me from going overboard every day and devoting all of my time to housework. I can look at the floors and think they look vacuumed but I then check the chart and know I only did it the previous day so I can let it be until tomorrow and go and do something else instead. That way I can balance maintaining the house, doing stuff with the kids and finding a wee bitty of time for me in each week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could be that organized! I have attempted charts and lists for myself many many times over the years…and they DO help, but I wind up straying away from the task at hand always! My kids appreciate the lists I make them when chores need to be done…it gives them a sense of accomplishment I think!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Cleaning is such a big deal,really!!! My place is small and it’s just two of us living in together but the amount of dust and trash that finds itself into this house is amazing! But I spend an entire day in the weekend, just like you, cleaning the entire house and enjoy my loud music while doing so! My partner enjoys cleaning too but for him it would mean throwing everything into another corner that he’s currently not using :-D. Sometimes I get frustrated but I’m loving it the same… With 7 people, I can only imagine the amount of work you must have to do :-o. More energy to you 😀

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  3. I am incredibly comforted by the fact that there are other people out there like ME! Daily, I do what I lovingly call the “stuff and fluff”. Things that need to be washed get stuffed, and things that need to be freshened get fluffed (pillows, couch cushions, etc.). Like Laura, I keep it tidy in case someone drops by, but Saturday is my day to really clean. And, typically, by Monday it’s a wreck again. Thus, the stuff and fluff. There are four of us in a tiny cottage-style home, and it’s truly amazing what can amass in a short period of time. Thank you for making me feel (somewhat) normal!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well I feel better knowing that you too feel my pain! I know it is temporary, that the kids will grow and be gone, but somedays, I would love to scoop it all up and throw it in the backyard! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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  4. What a task, but I hear you, one day the mess will be gone, and all that will be left are memories. I only have a little girl thus far, but I try to remind myself, on crazy/busy/messy days, that these are the best days of my life. So enjoy 🙂

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