Put your hands in the air if you hate cleaning

20 Feb

I hate cleaning…always have, always will. I don’t know how I turned out this way. My earliest childhood memories are of my mum cleaning. She had a schedule. There were certain days when she mopped, dusted, vacuumed, changed the sheets..she was always working, cooking or cleaning.

I love my mum but I don’t have any childhood memories of her reading to us or playing with us. She was much too busy, and keeping a house spotless with four children running around was a challenge I’m sure.

She is still a really good cleaner. Her house isn’t the most attractive house on the street but you can eat off her floor. Often when the kids and I stop by for lunch she is already vacuuming behind us as we walk out the door. She told me recently that she mops every time we have been over because the crumbs attract ants. When I have people over I sometimes don’t do the dishes until the next morning, saving all my energy for eating leftovers.

My sister has a cleaning day. She cleans ahead of the weekend because she often has visitors. Perhaps that’s my problem – I don’t have enough visitors and therefore not enough motivation to clean.

I do the basics…each day I do the cooking the dishes. I’m pretty good with the laundry and ironing but I’m not much of a duster or scrubber of places people don’t see. It doesn’t help that I live in a very old house which is full of dust – which means I should clean more often but makes my efforts seem fruitless.

My mum helped me find my lost keys on Saturday and since then she has been discussing my skirting boards. She was all ready to come over and do it herself but she shamed me enough to get me moving. She’s particularly horrified by the state of the skirting boards behind the children’s toy box in the lounge room and the skirting boards in the little kid’s bedroom. She’d like me to Windex the front windows (they are very big). She wants me to air the house out every day. Oh gosh, I should have found my keys myself.

I know she’s right. Someone has to clean. My husband leaves for work at 3am and gets home at 6pm so he barely has the energy to carry his dinner plate to the kitchen and collapse into bed. My kids are too little although my eldest boy has just started cleaning his room on the weekend for his allowance. He’s quite good at it but he’s pretty tired after he’s done.

I don’t work full time so I’m the only one left standing. That being said I am so busy….three kids, school, P&F, I work part-time and every weekend, my distance uni course, my aspirations to be a writer. I make sure I exercise most days and I spend a lot of time playing with my kids. Something’s gotta give. There has to be a way to fit in more cleaning.

I have noticed that some cleaning feels like cardio…vigorous vacuuming, polishing the furniture – cleaning does give my arms a good work out. So should I replace my work out time with cleaning? If I cleaned every day I don’t think I’d get it all done.

The kitchen gets most of my attention because I love to cook. I clean the fridges, pantry and benches a lot while I wait for things to cook. I do love my books Spotless and Speed Clean by Shannon Lush and when I read them I am inspired. She suggests I come up with a schedule. One day a week I should clean the whole house and then one room each day gets a thorough cleaning, skirting board and all. Really, who has the time?

I had a weekly cleaner once but I used to clean before she arrived and two hours after she’d left the house was getting dirty again. It’s really down to me and a new, daily ritual. Is there such a thing as a self-cleaning house?

If and when we do end up in our dream house the only instruction I will have in regards to design is that everything is designed to minimise mess. I don’t want any damp, I want easy to clean surfaces only, absolutely no carpet and everything treated once a year for mould, bugs and vermin.

This morning I dropped my boys off at school and then got busy in the little kid’s bedroom. I have treated the mould, wiped off the mould treatment, wiped down the windows and window sill, the skirting board, pulled off their sheets for cleaning and opened the window. This blog is my break while I drink coffee and then I have to vacuum, put new sheets on the beds, wipe the mould treatment again so it doesn’t smell and ignore the wardrobe which needs to be cleaned out. After I do all that it’s time for lunch and then my little girl will have a nap in her newly cleaned room. Then I have to log on and start my uni distance course (what was I thinking?) and pay some bills as well as hang out the washing and do some ironing. Then pick the boys up, come home, cook dinner, take the washing down, clean up after dinner, pack lunches…hang on, I haven’t exercised and I’ve forgotten to check the mail.

I’ve also forgotten my afternoon coffee (I must have this) and according to this schedule my little girl’s nappy hasn’t been changed since this morning and we haven’t done Philip’s homework. And my best selling novel still hasn’t been written.


La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

5 Responses to “Put your hands in the air if you hate cleaning”

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