I was going to title this post “Master of My Domain” but honestly, part of me has been wondering who the hell had this big Clean House idea anyway, because shit is this some work!
My house is clean. Not immaculate, but pretty darned clean, even in the unders and behinds. It’s been more or less clean for about a week, but the upkeep takes all my spare moments, and then some. Including, significantly, those moments where I’m just dog tired and want to take a load off. On top of the upkeep, even though I feel like I am “done” with the deep cleaning, every day I seem to think of something else that I haven’t gotten yet, and had somehow told myself I didn’t need to get. But then I can’t stand to have the house clean except that one stupid little projects, so, okay I’ll clean under My Man’s desk/wipe down the weird brown drool in the freezer/move the kitchen cabinet and clean underneath because what is that rotten smell whenever the heat comes on and blows under there anyway…?
At first I thought I was just taking a long time to truly finish up, but a couple of days ago I realized there will probably always be something. Every day will have a “project” in addition to the hours it takes to keep all the toys picked up, floors swept and vacuumed, counters wiped, clothes washed/hung/folded/put away, every. single. god. damned. day. Are you kidding me? This is ridiculous. It’s not driving me crazy yet, I’m still high on the thrill of having a clean house. But christ, when the buzz wears off, I fear the sloven I will revert to.
The only reason I’ve been able to clean and keep clean in the first place is that everything else is going kind of easy right now. The Babe (dang, Toddler now?) has really hit his stride lately, advanced to where he can truly interact with his environment, and is therefore soooooo much easier to keep pleased. The 3YO has been easy for awhile now (knock on wood) and can happily play solo for hours on end. She was playing with just her hands today for 25 minutes, some elaborate pretend, rife with dialog. Don’t get me wrong, they are both every bit the passionate, opinionated, feisty little bites they always have been. They just seem to be getting what they need and want lately, and it shows.
To really spoil me, My Man had another 5 days off of school after we got back from our trip, in which I was a Tasmanian devil of rags and hot water. And even since he started back, it’s the begining of the semester and life is easy.
Breaking point or no, I truly don’t think I would have been capable of this sort of Filth Recovery in November, or really any other month since The Second was born. Until now. All the forces converged, and my house is clean and it’s great, and I’m proud and cleaning house is so much more satisfying when you have a clean house at the end of the day, yaddah, yaddah.
But nevertheless. Seriously? This is how much work it takes to keep a clean house? Day in and day out? There can only be one word to sum it up, sorry to any tender ears out there.
I don’t know if I have it in me.
I want to have it in me, I really do. I want to have a home clean enough that it’s relaxing and inviting. I want my kids to grow up in a reasonably clean space, where the tables have space for a coloring book, and floors for rolling around. I want them to grow up thinking that people put things away when they are done, generally, instead of leaving them in piles to fester for weeks or months to come.
So, in an attempt to make cleaning the house a bit more efficient, I’ve devised a small plan. Conveniently, we have six rooms in our house, just as there are six days in a week (minus Saturdays, which are my day off, not to be used for cleaning). My idea is to give every room a good clean once a week. This won’t keep my whole house spotless, but I never asked for that. I’ll start at the front on Sundays, and work my way back. The bedroom is an easy one, so I’ll use that day to catch up on laundry, which I’ve been known to leave clean in the basket for weeks at a time.
I don’t know how I will like this. I am a hopeless creature of habit, but have never been a creature of scheduling. We’ll see. I just want a way to streamline the whole caper, so I’m not feeling like I’m cleaning the entire house every day. My efforts will be concentrated for maximum punch. One room at a time, right. A 6 Step Program?
I’ll keep you updated.
I posted Someone Has to Wear the Apron over at Homegrown yesterday, and after I did it, I felt a bit awkward. Homegrown is all about gardening, homecooking, preserving, crafting and other DIY goodness. Suddenly my post on cleaning the house seemed so very prosaic. But as unfashionable as it may be, life is a messy business, and someone really does have to wear the apron. Every DIY exploit ends in someone cleaning up. In fact almost everything that’s good in life ends with cleaning. Without a doubt topping the list of messy business? Kids. God love ’em.
A few months back the 3YO said to me, out of the blue one day,
“Mama, are you the cleaner?”
I laughed humorlessly, “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“Oh. I’ll be the mess maker!” she said joyously and started throwing her crayons on the floor.