I used to be a bit of a neat freak. As a child, when it was time to clean my room, it always took 3 days because I started by reorganizing all the labeled boxes in my closet. I remember one weekend early in my marriage that my parents and siblings came to visit. In preparation for their arrival, I had carefully cleaned and tidied our small apartment. As they arrived, and removed their shoes, there was no good place for the shoes, other than at the doorway. Those shoes piled up and got under my skin, so much so that I could not fully enjoy the time with my family!
Three children later, I’ve probably swung a bit too far in the other direction. I often feel like I run from fire to fire in my housekeeping tasks. Do any of these sound familiar?
“What? No clean socks in the drawer? Check the drier. Umm, check the pile of clean clothes next to my bed.”
“What? Nothing to take in your backpack for a snack? No apples? No carrots? Not even Fiber One bars? Umm, no snack then, I’ll make sure I get to the grocery store today.”
“What?! You let the baby crawl around on the floor? Please don’t – it’s really gross and dirty right now. ”“What?! It’s 5 o’clock already? Ummm, let me think of something for dinner.”
“What?! You can’t set the table because there are no clean dishes? Umm, let me wash some plates.”
These don’t all happen every day, but they have happened more often than I care to admit. I’ve tried Flylady (somewhat inconsistently), and I do like the timer idea. One of my tendencies is that I cannot pack to go on a trip if my house is not clean, and another is that I don’t like to come home to a messy house. I clean fairly well with a deadline.
This week, I tried something new to give myself a deadline. I pretended that this was not my home, but the home of my dear friend, Gen, who was vacationing and returning home soon. It worked pretty well the first 2 days! I got the whole front room clean and the entire kitchen. My bedroom and the bathrooms still need work. Luckily, Gen decided to extend her trip with a cruise, so I still have a little time. I made a meal plan for the next 5 days, went grocery shopping, and I feel great.
How do you motivate yourself to clean your house? Or to do anything that you don’t especially WANT to do, for that matter?