Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cleaning, part 2

So I've decided that it's time to start chore lists in my house. Not just for the children, unfortunately. I think part of it was that I had a particularly busy week last week and things seemed to be rather out of control on the home front. With that supposedly being my primary job, I was feeling a little defeated.

But I also know that I'm a terrible housekeeper and that I'd much rather do fun stuff than clean, dust, vacuum, wash dishes or any other chore. Alas, the definition of chore, I'm thinking, is pretty far from "fun" or "favorite thing to do" for anyone, not just me. Yet they manage to get their house clean, dishes washed or papers filed.

In just more than eighteen months, I've managed to move into my larger space. I used to have a, um, cozy thirteen hundred square feet, which I was able to make work for my family of five and a smelly dog. But here I am, with nearly three thousand, and there's junk everywhere. I've spread my mess to fit the space. Which is something that I really wanted to avoid. Even the rooms that I've promised would stay neat and tidy (my bedroom) have succumbed to the piles (mostly laundry in there). I'm frustrated, mostly with myself.

In fact, the middle one asked me this evening, "Mommy, why is the treasure chest [the coffee table - a story for another day!] always so messy on top?" "Well," I answered, "mostly because everytime I clean it off, y'all add more junk on the top of it." Which I can actually blame on them. Unfortunately, I can't put the blame wholly on them - they are modeling my behavior.

Back to the chore lists. I'm going to give it a shot. And while I'm at it, I'm going to give some to the children. But really, is cleaning out the trash cans weekly really necessary? Can I make it monthly? I'm having a terrible time deciding if the lists I'm making are too ambitious (which I'm sure they are for someone like me, not so for the average human being!). But is vacuuming weekly enough? Do I allow myself some flexibility or just stay on task on the right day, no matter what?

And then I could spend so much time obsessing over the list that I just avoid the actual chores themselves. Hmmm. That might just be a plan....

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