Tomorrow morning, a wonderfully friendly (and highly recommended) house cleaner is coming over here. I’m so excited. She’s going to clean my house from top to bottom!
Here’s the sad truth, folks. I hope you don’t respect me any less (assuming you respected me in the first place) and hope your judgment is not too harsh. But let me lay it all out for you: I do not clean. Really ever. I can pretty well count on two hands the number of times I’ve thoroughly swept my house’s hardwood floors. I can count on one hand the days I’ve mopped the floor. (There was that 5 AM after party mopping session conducted by my friend D. and me–we had to go over the living room floor literally 7 times in one night to clean up. But it WAS a good party. We’ll count that as one mopping session, however.) Once every couple of months I clean the stove, and I’ll wipe the linty baseboards in my bathroom-cum-laundry room if they happen to catch my eye. Getting down on my knees to scrub hurts my back, irritates my mood, and leaves me feeling generally unwell. Even if I were entirely healthy, I can’t say that I’d be a cleaner.
What I can do–if I so choose–is organize. I love shelving (alphabetizing & organizing) books, rearranging picture frames, making sure my desk is just so, and having my bed made most days. Though it doesn’t often look too impressive, I like having the bathroom counter organized and fairly sparse. I like the laundry to be folded immediately after drying and put away promptly. But I do not–repeat, DO NOT–scrub and polish and scour.
I’ll leave that to my maid.
Oh, I’m so excited!!! Hiring a cleaner is yet another step in my slow-moving, quite unofficial plan to remove stressors from my life that I don’t really need. I was stressed out about the election–hey, I think everyone was. That’s normal. I get stressed about work and try to remind myself that remaining calm is better. I get stressed about my Migraine disease but try not to let that get out of hand. These, to me, are legitimate reasons to worry once in awhile. Keeping a house clean is not.
So here’s what I’ve done so far to help myself be less strung-out and annoyed over highly controllable things:
1. I got a dishwasher. I save myself hours of back-bendingly uncomfortable dishwashing each month. I load up the dishwasher as I use dishes, so there’s never any counter mess. I love it.
2. I have started giving things I NEVER use and no longer love away to friends and on freecycle. Just a few weeks ago, some girlfriends and I had a clothing exchange party: we turned my entire house into a modest consignment store, putting different types of clothing in each room. Each of us ended up with at least a modest loot; the remaining clothes and accessories went to one of our city’s wonderful thrift stores. I have posted lots of giveaway items on freecycle, ridding myself of old toaster ovens, tables, accessories, etc. I no longer need.
3. I bought one of those over-the-toilet shelving units I swore I’d never get. It’s a bit weak and blocks some of the light from the window, but it has saved me lots of room. Now my bathroom cabinets aren’t stuffed with crap; in fact, they’re fairly organized and have stayed that way for weeks!
4. I have tried more and more to be less hard on myself for not keeping the house clean and organized all the time. Practice may not lead to perfection, but I’m getting better at not beating myself up too much for being messy and/or dirty.
5. I hired a house cleaner. And I should probably get out of this chair so I can see if there’s anything else I can put away (aka hide in drawers) before her morning arrival! Wish me luck.
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