People think I'm this HUGE clean freak because I talk about cleaning a lot. They say they couldn't do what I do, that they wish they were the housekeeper I am, and some have asked for my cleaning schedule.
Listen, y'all. Lemme make a couple things clear.
1. Of utmost importance, cleaning is not a burden to me. I look forward to it because it's, quite honestly, my zen time. You can stop reading now if you want. I turn on my iPod, put on my headphones, and escape from my reality for between 1-3 hours every day. I'm a cleaning ROBOT if I'm stressed out or angry or sad about something. I'm told it's a healthy coping mechanism although I do see in ways where I'm anxiously controlling about it - but then again, it's my main escape. Some people read. Some people do heroin. I'm told there are escapes between those two extremes, but I clean. (And maybe a little heroin.) (I don't do heroin, that was a joke. I'm bad at jokes.)
2. I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom with very few hobbies or obligations, no chronic pain or fatigue conditions, and only one child who is 7 and isn't very messy.
3. I had to live with a hoarder in my teens and as a result have grown up to develop a physical aversion to clutter, and EVERYTHING is clutter to me. Everything I own has to have an immediate purpose or it's purged from my home. I don't have a lot of decorations or knick-knacks, photos on my walls, books, or anything else that will accumulate dust. I donate Ace's unused toys to charity every 6 months and I'm fairly ruthless about it. My closets and cabinets are uncluttered (but admittedly unorganized) and my attic is still mostly empty. This may seem like a good thing, but I really will donate things or throw things out that we have to buy again, like phone cords or boxes or craft/office supplies. Or fat/skinny clothes. Don't get me started on deviled egg trays. Or... couches. (Not a joke.) If I deem it clutter, it is GONE. It has flustered Drew more than once.
4. I may not do heroin, but I do take Adderall, as prescribed, and it's The Motivator To Rule All Motivators. I still would clean as an escape before I was on it but as is common with people with ADHD I had to force myself to keep a very, very strict schedule or things wouldn't get done. I wouldn't do dishes unless I absolutely had to and I'd go 2 weeks without touching the washing machine. Now, cleaning has just become The Thing I Do On Adderall. And drink a lot of water.
5. I don't do a damn thing after 5-ish, which is probably when the Adderall wears off. Any laundry or dishes that remain or accumulate after I turn back into a pumpkin will wait until the next day. And heaven help everyone if I haven't showered by that point. I'll be in a cloud of filth reading Twitter and watching TV for the rest of the day. (That was a joke. I'm still bad at jokes.)
If you have some other healthy coping mechanism, you have a baby or more than one child or a messy child or a job or something else that makes cleaning challenging, you've never lived with a hoarder, or you're not on amphetamines or even a bunch of coffee, who cares that you're not the housekeeper I am? Nobody notices the mess in your house, seriously, unless you're actually a pig. People notice smells - they don't notice messes. If they do, more than likely, they're not judging you for it. And if they are judging you for it, they can clean it their damn selves.
If you still want it, here's my schedule. If you've already decided I'm a complete nutcase, hit your browser's X button. It doesn't get a whole lot better from here.
Every single day, I start with dishes. On days I just do. not. want. to. clean, I still just start with the dishes and it almost always snowballs from there. Clear the clutter off the counters, spray them down, wipe them off. Spray/wipe the front of the microwave/top of the stove. Clear the clutter from the tables/floors in the dining room/living room, spray/wipe all the tables. Most days, I then sweep the floor in the kitchen, dining room, living room, scoop the cat litter, sweep the hallway. All that takes about an hour. Then, homeschool.
On Mondays, I wash all the clothes, which is usually 3-4 loads. I do hang/fold it all and put it all away when it comes out of the dryer, so martyr me at will (unless it's after 5). I do not freakin' iron. Ever. If the wrinkles don't come out in the dryer, I'm not wearing it ever again. Sometimes, for fun, I mop the kitchen on Mondays. I literally just said "for fun," you read that correctly.
On Tuesdays, I wash/replace bedding/blankets. Drew puts the fitted sheet back on our bed, though, because that son of a gun is TIGHT and requires manly muscle power, or womanly muscle power, or trained monkey muscle power. I'm saying I have the muscle tone of a 3-day-old baby and Drew is manly and can put the fitted sheet on our bed.
Wednesdays are "maid days," although my maid only comes every other Wednesday. I do pre-maid cleaning, and anyone who tells you they don't is lying. I pick up all the crap that's accumulated in the house and put it back in its right place. Shoes go back on their shelves, jewelry goes back in the box, books go back where they belong, etc. I wash the bathroom rugs and the towels. Then either the maid comes and does her wonderful, wonderful thing or I do my regular daily cleaning then sweep the entire house, vacuum the rugs, and mop everything but the bedrooms. I leave the dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, and mopping the bedrooms to her. She also does little things I just don't think about, like cleaning the inside of the microwave, wiping dust off my individual plant leaves (maybe she's on Adderall), sweeping under furniture, stuff like that. She's my favorite luxury and she's worth every penny.
On Thursdays I wash a load of clothes if I need to. Mostly on Thursdays and Fridays, I either do a big load of nothing after I do my daily cleaning or I take on some project. Something small like cleaning my makeup brushes or shaving an armpit. Just one armpit, though. I'll do the other next week. (Also a joke. Pfffft, shaving. I've been married 13 years.)
On weekends, I either eschew my daily cleaning in favor of a big project (like throwing away valuable things like screws or a stapler or something else my freakish mind has deemed cluttery), or I wither away watching documentaries about people who are addicted to eating cat hair. Depends on my level of GiveADamn.
I don't expect Drew to do much in the way of cleaning because Ace remains, as ever, very difficult to manage and Drew takes him off my hands every day after work and on weekends and puts him to bed almost every night. Drew's only chores, really, are the fitted sheet, taking the trash out on trash days, and most of the grocery shopping because I refuse to take Ace to the grocery store. Plus, you know, earning the money to keep me in my life of sublime leisure. I'd really like to take back grocery shopping because I think Drew does enough taking care of Ace and working, but I'm gonna have to do it after Drew gets home from work, so please refer back to where I turn into a pumpkin after 5. Otherwise, I'm completely happy with the chore balance.
Writing this blog post has thrown me completely off schedule. It's gonna be a Netflix-documentary-as-homeschool kinda day. I'm gonna turn on some filthy misogynistic rap station on Pandora and start the dishes.
2 weeks ago