I'm not good at cleaning. I mean to be. I want to be. In my daydreams I am. I often spend time mentally cleaning my house, imagining putting things away, moving through the rooms like a whirling, order-insisting robot, arranging everything in its pristine position.
But that's not actual what I'm like. At all. Chaos and entropy reign in my house, especially when I'm working full-time. Occasionally I pretend to be that robot and I spend hours upon hours and more hours cleaning everything, and by the end I'm exhausted and cranky.
And here's the problem with not being the robot, with having a messy house: it makes me sad. Not like in a literal sense. I don't look at the messiness and sorrow for it, though a little of that might be involved. I mean that I've noticed that if I come home on Friday and everything is a dadgum disaster, I feel hopeless and overwhelmed, and I won't even realize it has to do with the messiness. I think the world actually IS that hopeless and overwhelming. Does that make sense? Anyway, so I figured this out, this triggering response, and how ugly it was, and how much I'd rather not feel that way, and I thought and thought of what to do about it. I found that one thing, the Flylady or whatever her name is, who gives you a list of tasks to do every single day of the year, and that's super cool, don't get me wrong, but I sort of tried to do it for a week or so and it made me even more depressed. I need my cleaning strategy to be more, well, in and out, get it done, and don't do anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Then I read some cool blog posts (on this blog and this blog) that seem to approach cleaning in a sassy-pants, practical, no-nonsense, this is real life and let's get on with it approach. This was totally what I needed.
I still liked the idea of a cleaning rotation, or certain things that I just do every day and other things I do on a set schedule, and after some more thought and some real time evaluating what I cared about, here's what I came up with. I hope you're not appalled that I'm only doing these things once a week, or judging me because such-and-such doesn't even make the list. I'm still fine-tuning, and I tackle other things as they become pressing, but if I seriously just do this, which doesn't take long at all, I am a much happier camper. I do it in the morning, and then when I come home from work, I feel like things are okay, and I don't spend four hours of my weekend cleaning, either. Friday nights are less depressing. I want to play with Sam on the weekend. I want to spend most of my time writing and reading and sewing pretty skirts. Cleaning doesn't fulfill me, though maybe it does for some people. For me, it's just baseline. I gotta get there or I can't get anywhere else.
Anyway, here it is:
Daily realities: the kitchen (it just has to be done. every day. there's no getting around this. i've tried.). cat litter. General chaos/clutter avoidance.
Monday: Swiffer/sweep the whole universe
Wednesday: Take out all of the garbagesssss
Thursday: A real de-cluttering, vaccuum
What about you? Have you developed a cleaning strategy? Are you still working on it? Do tell.