There has never been a time in my life when I’d have won a Best Housekeeping award, but since I’ve started my PhD things on the housekeeping front have deteriorated. This fact came home to me with startling clarity when I finally vacuumed my house last week and saw how much dirt my vacuum cleaner sucked up. Yikes!
Pre-PhD my routine was:
- Write a book and ignore everything else but the bare basics—like cooking (because I like to eat) and catching up every now and again with girlfriends (because I like to stay sane)
- Send finished manuscript to editor
- Clean house
- Write a book and ignore everything else but the bare basics
- Send finished manuscript to editor
- Get some PhD work done (ignoring everything else but the bare basics)
- Send to uni supervisors
|Dirty dishes? Man, these can pile up!|
Image courtesy of vegadsl at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By then, of course, it’s time to rinse and repeat. And, uh, “Clean the house” never seems to get ticked off my To-Do list. So I did an Internet search on: housecleaning tips and tricks. I was looking for shortcuts and rousing advice on “How to keep your house clean in only 10 mins a day!” You want to know the first piece of advice my search brought up?
Tip #1: Hire a house cleaner.
Hire a house cleaner!
Well, it’s a nice idea except I’d be too embarrassed to let a house cleaner—an experienced professional—into my house at the moment. I’d have to do a spring clean first and where on earth am I going to find the time for that?
|Seriously, what is her problem? Her house is spotless!|
Image courtesy of radnatt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Also, there’s a strange puritan thread that runs through my soul. It shoots old-fashioned pearls of wisdom at me like darts:
- Don’t throw out leftovers, you wastrel. Find a use for them!
- Don’t turn the heater on until it’s dark. If you’re cold put on another jumper.
- Hiring a house cleaner is extravagant. You work from home. You should be able to find the time to clean it. Just make more of an effort!
So I went on the Internet to find me some attitude. Oh, and I found plenty. :-)
Erma Bombeck: “Cleanliness is not next to godliness. It isn't even in the same neighborhood. No one has ever gotten a religious experience out of removing burned-on cheese from the grill of the toaster oven.”
Betty Friedan goes one better: "No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor."
Roseanne Barr claims she’s “not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on.”
And I did find housekeeping tips.
Joan Rivers: “I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.” Clean the house every six months? I can manage that.
Phyllis Diller: “If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with, "Who could have done this? We have no enemies." Lie? Yeah, I can do that too. :-)
It was Jennifer Wilson, however, who reminded me of the truth of the matter: “A messy house is a must—it separates your true friends from other friends. Real friends are there to visit you not your house!”
So whenever the clutter starts piling up and guilt starts to pummel me these are the women I’m going to channel.
What about you? Do you find housework sometimes getting you down?
This is a post that I love honestly my house looks like someone has burgled it already and I often jokingly say I leave this way in case a burglar gets in then he will think it has already been robbed LOL.
I have two children living with me they are 9 & nearly 8 and I do have a bad back at the moment and of course I have so many wonderful books to read and housework has never been one of my most favourite chores but it is getting me down at the moment I really need to get something happening so I am trying to set aside at least 1 hour a day to catch up on things that really need doing hiring a housekeeper would be wonderful if only :)
Laughing at your burglary excuse, Helen. I have a friend who pulls her vacuum cleaner out and sits it in the front room when things get seriously messy so that if she gets unexpected visitors she can tell them they caught her as she was about to start cleaning. ;-)Delete
While I agree it's lovely having a clean house, I don't think one of the things I'll be saying on my deathbed is: "Oh, I wish I'd done more housework." Maybe I'll be saying: "I really should've hired a house cleaner." Oh, that does it. As soon as someone shows the great good sense to give me a six-figure advance, I'm hiring a maid! ;-)
Hate housework, Michelle! I have a cleaner - and she would be the very last thing to go if we had to suddenly cut back on all expenses :-) Also I manage to go overseas while still hiring her so I think you could probably rethink that :-)ReplyDelete
I had a fridge magnet once that said "boring women have immaculate houses". I loved it. I had to take it down though whenever my sister-in-laws visited because their houses are freakishly clean.....
Ooh, Amy, you make a persuasive case for getting a cleaner. And I will admit to being tempted. I have a birthday coming up, maybe I should put Cleaner on my birthday list.Delete
I love that fridge magnet! I have one that says, "Housework won't kill you, but why take the chance?" :-)
I'm very messy. I grew up in a messy house and didn't really understand housework until I moved out of home. People actually had vacuum cleaners and washed dishes after they used them. Who knew? I had to get trained up very quickly as I moved in with a lovely, slightly obsessive conclusive flatmate. But a lifetime of untidy was hard to unlearn.ReplyDelete
So when my now husband, a neat freak, and I moved in together, the first thing we did to ensure our relationship thrived was hire a cleaner. We've had one every week since the day we merged households. Worth every cent! In fact my cleaner is here right now and I love the sound of the vacuum cleaner going and I'm not pushing it!
