May 17, 2014
I hate cleaning my house. When I was a child my sisters and I all had regular chores. My oldest sister helped with the cooking and laundry and made our lunches for school. My middle sister and I did the dishes (she washed, I dried and put away) and on Saturdays she was supposed to vacuum and I dusted. My brother fed the dogs. I cleaned the dog pen and usually if there was outside work I got drafted because my oldest sister was allergic to EVERYTHING outside and my other sister usually found a way to make herself scarce on those particular weekends. My brother was golden because he was The Boy and was treated like a king and so his chores were minimal at best.
I didn’t mind the outside work that much unless we had to hoe weeds. That is, my brother and my two sisters got to hoe. I was given the (supposedly) easier job of picking up the weeds and putting them in a box to dispose of on the burn pile. Did I forget to mention that we had a third of an acre with three rows of almond trees on it? Yeah–lots of open ground under those trees for weeds to grow. And the hoes they used. My brother got the push hoe, my one sister got the Hula hoe, and the other one got the chop hoe. I hated that chop hoe. She made sure that when she attacked a weed she cut it up into as many pieces as she could before moving on to the next one. And I had to pick up ever tiny scrap of those weeds. I still cannot look at a chop hoe without shuddering. But I digress.
Anyway. House cleaning became more of a chore as I got older. My oldest sister got married and moved out and my brother moved into his own little house so it was just my parents, myself, and my middle sister left at home. We had a job that she and I shared after school and on weekends. We picked up eggs at a small chicken ranch and it gave us each a little pocket change to spend on lunch or on clothes for school. Basically I did it every day after school and she rotated weekends with my aunt. It wasn’t a great job but we were raised to work hard and we weren’t given an allowance like a lot of kids we knew so if we wanted money we had to earn it ourselves.
Of course, on the weekends when she worked I had to do most of her housework for her since she was “working”. Our mom was a rural mail carrier and she wasn’t home during the mornings so she didn’t know what went on around the house while she was gone. My sister wasn’t stupid, and she knew I was afraid to tattle on her, so after awhile she made sure she was gone EVERY weekend and I was stuck with ALL the work. Resentment? Yeah, you could say I harbored a little resentment! Here I was doing all her work for her so our mom didn’t get mad at us (me, mostly) while she was off hanging out with her friends and having a great time. And I was stuck at home every weekend. It sucked.
Since those days I have hated housework with a passion. I do what I have to keep the house semi-livable but with the amount of dogs and people we have living here it is a 24/7 job and frankly I’m not up for it. Today I finally reached my breaking point and decided to dig into the corner of the living room where for some reason everyone throws their stuff. It was amazing the things I found!
The blue ray remote we have been looking for the past 6 months? Found. All the socks my husband purchased over the past year? Found. And books. Lots and lots of books. Apparently my daughter wanted to read some of my books and pulled them off the shelves and never put them back where they belong. And since then I have bought more books and they have never been shelved.( By the time I finished putting them all back I came to the conclusion that I had better buy all my books as e-books from now one–the shelves are full!)
So I have been dusting and sweeping and folding and moving furniture and throwing things away for the better part of the day. And wondering how on earth we managed to collect so much crap! And papers–I am inundated with old mail and circulars and whatnot that has come in the mail and been tossed down on any flat surface and never looked at. I could start my own personal post office with all the mail I have picked up and torn up and shredded today…
As I have worked my way through the mess I have vowed that once I get this mess cleaned up–and cleaned up it will be–that I had better not catch anyone throwing stuff down where it doesn’t belong again or it’s going straight into the garbage! There are too many people living in this house for me to be their personal maid! Not saying that I’m not guilty also–I am terrible about putting something down and just leaving it there. But even I have my breaking point and I have reached it. We will be tackling the garage next. But not today. Today I have conquered mountains of laundry, stacks of books, and have fought dust bunnies that have apparently been multiplying under dressers and couches and have taken on lives of their own–I swear they had built homes and were sending their little ones off to school when I finally managed to wrestle them out of all their hidey holes!
So house cleaning–do you love it or do you hate it? Do you have set cleaning schedules or do you just grab a broom and a dust pan when the dust bunnies attack? I keep waiting for those little woodland animals from the Disney films to come whistle while they work and clean my house for me while looking all cute and whimsical but so far they haven’t shown up…
Do you have sure-fire ways to fight clutter? Please share, because I could use all the help I can get!