Saturday, April 19, 2008

What do you mean there are dust elephants under the bed!

I have been struggling with getting my housework done. This should not be a problem, it really shouldn't. I have plenty of time to do all this stuff. This is obviously not a new problem for me, it has always been an issue. Even when I was actually getting paid the princely sum of $5 to clean one floor of my parent's house I could dawdle and not get it done. I remember, when I was first married, that I was very bad about cleaning our little apartment. I didn't have a job, I didn't have any children yet, what the heck did I do with all that time!!! I could easily let the ironing sit for weeks and not give it a second thought. So what if Dan didn't have any pressed shirts to wear to work. Vacuum? Why? Clean the bathroom and kitchen? You're joking right, there are only two of us after all.

Then the girls arrived and everything was chaos for years on end. We had a bigger house, more stuff and especially all those stupid Barbie shoes and other little girl paraphernalia. There were months where I couldn't even see the floor in the basement play room because everything was covered with toys and no one had picked up. I was doing good if I actually got the dishes all cleaned up after dinner and before I hiked myself off to bed. In fact, during the time that I was so depressed after Beth was born, getting the sink cleaned up was the ONE task that I set myself. If I could do that one thing then I was OK.

Now I have a significantly bigger house and I don't have a cleaning lady (my choice by the way). I have the great ability to ignore the fact that the pile of dog hair in the corner might actually be mutating and growing. Those aren't crumbs on the counter, I am just drying bread crumbs for a cooking project. For a while I had hired one of my daughters to clean my house, for actual MONEY! However, it was a frustrating experience for both of us. She didn't do it the way that I wanted it done (not that I was doing it that way either) and she wasn't getting it done when I wanted it done. Not a good situation. She went off to college and I went back to waving my magic vacuuming stick around and calling things clean.

Then it came to me Sunday morning, as I was standing in the shower thinking that I really should clean the shower stall before some highly contagious fungus starts to grow. Zones! Break the house down into different zones and then schedule cleaning and other chores for each zone on a different day. That way I am not overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning the whole house and quit part way through. Yes, that might just work. I could hear the angels singing like in a bad Hollywood movie. I am sure that some other, more skilled domestic engineer has already come up with this thought but I am claiming it as my own. Take that Martha Stewart!

Now I just have to do the zone cleaning on a CONSISTENT basis to make it a habit (you know the old adage about doing something for a month and it will be a habit, like brushing your teeth or changing your undies). After one week of experimentation this seems like something that I can do. Of course, I still have to vacuum the kitchen more than once a week because that seems to be where the dog hair likes to congregate (like bikers at a Hell's Angels bar all tough and in your face......or food). I can do this. Of course now it is Spring and Summer is right around the corner and I will want to be outside a lot more. We will see.

1 comment:

  1. Look at it this way, Deb: You're not all bound up with the perfection issue. You live your life, read your books, and have the most beautiful head of hair ever! We could learn a lot from you. My house may be pretty clean, but I'm not near as much fun or as well-read as you. So trek off to the library and put Molly Maid on your speed-dial.


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