Oh, Jen, it sounds as if moving in with a neat-freak flatmate would've been something of a culture shock. It would've been for me too. The art (?) of housework is something I'm still learning. Sigh.Delete
I had to laugh, though, that in the interests of saving your relationships, you and your hubby invested in a cleaner. I think it a perfect solution! Unfortunately, Mr Douglas and I are as uninterested in neatness and tidiness as each other. ;-)
Hmm...that last bit sounds wrong. Just to clarify -- we ARE interested in each other, just not having a tidy house. ;-)Delete
YES, YES, YES! I struggle with the whole housework thing too, Michelle! I refer you to my excellent tea-towel that says "A clean house is a sign of a wasted life"... which is all well and good but when the house is a tip it kinda gets me down. So I don't know what the answer is. And at the moment we're jamming all the furniture into odd nooks and crannies so we can paint and re-carpet. Everything feels even more cramped and squeezy and cluttered and it's driving. Me. Batty!ReplyDelete
Anyway, I read this great tip many years ago - leave your vacuum cleaner out. That way it always looks like you've just been interrupted with doing your housework. Really tickled my fancy.
I covet that tea towel, Sharon. ;-)Delete
The fact of the matter is that, like you, I enjoy HAVING a tidy house. But how to keep it that way for any length of time is beyond me. That said, it's probably unreasonable to expect your house to be tidy and uncluttered when you're in the midst of painting and renovations.
LOL. I love that leave-the-vacuum-cleaner-out trick. :-)
I hear you Michelle. I've been trying to catch up on housework since I got behind due to being more tired than usual when one of my meds changed dose back in Feb. I know how I'm going to stay on top of things when I get caught up, but in the mean time I'm still trying to catch up - pain and energy make it difficult to get caught up.ReplyDelete
I admire the fact you have a plan for keeping on top of things once you get caught back up again, Lyn. That has to be something of a comfort. It must be so difficult to keep on top of things though when your body is in pain and just wants to rest. Hugs. Remember to take it slowly. I keep telling myself there's far more to life than a clean house. And there is. :-)Delete
I found that after we moved to Canada and had to buy everything from scratch (which meant having a lot less stuff!) the cleaning was as onerous as it once was. Don't get me wrong, it's still a pain but I'm not longer trying to find homes for things and that makes life much easier!ReplyDelete
You know what, Stef? You might've just hit on one of the main issues (and perhaps a solution) with cleaning -- the clutter! We have so much stuff! Most of that "stuff" is books and dvds. The thought of trying to cull those makes me break out in a cold sweat. "How To Declutter" sounds like an admirable topic for a future post (I only wish I had the wherewithal to write it). Mind you, I did have an interesting thought -- I'm sure if me and Mr Douglas moved to London I could become a much better housekeeper. ;-)Delete
Oh Michelle, I hear you! My mum once told me, 'The only person who cares about you having a clean house is you.' I have to agree-I hate housework and I'm not house proud so people have to take me as they find me...which is usually a little bit messy. That said, just to stop things becoming unhygienic I do have a cleaner and, like AA, it would be the very last thing to go. If it's causing you grief, why not take one on in the short term? See how you fare?ReplyDelete
Oh, you know what, Louisa? I think your mum is right! I never care how messy my friend's houses might be. And I know logically that if someone comes to my home and judges me by the state of my house then they're not worth a tuppence of my concern.Delete
Still, I do like my place to not get too hideous so I'm liking your plan of trying a cleaner in the short term and seeing how it works out for me. It's just...I can't help feeling I need to get the place into a modicum of order before I inflict it on someone. ;-)
Michelle, I love having a tidy house, but I hate housework too. Seems to be a common thread! There's a cool postcard that circulates on FB that starts with the quote Amy had above, but adds a bit more:ReplyDelete
Boring women have immaculate houses, and honey, I come from a long line of fascinating women.
You know, I do have a solution to this hate housework thing...but it's dependent on publishers paying me six figure advances per book so Mr Douglas can quit his job and become a house hubby (a dream he dreams too) ;-)Delete
LOVE that quote. I guess I'll just have to make do with being a fascinating woman!
Michelle, I know exactly what you mean. Housekeeping is overrated. I love a nice clean house but getting it that way is so much hard work when there are so many other things to do.ReplyDelete
Exactly, Annie! Housework is boring, repetitive and never seems to end...and once you do get back on top of it, it simply needs to be done again a few days later. What the heck -- ignoring it seems to be working for me for the moment. ;-)Delete