It shows how much I dislike housework that I’ve even been avoiding writing about it! I believe I was born in the wrong era and I am meant to have a maid and a housekeeper and a butler. Alas, I am living in a time when that is a tad pretentious and therefore I must attend to these matters myself. Hence, they don’t get done beyond the bare minimum!
My mother is Martha Stewart when it comes to keeping her house clean and tidy. My father’s and brother’s tendencies to sprawl everywhere gives her an anxiety attack. If people are coming over, every part of the house must be cleaned – windows, eaves and behind cupboards that no one will ever see. I know it comes from a place of love by keeping her home clean, tidy and liveable for her family. It’s a source of pride and self esteem for my Mama. When I first moved out of home, I loved the freedom of not worrying about anything around my place but I got over that pretty quick and started to keep things reasonably clean. In my twenties, I started to be a clean freak and had to have everything just so and I cleaned everything from top to bottom. I think it also had a lot to do with my bipolar (cleaning frenzies would coincide with a high) and it alternated with my lack of motivation to do anything at all, let alone cleaning.
In the grand scheme of things, I decided to stop stressing whether my house was clean and to enjoy the things that I would rather be doing. Our place is not a pigsty and we do keep it relatively tidy. Most days we make the bed in the morning. We try to keep the kitchen clean and tidy as it is so small every surface can get overtaken quickly. I try to pick things up and put them away to keep a sense of order in such a small space. I’ve found that the less on the floor the better for making things feel tidier and uncluttered. This flat is incredibly dusty and, no matter how much we dust, it always looks dusty. Less incentive to do it often!
I have a hate list of chores and right up the top is vacuuming. We have a Roomba that takes care of most of it for me but I see those corners and spots it can’t get to and feel I should do something about it. Most often it stays the way it is. Washing up is also high on that list and I cannot wait to have a dishwasher. I’ve lived in very few places that have had a dishwasher and I think that is where my hatred comes from! We’ve gotten into a groove of Simon washing up and me drying up, but when Simon is away, I make the situation worse by leaving it all to do the night before he comes back! (A trick I only just learnt is to put your ipad on the window sill and FaceTime with a friend while doing the washing up – it makes it go so much faster!) Ironing isn’t high on my favourites list (oh, wait! You mean there is a favourites list!?) and we only just bought an ironing board! It has become another cat bed and the place for storing clean clothes that need to be ironed.
The thing is that I am a tidy person and I do like clean surfaces and things in their rightful places. I just don’t like so much the doing of the things that need to be done to create that! In such a small space it is important and I make do but I don’t go overboard and I’d much rather spend my Saturday mornings with Simon then frantically cleaning for hours on end. This attitude may change over time. Or I might get a housekeeper.