When I retired, I told people I’d finally be able to keep my house clean. (I also said I’d be exercising more. 😲) I was so wrong – about both!! Why did I think I’d like housecleaning any more now than I did when I was working? Some things just don’t change.
I’m generally a neat person. I don’t like clutter (don’t check my office/sewing/crafting room) so even if my house isn’t spic and span, it’s at least presentable. And Tim’s pretty neat as well.
Today, I did some cleaning. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but how long can I put it off? I focused on the bathrooms and the upstairs floor. You know, the stuff that tends to get the dirtiest – and shows it.
I didn’t by any means stretch myself but it felt torturous. All I could think about were all the other things I’d rather be doing with my time. It’s almost 3:00 right now, and I just got out of the shower. Not my favorite kind of day.
Sure, I spent some time on my iPad and I’ve had tennis on since I got up. But I also walked two miles outside and then tackled the cleaning. I’ve been thinking about what to write all day and since this was weighing on my mind, it seemed like the perfect time. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today?
The everyday stuff
It’s bad enough that I have things to do every day. Make the bed, wash dishes, straighten up, empty the dishwasher, water the outside plants this time of year. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it does keep me from getting to the things I love to do the most. Plus, it seems like the same old thing all the time.
I worked with someone years ago who once said she hated washing dishes because she was just washing the same ones over and over. I know how she felt!! There was one week when I swear I washed the same skillet every day. Ugh!!
I like having a clean house. There’s the rub. To have a clean house requires effort. And how clean is clean? I’m sure my house wouldn’t pass my mom’s clean test. But I also know it isn’t filthy.
I could be cleaning something every day. If I was doing a great job, I would be. I’d be tackling those deep cleaning jobs with ease. It’s just not calling to me.
The bigger jobs
A few weeks ago, I did try to take care of one of those jobs – the oven. Tell me how a self cleaning oven doesn’t get clean? (That’s another blog for another day.) Anyway, I worked my butt off, using a non-chemical approach, and accomplished next to nothing. The bottom of the oven looks great, but the sides are still bad. How does the oven get that way?
Not only is there inside stuff to clean but plenty to do outside as well. The windows should be washed. I’ve been trying to clean the sliding glass doors for weeks now, but the rain won’t stop so I haven’t bothered. I should sweep the front porch at least once a week, as well as the deck. I need to pull weeds daily.
A cleaning strategy?
Some might say, clean a little bit each day. That sounds good in theory but if I’m going to get hot and sweaty, I want to do it all in one day.
I do all the laundry on Tuesdays. I actually don’t mind doing laundry. I can do other things at the same time. Plus, Tim’s idea of doing laundry is putting things in the washer and then forgetting about them!!
I should think of house cleaning as exercise, right? Well, as you know from this post, exercise isn’t my favorite thing either. I think I’ve figured out what it is. I don’t like getting hot and sweaty!! Some people say it makes them feel so good. Uh, uh. Not me.
Like today. I’m still hot from my shower. It was impossible to cool down. I don’t call that a refreshing shower at all. But I digress.
I’ve been intending to keep a cleaning log, so I know how long it’s been since I’ve done a certain task. I’m almost afraid to know!! I was thinking it might motivate me if I knew it had been three months since I cleaned out the fridge. And I’m talking deep clean here, so don’t judge me!!
The other problem is living with a cat, although we can tell a difference since we went from two to one. Evidently, Mickey was the one who got cat litter stuck in his paws because we haven’t seen that around lately.
Brutus can’t help that he gets white hair everywhere, especially this time of year. And I know I don’t help much because I like to pet him which only makes it worse.
I have to admit, I shed almost as much as Brutus. I have lots of hair and I lose lots of hair every day. So, I can’t completely blame Brutus, right Tim?
Last summer, we got an iRobot (we named him Buster) that works great at picking up hair. It’s amazing, and almost embarrassing, how much it picks up. I should run it every day. But I don’t.
Brutus doesn’t like it and in order for it to do a good job, I have to pick up everything, including chairs, that are on the floor and close the doors of the rooms we don’t want it to vacuum. It’s almost easier to just run the vacuum myself. We should run it every evening after dinner, when we all go downstairs anyway.
It never ends
I tell myself I didn’t retire to clean all day. I’m hoping it will be easier once Tim retires. Some of the bigger jobs are easier and quicker when two people are working on them.
But the need to clean will never end. I can’t even think about hiring someone to do it. That just seems silly, since I have the time. However, it’s clearly not how I want to spend that time.
I think it would be easier if I didn’t feel guilty about it. Like when Tim gets out the vacuum. Why do I feel guilty? He lives here too. But I do. It’s as if I’ve failed.
Or when I clean and he notices the one thing I didn’t do? That really gets to me.
Tim thinks I’m a messy cook. Actually, I’m not. I clean as I go. But chopping and working with various ingredients can mean a few things hit the floor. Who cares if I’m a little messy. At least I’m cooking!!
I think I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to this. Tim has never said anything that should make me feel bad. In fact, he’s so good about saying, there’s always tomorrow!!
Our home is comfortable
I choose to think our home feels “lived in”, as in comfortable. It isn’t one where you’re afraid to sit or do anything because it’s too perfect. I never want anyone to come here and not feel at home.
Our house may not be the cleanest in the world, but it’s a nice place to be. I just have to accept that it will never be spotless. And not feel guilty about it.
How about you? Are you a clean freak or more like me?