Saturday, April 09, 2011

Housecleaning Hang-ups

It's a cloudy Saturday morning here and my mind is consumed with how to complete my scheduled household chores over the next two days. Housecleaning has never been my thing. I hate everything about it. Of course, my mother was fanatical about it. She expected the house to be cleaned every day. Who has those kinds of expectations with five kids? She also washed clothes in an old-fashioned metal washing tub and guess who had hand rinsing and hanging on the clothes line duty? Since we were the oldest, my sister and I were treated as my mother's second-in-command. Between the three of us, the house was mostly spotless and everyone had a constant supply of clean clothes and hot homemade meals.

Fast forward to my household where most of the responsibility for keeping up the house falls on me. My husband tries but he's the kind of man that needs to be told what to do. He won't just put the dishes in the dishwasher because the sink is obviously full. He'll walk by the sink ten times and claim that he didn't notice the sink was full when I point it out. He'll go to the dryer and rather than take out the entire load, fold them and put them away, he'll just take out whatever he was looking for and leave everything else in the dryer. It's gotten to a point where it's just easier, faster, and less annoying to take care of the house myself. I suspect this was part of his plan all along.

So that I am not completely overwhelmed with keeping the house clean, laundry, ironing, and cooking meals, I came up with a system of sorts to help me stay on top of things. Each weeknight I try to clean at least one room of the house. This is in addition to the kitchen which is tidied every night and bedroom which is tidied every morning. The bathroom is scheduled for Wednesday night and grocery shopping is scheduled for Tuesdays after work. I cook our meals for the week on Saturday and the laundry is done on Sunday. The living room and dining room are rarely used so I pick up toys every couple of days and dust and vaccuum when they look like they need it.

Although this schedule keeps me from completely losing control of my home's cleanliness and from feeling like my whole weekend is dedicated to cleaning and cooking, it doesn't leave much time for anything else. There are still other errands that need to be run, committments that pop up, and taking care of my toddler. If I get an invitation to go somewhere after work or on the weekend, I immediately start thinking of how far this little outing will put me behind on everything else. I know everyone has busy lives these days but I'm beginning to think that this happy medium I keep hearing about doesn't really exist.


Marie Anne said...

A schedule might work for me if I had other things keeping me busy, but as it is, I do something if/when I need to. I never get visitors, so it really doesn't matter much anyway.

pbquig said...

My mother used to say pick a room to clean thoroughly each week and give the others a quick wipe out. The choice became so hard for me that I didn't clean for years and then hired the Maids. Nice post.

Pirate Knitting

SJerZGirl said...

I didn't inherit the housekeeping gene either, but I also wasn't given tasks around the house, so I didn't even have the skills when I got married. I struggled to accomplish what was expected of me and still don't know how to parse it over a day. Sitting at my computer and writing - THAT I can do!