We’re just coming out of a busy season around here, and have a bad case o the do-nothings. It doesn’t help that housekeeping produces no euphoric effect whatsoever, and there’s always a “better” reason to do nothing than to do something. When we’re busy, we have no time to clean. When we’re not busy, we have no urgency to clean. How do we overcome this?
Determining Your Housekeeping Quota
(As it turns out, this is completely irrelevant… sort of)
Start with ten points if you want a clean home. Next, give yourself three points for each task you enjoy doing around the house:
- Sort, wash, put away laundry
- Wash, dry, put away dishes
- Sweep, mop
- Clean windows, mirrors
- Take out the garbage
- Put away toys (kids’ AND adults’)
(I have 13 points so far… This isn’t so bad.)
Now, subtract two points for each task (above) that you really don’t want to do around the house.
(…And I’m in the negative. Boo.)
When I Don’t Want To Clean (“The Biggest Kid”)
On days when I don’t want to clean, which is pretty much eight days out of the week, it goes in one of two directions.
- Nothing gets done (and the end of day is filled with guilt)
- I intentionally put aside laziness and do something.
Diversions are everywhere, and they are stealthy. Internet, TV (if you have one), sleep, and a kitchen full of food, to start with. Oh, and kids. Kids who need to be fed, clothed, entertained, and changed. And the biggest kid of all wants to play all day and not do one single responsible thing… This big kid wants to snack on junk food all day, read, play games, blog about being responsible, and avoid the yucky stuff on the list above. And some days, the big kid wins.
Some days, the mean adult shows up and makes me work around the house. And I’ve learned that once I start cleaning, it’s not really so bad (*gasp*). The result, besides things being clean, is a feeling of accomplishment.
“Once things settle down, I can (fill in the blank).” I’ve been waiting for nine years. Some days are crazier than others, but more often than not we have to squeeze life’s demands into our calendar and maybe lose a little sleep to finish our to-do list. Life happens, and it brings lots of challenges. Some days it may be legitimately necessary to take a break and deal with life, but remember that life will always be happening.
Are you familiar with the phrase “Under-promise, over-deliver?” It works on ourselves, too. When I’m intimidated by a sink and counter full of dishes, I make a small promise to myself: I’ll stack the dishes from the sink neatly on the counter, so I have room in the sink.” If When I meet that promise, it’s done. But most likely, once the dishes are stacked, washing them doesn’t seem so intimidating. And I over-deliver (and get caught up on dishes, too).
I find that giving myself a task that I can accomplish easily makes it hard to stop until I’ve done (at least some of) the task that I didn’t want to do. Then when I wake up the next morning, I invariably say “I’m so glad I got that done!”
But even if neatly stacking the dishes doesn’t evolve into a magazine-cover-kitchen, at least the dishes are out of the sink, right?
(With that said, it’s time to go sort some dishes).