Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Pissed-Off Housewife

Cleaning is kind of like exercise for me. It feels so great once I'm done that you'd think that feeling would motivate me to do it more often. It doesn't. Housework makes me resentful. I spend my time with the dust cloth angrily thinking about all the better things I could be doing (research! volunteering at a charity! going to the gym!). The fact that I probably wouldn't actually be doing any of those things, and would more likely be reading or baking or watching Oprah, is completely lost on me. So, yeah, I'm a little delusional as well as messy.

I hate living with clutter and messiness, but I've never been a neat person. My mother used to exhaust herself yelling at me to pick up my room when I was younger. My half of my college dorm room was the one strewn with clothes (clean and dirty), books, and papers. In my current house the clutter used to accumulate until I got really cranky about it and flew into a maelstrom of cleaning and organizing.

A couple of years ago, when I was laid up with a back injury, my parents got me a housekeeper for six months. Oh, my God. HEAVEN.

I cannot express the difference it has made in our home. Not in just the obvious, hey! clean countertops! way, but in that I don't find myself bitching at my husband and kids as much, or feeling the resentment build until I break down and attack the clutter. It worked out so well, that I made some cuts in the budget to keep her on after the six months were up. She comes every two weeks, leaving me with just the tidying-up cleaning in between. I figured that I was the most pathetic person ever if I couldn't at least manage that.

I still need to work on the organizing, though. The kids bring home a small forest's worth of papers from school each week. Right now my "filing" technique involves piling them next to my dresser, which is an improvement over the crazy pile I used to keep in the dining room. Sigh. Baby steps.


Caffeine Court said...

I have a cleaning lady every two weeks, but I like your idea! I'm going to cut back in some other areas to allow her to come every week! I need her desperately!!!

Now, where to cut, NO, trips to McD's for Diet Coke, NAH, ummmm,

This isn't going to be easy.

jenn said...

I hear you! I'm trying to get my act together and plan dinner menus on the weekends, so we don't eat out as much.

Anonymous said...

I would love a cleaning lady. Just for the crap stuff I hate. Dusting, bath tub, mopping. I can handle the vacuum and organizing and laundry stuff.

Sabrae said...

My parents have a cleaning lady since I moved out lol!!! My mom is tooo how do you say....ummmmm prissy to actually clean her own home! lol That is what she had me and my sister for!!! LOL When I strike it rich I swear I'm hiring someone to do it for me! But I'm so anal about the way things are cleaned that I will follow them around ! lol! Maybe I should just do the cleaning! lol

dizzblnd said...

I like your style! You described me to a tee.... minus the housekeeper...sigh... send her my way would ya?

Jannie said...

That's why I like my blog, no clutter, no dust. All just as I left it each time I return.

I probably won't ever have a house-keeper. What I need is smaller house. Maybe a condo. That would be nice.

Nice "meeting" you.

simplynotso said...

My cleaning lady makes life much easier...but the clutter oh! my. I try to trash some of the papers from school(when they are not looking) as soon as I open the folder!

jenn said...

The truly pathetic part is how hard it is for me to keep my shit picked up in between her visits. *Sigh*. I'm defective that way.