I’ve never really enjoyed cleaning. I would much rather weed the garden and prune the plants. My Mum would get up early every morning and would be sweeping the floors whilst I was getting ready for school and I’m afraid I have never picked up the same enthusiasm for it. Our house has never become a total dump, but there have been times where it has gone too long without a clean.
I blame some of it on my busy lifestyle. For ten years I commuted to the city and back for work (3 hours a day), worked full-time and studied uni by distance education when I got home. This left no real time to do anything and so I decided that cleaning had to become a low priority, especially if I wanted to do well with uni studies. Eighteen months ago I finished uni and I gave up the commute with the hope that I’d have more time to do things like cleaning, but had trouble getting into the routine and then ended up taking on too much volunteering because I often have trouble saying no. It is ridiculous when I look at how many hours I volunteer some weeks.
It all comes down to routine. I am naturally quite an organised person (especially at work) and I love lists, however, simply putting “clean house” on my to do list can become a daunting prospect, because an entire clean is often not finished in a weekend. I decided over the weekend that I had to create a spreadsheet (I love spreadsheets) that breaks a house clean into lots of different tasks. These have also been listed under two headings: “weekly” and “once in a while”. I am not going to put pressure on myself either, so if I don’t finish every task in the week I am not going to berate myself for it. However, as I’m using a spreadsheet I can keep track of when I last did a task and can then prioritise those tasks that were missed last time.
I have also decided that I need to stop saying yes all the time to the various groups I volunteer with. I need to allocate certain parts of my week to volunteering, but make sure that I don’t let it take over too much. I do enjoy volunteering after all, but not to the detriment of our house and my mental health.
I am hoping that there should be a few positives that come out of this change:
- A cleaner house! (without the expectation that it will look like a display home)
- Mental clarity: Having a cleaner house should help me have a clearer mind.
- Less food wastage: We throw out too much from our fridge, often because items become lost and forgotten at the back and then need to be thrown out. One of my weekly chores is to check through all the fridge items, which will then mean I’ll use some of them in my dinner or work lunches before they need to be thrown out. Plus, it won’t take me long to do every week.
- House pride: I will no longer have to feel the angst when someone announces they will be dropping in later that afternoon.