I am not sure what I am known for or what reputation precedes me but I am quite sure what it is not. For instance, I am not known for “keeping an impeccable home.”
When anyone is having a conversation about me and/or about visiting my house, I know they are not saying, “by the way, have you been over there? It’s immaculate! I don’t know how she does it!” I have been in those types of conversations. They are never about me. No one ever turns to me and says, “just like yours!”
In my world, at the very least, it is good to know what you are not, so you can better hone what it is
you think you are. Let’s be practical.
That is not to say I am disgusting or anything, and I am not a hoarder who talks to her rat pets (I am only a “hoarder” of things like mugs and cups and fun wine glasses if that counts and my husband who has to defend himself against the avalanche of cups as he gets his coffee mug in the morning would say it does.)
I want you all to know that I am VERY INTERESTED in cleaning and having a clean home. This interests me very much! I am very much interested in cleaning and finding the time to have a clean home. And very often, I actually do take steps to achieve this.
In fact, if you were to look at my history, which includes being a total slob in my teens (and possibly parts of my 20s), not being able to see the floor pretty much ever, and finding food bits under the mounds of whatever that have clearly undergone multiple compositional changes over time, I have come very far! You would be so proud of me!
Moreover, I do not subject my children to this side of me, this was very much pre-children, which is the most important thing to note, really.
Now, however, life presents a multitude of choices that must be weighed with various variables such as importance, time, and preference, and because cleaning ranks with very little value of each of these things, I have decided that the only thing that will allow me to give it more importance is more time, and I will (presumably) have more of that in 2024.
That is when my first child will turn 18. That summer, I am very much looking forward to not only cleaning, but maintaining my clean house.
Because really, the maintaining part is the key. I can clean all I want. But if someone comes along and pees all over the outside of the toilet right after I clean it, it’s now a cleaning cycle. I have to clean it again. Miraculously, when questioned, no one knows when or how or by whom this pee has appeared on the outside of the toilet, but these are the things that I notice when I’m on the phone with my best friend bragging about how, at the very least, I have a clean bathroom and the laundry is done.
I suppose this post is an attempt to rid my own self of the guilt I harbor over being able to physically have one of two things: EITHER I have a clean house because I cleaned it during my one window Saturday (all day), OR I opt out of cleaning as my children look at me with those weepy eyes on a beautiful sunny day and beg to go outside. Usually I try to do both but eventually their eyes glaze over and they look at me like caged animals wondering when or if they’ll ever see the wild again and then I end up with a half-clean house.
By Monday, half-clean means it’s on the fast-track toward “no one is allowed over here period” until after Saturday when I look forward to trying to clean again.
I know. 15 minutes here and there, blah blah blah, it’ll do me wonders, yada yada yada. I have read Fly Lady.
But the truth is, as long as I don’t have animals, ants, mold, terrible smells, and/or old food & gunk laying all over the place, I’m going to be ok. No one needs to call authorities. My children have clean clothes, they are fed, we play, we read, we snuggle, we get our homework done.
I don’t need to tell you how fast time flies and how little of it we have. No one has any. It is the hottest commodity. I want more of it but if I looked back I can promise you I will never say, “boy I wish I’d have spent more time cleaning!”
And so therefore, by my clock, in 2024 (which is in like 15 minutes, really), when the house gets quieter and my kids have stopped begging me to play with them (or even wanting so much as being in the same room with me) I promise, mark my words, I will be pouring all of myself into cleaning my house.
And lamenting about how I won’t have to clean the stinky peed on boy toilet anymore. While crying.
I guarantee it.
What’s your secret to a clean home?