Friday, November 19, 2010

Some Thoughts On A Clean House

As I spend my entire free time this morning cleaning house, getting ready for friends to come over this evening, I am blogging in my head.  I sometimes drive myself a little crazy now that I think in blog, so I just had to take a tiny break to write it down so I can stop talking to myself.

I think I sometimes give the impression that I do not keep a clean house or that messes do not bother me.  I fear some picture me living in a house with toys never picked up and put away, floors never swept or mopped, toilets beginning to grow scary things in them, laundry in piles, mice roaming the place (similar to Templeton at the fair in Charlotte's Web.)

This simply is not the case.  I joke about the messiness of my house, but only to make light of the fact that truly, I am ALWAYS picking things up, putting them away, cleaning, straightening, sweeping... It really never ends, but I do stay on top of it (most of the time.)  In fact, the best compliment I have had to my cleaning attempts was a few days ago when, out of frustration that I was doing laundry yet again, Mitchell finally sighed and said, "Mom, no more laundry!  You are ALWAYS folding laundry!"  While that was not meant as a compliment, I'm sure, I took it as one and it felt nice that someone noticed that I am ALWAYS doing laundry!  He might be the first one in my family to realize that dirty clothes do not magically make the transformation from heap of dirtiness on the floor, to clean and folded in the drawer!  So thanks for the props there, Mitchell!

I really do try hard to keep my home a neat, tidy, and clean place.  This is difficult, given that I have one grown man and 3 not-yet-grown men constantly "learning" to help me with this task, but you can erase the image of Templeton at the fair grounds.  We are not living in filth!

It would help if my husband was more of a stickler for cleanliness.  Don't get me wrong, he is a very neat and clean individual, but his neatness/cleanliness is like a bubble around him.  He keeps himself and his things clean and picked up, but will step over a toy or pile of laundry or pile of dishes that are not his without seeming to notice they exist!  He just doesn't seem to mind a little messiness around the house.  

This is evident to me by the way he praises me for all the work I do around the house.  He has actually gotten quite good at recognizing that I work hard to keep the house clean and also thanking me for it, but the way he does it is quite funny to me.  I tell the truth, he seems to compliment or praise me for a house well kept more often on days I have not done anything more than a daily pick-up, and is completely immune to the days the floors are shiny clean, toilets sparkling, fresh scent of Pinesol permeating everything.  

I suppose I should be thankful that he isn't tougher on me, requiring a higher standard in this area.  Perhaps I do a better job than I think, or perhaps he just knows I have more to do than keep things perfectly clean.  I just think it might be more helpful in keeping things extra clean if he knew the difference between toys picked up and the house being "extra" clean.  Oh well.


  1. the best compliments your mom ever received about the cleanliness and orderliness of her house was from non family members who occasionally stopped by unexpectadly to visit and frequently remarked how neat and clean her house always was (compared to their usual mess) How did she manage it with 4 kidos and runing a fulltime business?

  2. your parents ran a business out of the house and we both got grouchy when things got out of control, so when you kids were small, the 'common areas' had to be picked up each nite (unless someone had built an awesome racecar track or fort or the like). your bedrooms had a bit more slack, but had to be spic and span on saturdays, and then if 'stuff' was still left laying around your room, dad came in with 'the box' and off went your goodies which you had to buy back out of your income (an idea from Sam Plagmann). you also were required to bring your plate and silverware to the sink. dirty clothes went directly into the proided laundry basket.

  3. yes, we have many of the same rules, but mine are all still small enough that we are still in the "learning" phase and don' have it down as habit/routine yet.

    funny you mentioned "the box" because i just talked to ben about that a couple nights ago and he was horrified! it was really cute though because while horrified at the thought of spending his own money on his own toys, he told me he thought the idea would really work too :)



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