Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I Don't Clean

It's no secret that I live a fairly messy and chaotic life.  I own a lot of stuff, and use most of it on a fairly regular basis.  This "stuff" that I own is multiplied by the fact that I live with a man who also owns a lot of stuff.  We have hobbies, we like to cook, and we hate to clean.

When I say I don't clean, I'm sure your first thought is that I live in a gross, hoarders like house with 15 cats.  First of all we only have one cat, and a snake but she lives in her own little tank habitat.  And I do clean, just not in the way that a lot of people would declare "clean."  In our house we go for "clean enough."

I like having a clean toilet so the bathroom gets wiped down on a fairly regular basis, about the only thing that I take sole responsibility for in our house.  The rest of the housekeeping chores I share with the husband.  Here is where it gets tricky...

I have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so chances are on a day that I have the ENERGY to do proper cleaning, my shoulder or knee or hip hurts, and makes the task 10 times harder than it should be.  Besides, who wants to clean when there are so many other exciting things to do?

Ryan is a champ, he keeps our dishes and laundry mostly caught up.  When it comes to undirected cleaning tasks it's almost like he's blind to clutter and the piles of dust, cat hair, litter, and yarn bits that inevitably build up.

For those of you who are inclined to feel the same way as I do about the horrible tasks of housekeeping, I'd like to share a little bit of my strategy and thought process to cleaning.

If there is something on the floor that should be picked up, I ask myself three questions.

  • Can I vacuum it up with my handy handheld vacuum?
  • Will the cat eat it?
  • Will it hurt if I step on it?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions it gets picked up right away, I love my little handy sucker it saves me so much bending over.  If it's something the cat will eat I pick it up not only for his safety, but also because he most likely will barf and then I'd have to clean that up too.  That's messy and takes way more energy than just picking whatever it is up to begin with.  And stepping on things OUCH, something I don't need in my life.

If the answer is no to these questions, I file it away into the "to be picked up at another time" category.

My other chores goes as follows:

  • If it's sticky- wipe it up.  We have cheap white bar towels that we use as napkins, paper towels and use for general wiping.  These save waste and are easy to throw in the washing machine.
When we have people coming over we try to wipe down the dusty things, and sweep the floor (this can be done with a vacuum or with a broom, depending on what room you are in).

I just feel life is too short to stress about having a clean apartment.  Are you a clean freak?  Or are you alright with things being "clean enough"?

Addendum (added 3:48) I forgot one important thing... If it smells take it to the dumpster!  This includes, trash, cat liter, and anything else that my be less than pleasant to have hanging around.


Holly Marshall MacBain said...

We are totally "clean enough" people. Spick and span cleaning is not something that comes naturally to either Scott or me. We have stuff and kids and more stuff and now a puppy. We don't live in filth, but I don't suggest eating off my floors, either. People should always call before stopping by so I can do the 10 minute power clean and at least get the week old newspaper shreds off the floor before ethey get here. :p

Chrissy Joy said...

If people show up here unannounced they probably won't have a place to sit. There's always stuff on every flat surface. Of course at the moment we don't even have a sofa to sit on!

Ryan Bell said...

We will in 2 weeks!

Benia Zouras said...

Ah yes, at our house we call it living in "squalette". It's not quite squalor, but we don't usually do any deep cleaning or picking up unless it's necessary (dishes, garbage, company coming, etc.). My husband and I used to clean the house regularly, including a thorough spring clean every year, but since my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain, we only do spring cleaning by picking one room to do together, when we can, and we tolerate a little more everyday untidiness than we used to. We have no pets or kids, which makes things easier, though. Most visitors say our house is always clean, even if we see what they don't.