12.11.2009

The Strange and Wonderful Joy I get out of Housework


For the past nine months I have been cleaning the house sans help. We are doing this partly to save money and partly because the wonderful lady helping us had to leave the country and I can't be bothered to get someone else in. I actually enjoy doing housework and do a little every day anyway so I didn't think it would be such a big deal.

At first it was all going smoothly. I had a schedule and I stuck to it. Then I found that the more I cleaned the more I needed to clean. (For example, I couldn't clean the kitchen counter tops without also doing the floors, the surfaces of the cupboards, the inside of the fridge... you get the idea...)

Then I found myself devoting a ridiculous 3+ hours a day to cleaning the house. B would look at me in astonishment. It was like I was a cleaning robot- incapable of doing anything else! I carried on like this for about three months. Then I burned out and completely let things go and only did about 20 minutes of cleaning a day (which for me wasn't really that bad... I just didn't do the details like clean the inside of the fridge... you get the idea...)

Where am I going with this? Oh yes. So today I had the day off and was in the mood to clean again. It was a glorious stormy, turbulent day in Santa Monica (very rare) so I lit the fire, played Anthea Turner Perfect Housewife on DVD in the background (you want to see a show that will motivate you to clean? This is the one!), and have made my home completely spotless for the past 5 hours (taking breaks in between, of course). I'm not sure what perverse pleasure I get out of doing this... but I think it has to do with wanting to live well and living well for me means looking at sparkling taps, gleaming floors and a gorgeously made bed...

I would love to know... do you get a kick out of cleaning?


Pictured above are my beloved pink gloves that I wear while cleaning- a very thoughtful present from my sister (Thanks L!)

18 comments:

Michael Rivers said...

I am so-so about cleaning. I always love it when the place is all clean and looking great. If I keep up with it, I don't mind the cleaning. But I can get lazy and not do it for awhile, then it's not as fun.

M.Lane said...

An odd thing is that now I am 50, I like doing a bit of cleaning when my entire life before 50 I slid along on the "big mess/indifferent" scale. One thing I have become over-involved in is making sure the kitchen is perfect when I go to bed. I cannot stand waking up and walking out to an messy kitchen!

But from what you describe, you deserve an Epic medal for finding joy in the daily work. Bravo.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Fiona said...

Anthea does that to people! She definitely kicked my butt off the sofa. I did exactly the same thing as you on Wednesday this week. I switched Perfect Housewife onto 'Play All' and cleaned my house while she rabbited on in the background for HOURS. I allowed myself to sit on the sofa and watch the final ten minutes of each episode for the befores and afters. So satisfying (both my house and theirs)!

Rebecca said...

I love a clean house. Cleaning the house is bearable when it is done regularly. I can't stand cleaning when it's gone too long. I also can't sleep in an unmade bed, so I always make my bed no matter where I am or how late it is.

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

I like to clean/need to clean - though not on the scale as you or I would never get anything else done.

I do find it theraputic. There's a tv program in the UK called How Clean Is Your House that depicts peoples homes, that have not been kept clean - and shows the bugs and bacteria etc

When that programme comes on I have this urge to clean. Talking to my friend afterwards, I find that she too, half way through the programme starts to clean.

Alan Burnett said...

I was interested to see if reading your post would motivate me to tidy my study. I enjoyed reading the post (I always do) but I regret to say that it did not motivate me. Ah well.

Tom Bailey said...

This makes me feel bad for using a maid. People around me give me a hard time for not cleaning anything myself but having a clean house. When I do clean and orginize there is something powerful that comes from it ... like creating a clearing... it declutters my mind and allows for fresh thoughts and ideas to come in... even if it is just orginizing a desk drawer.

Kristi said...

I'm terrible. I love a clean house, but I'd always rather read a book than clean. I need to find a happy medium. I thought about a schedule of about 20 minutes a day or so as well ...

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

Let's see, how to explain. . . I hate the IDEA of cleaning and love the idea of all things, bright, sparkly and picture perfect from bed to bath and beyond.

The biggest hurtle for me is "the decision". Once it's made the actual acts of cleaning aren't that bad at all. In fact, it's probably one of the few areas in live where work equals immediate gratification if no dogs or (others) walk on the work.

As our doctor said about regimes, the first step toward success is always "the decision."

Whew, what a ramble.

Tishxo

Nadia said...

Those gloves are so cute!

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Oh how I wish I liked to clean more! I love, love, love a clean house as does my husband but we both just can't make ourselves spend the money on a housekeeper. Now that he doesn't travel as much he does help more with the household chores. I like it clean, I know how to clean and do a good job....but I just hate to do it!! Entertaining is the best way to make me clean my house!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi everyone- I enjoyed reading your responses- thank you! It's funny how we differ... I think the thing we can all agree upon is that we like to live in a clean, and tidy home. Whether or not we enjoy getting it that way is another matter :)

I am planning on hiring someone in the new year to help me because while I enjoy doing housework- I'm not getting anything else done! xo

BonjourRomance said...

I'm with you on the clean house - though you do sound incredibly thorough - I love the idea of 'keeping house', it gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Happy cleaning but do enjoy the holidays!

The Machinist's Wife said...

I love, love, love to clean and organise! Finally! Another cleaning freak.. hee hee... You're so right - one thing leads to another. Thing is - when you clean and organise one area of the home, the others look so dull / dirty/ disorganised in comparison.

I'm the Dettol Queen and love to clean..

Romi said...

I agree, this weather is fantastic for cleaning! I just did the same thing yesterday. My favorite thing to clean is the inside of my Sonicare toothbrush, wow does that thing get gross if you leave it unchecked.

Post-Modern Jen said...

Hola chica! I have to say that sometimes I actually do enjoy cleaning, but my husband would beg to differ...I definitely enjoy the results of an intense cleaning section. A cleaned and organized space gives fresh perspective. I am going to look for "Anthea Turner...", and I love your gloves- mine (which I never remember to wear) are green with pink polka-dots :)

Bonjour Madame said...

I think housework is very satisfying. I like the results after I'm done and I like things to be in order. My house is far from perfect but in general, I do the best I can.

Dining on Deals said...

Romi I so agree about the Sonicare toothbrush! It always astounds me how dirty it gets! I wish I liked to clean. Like everyone else, I much prefer the ends to the means:)

 
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