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31Things | Day Thirteen: Chores

Household chores definitely rank dead last on my list of priorities. Basically everything else I do takes precedence. I am by nature a pile-maker, and fortunately (or unfortunately) I seem to have a fairly high tolerance for messes - even though I am happier and less stressed in a tidy environment. But no matter how hard I try to keep on top of it, how much I cull and purge and recycle and donate, there is always more stuff. I swear it multiplies when I'm not looking.

It's the stuff that doesn't have a home, stuff that has a home but doesn't get put away, stuff that I intended to return to the store but didn't, kids' toys in the living room, stuff to give away in my room, stuff to recycle in the kitchen, shoes in the front hall, mail in the dining room, papers everywhere (all so important)... I can't live with dirt though, and when I start to see dust bunnies and spider webs and crushed Cheerios on the floor I am the first one to bust out the vacuum.

Ironically, I think the scrapbook room is the most organized, tidiest room in the house. Of course, if you take into account the sheer volume of stuff that I have crammed into these 60 square feet, it pretty much has to be kept picked up. The door doesn't quite open all the way as it is.

My least-dreaded chore is the laundry, mostly because after I dump the clothes in, I can walk away and let the machine do its thing while I do something else. I wish my washer had a buzzer on it like the dryer does; I tend to forget about the first load if I don't set a timer. It also doesn't gross me out like cleaning the litter box or the bathroom does, and it doesn't make my lower back seize up like cleaning up the living room does.

My most hated chore is cleaning the bathroom. I've never been able to afford the luxury of hired help, but if I could farm out one just one job, that would be it.

I'm such a control freak though, I could never be truly comfortable having anyone else clean my house (besides the bathroom). How do I know for sure they won't use water to mop the laminate floor or wipe the dining room table? That they won't toss line dry-only clothing in the dryer? That they will wash the crystal goblets by hand and not in the dishwasher?

I am lucky in my marriage for many reasons, but one of the biggest is Chris' willingness to help out around the house and even - yes, I'll admit it - pick up the slack.

A few years back I jumped on the FlyLady bandwagon, in an effort to do a better job at being a housewife (a term I actually kind of despise - I didn't marry the house). My Type-A personality delighted in making all kinds of lists and schedules of what tasks to do and when. For a while the house looked great. I wasn't all that happy though, and as a result my commitment to the program didn't last very long.

It's a hard trick, finding the balance every day between my work (practicing my horn and playing rehearsals), my job (raising 2 kids), my marriage (spending time with Chris), my hobby (scrapbooking), and my chores. There's a lot on my plate. The good news is that I believe I have my priorities in the right order. At the end of my life, what do I want to be remembered for? That I kept a clean house? Or that my kids were raised in a happy home, with a relaxed, happy mom who loved them like crazy? No contest. So if I let anything slide, if anything gets pushed to the back burner - repeatedly - and something will, it has to - it's gonna be the housework.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION | Is your house messy or neat?

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Chores suck. The one room that I really do have to have clean/tidy is the kitchen. For some reason, I just cannot cook in a messy kitchen. If I have to clean even one dish in order to make the meal, I seem to shut down and think that I just can't do anything. So, I make a concerted effort to keep up with the dishes after every meal so that it doesn't get out of control.

    The rest of the house? It usually looks like a tornado came through it. We tidy and vacuum the main level about once a week and I try to get to the bathrooms about every 2 weeks but sometimes it can be a month. Gross, I know! And by bathrooms, I mean the sink and toilet. The showers and baths could go months without being cleaned. I hardly ever dust and the upstairs gets vacuumed once in a blue moon.

    Laundry sometimes piles up but I really try to keep on top of it. I'm pretty good at getting the loads washed and dried but sometimes I get hung up on the folding part. Sometimes the clothes just sit in the baskets and we have to pick through them to find clean clothes for a week or two. Terrible. Oh well.

    I, too, want my kids to remember the fun times we had and not how clean our house was. However, as they get older, they WILL be helping out around here. I am not their servant and they will do what they are capable of and I won't even pay them for it. Nasty mom! :-)

    Does Hannah help out around the house?


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