I will say up-front that there has probably never been a time when my house was perfect. I tried, but never lived up to the high standards set by my sister-in-law (I still don’t know how she did it unless she had little elves that came in at night).
However, I did spend a respectable number of hours/days/weeks/months over the past 70 years picking up after my family (and myself) and it always seemed like a losing battle and didnt even take cooking into account.
Now, there is only my husband and myself to clean up after, so you would think that it would be much easier. I am finding that is not particularly accurate for several reasons:
1. I am not exactly decrepit, but the amount of energy I have to accomplish things on any given day is definitely less than it used to be (don’t ask me how I used to work full time, take care of a family, and still do some volunteering and fun-having). I have more time, but I also have a lot of more interesting things to do with that time and energy. These are the things I always said I would do when I got time. Well, now I have time, and I resent spending more than a minimal amount of it cleaning house.
2. For a while when I was working and making good money, I paid to have someone come in and do the basics. I could do that now, but I have a lot less money and much more pressing (or fun) things to do with it.
3. I used to want to keep my house clean in case anyone dropped by. I cannot tell you when the last time someone just dropped by, especially not anyone who cares what my house looks like.
4. Several of my recent efforts at organization have caused a lot of anxiety and stress because I very carefully compiled, filed, and organized my way to a place where I can’t find anything when I need it. Whatever logical place I put some things, it is not apparent to me now. Sometimes I just have to shrug it off and assume it will turn up sooner or later.
Organizing my husband’s papers and possessions, or his suspicion that I have done so, has caused many disagreements (even when I didn’t touch his “stuff”). My occasional forays into straightening up have become his fallback whenever he has misplaced something.
Don’t even take me into the neighborhood of “the life changing miracle of tidying-up.” That woman lost me at worrying about whether I was upsetting my socks by not keeping them in an orderly fashion and matched up in pairs.
5. Finally, I realize that, on the rare occasions I have the time and energy to clean, I am doing the same things again and again; laundry, sweeping, dishes, cooking, dusting, cleaning toilets, so, the more obscure items; window washing, closet cleaning, cobwebs, fall by the wayside.
I now clean on what I consider a “need to clean” basis.
– Special occasions when someone who cares might come to the house.
– Things that are getting so bad they are getting on my nerves.
– Things that are starting to make themselves known (i.e., stinky refrigerators or overflowing trash baskets).
It has taken awhile for me to come to grips with the fact that my house is going to be cluttered with the things I love and am using, and that those things will usually be dusty. But, I am getting used to the idea.