Thursday, January 6, 2011

Clean

Why oh why did it take me so long to figure out how to keep a house reasonably clean? It's not that I didn't have the know-how, I was well instructed in childhood on the proper way to pick up, vacuum a carpet, scrub a sink, etc., but for some reason I've never been a hard worker when it comes to that sort of thing. I've never been a very hard worker when it comes to any sort of thing. School kind of came naturally for me, and while I liked doing a good job and getting good marks, most of the time it really didn't take incredible effort to pull that off, especially once I went to public school. I liked having a clean room, and every few months a burst of energy would surface and I would tackle it, working like a madman until it was spotless. It would stay that way for a week or so, then revert back to it's former state of chaos. And I can't say I ever cared much about the state of the rest of the house. That's Mom's job after all, right? In university I shared a room, which for me was a big motivator to keep things clean. My room was pretty neat on the surface, the bed usually got made at some point during the day, my clothes got washed on a semi-regular basis, and I chose to pointedly ignore the dust bunnies under my desk. Not bad though, especially if compared to the rest of the dorm.

And then, I got married. My own place. My own LARGE place, a three bedroom apartment with a generous kitchen, dining room, large living room, back hallway/storage area, and sunroom. A lot bigger than my half of my little dorm room! The first surge of moving-in energy was great. I organized, sorted, stashed, scrubbed and got everything exactly the way I wanted it. Then I somehow expected it to stay that way with little to no input on my part. I had no sense of how often one should mop the floors, or scrub the toilets, or change the sheets. Or if I did, I chose to ignore it. The apartment would quickly disintegrate into a huge mess, and Cory and I would together end up taking the better part of a Saturday just trying to set things to rights. Then I got pregnant, and tiredness set in. I really didn't want to be cleaning then. I was frustrated that the laundry wouldn't just wash itself, and that dishes really did have to be done every day in order to keep up.

But here I stand, looking back at those days and I'm so glad they are over. Slowly but steadily my housekeeping skills have improved to the point where I am generally pretty satisfied with how my house looks. My Motivated Moms calendar helps me out, although I am by no means as dedicated to it as I could be. Somehow I've just learned that there are daily tasks that simply must be done, and once done I can relax and feel so much better in a clean environment. And I still have lots of free time! With my champion sleeper still napping 3-4 hours every day, there is tons of time to get everything done that needs to be done and still curl up with a coffee and a good book, or spend some time on the laptop. I'm not going to win any good housekeeping awards (no one look in the office please), but I can relax in a tidy living room and enjoy my day.

I see I now have a diaper to change and some lunch to heat up, so the computer must go away again for a bit. It's easy to make lunch though in a neat kitchen :)

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