House Work


There are various categories that one can  sign up for when it comes to keeping your domicile (one of the very underutilized words) clean.  You can start with impeccable or pristine, and continue along the cleanliness highway to the last pitstop and call it a day at filthy and disgusting and public health department condemnable.  Lucky for me and my FHB, I don’t live in either of those worlds because honestly, I don’t have the time for one, or the integrity for the other.  Neither end is comfortable, and  both to me seem uninhabitable.

I’m a keep up with the clutter type of woman.  By the end of the evening (which is usually around 9:30 pm) I make sure that the kitchen, dining area, and living room are presentable.  The counters are wiped, the dishes put away, floor swept and if I had a living mother in law who cared about such stuff, I would not be ashamed to have someone like her or the Queen of England, drop by.  It’s my thing.  It is not necessarily my FHB’s thing and I respect that. Sometimes, I recognize that we have different degrees of tolerance for clutter and mess (which are distinctly different in my world).  Therefore, since my tolerance is lower,  I take it upon myself, in sometimes a martyr-like stance, to take care of this.  I don’t look for praise or recognition because there is no need since this is purely my shtick and as long as my FHB doesn’t sigh or eye roll, I know it’s all good.

Then, of course, a week or two comes along when chaos reigns.  The last two weeks have ushered in the chaos and I had to make some calculated decisions about how to manage the house.  Thanksgiving happened which led to December, which is obvious, followed by closing a business, relocating a business, doing business, while at the same time continuing my school job involving the organizing of a holiday shop for students in need, and preparing for a weekend away as well as gift buying (thank you Amazon), wrapping, mailing (thank you USPS) and the like.  Just typing that sentence, run-on as it was, was tiring.

I am not asking for sympathy, although a little acknowledgement would be nice.  I am acutely aware that I bring on most of the chaos and I am grateful that it does not have to be wrapped, shipped or delivered. It is where I stand as I look around and imagine that I am an elf in a large red outfitted gentleman’s house in an undisclosed location where it is bitter cold (kind of like Chicago this weekend).  The humor in all of this, is that I have a crew of lovely people that every other week, show up to our loft apartment, come in when we are not home (like elves) and clean and leave my house smelling good and looking good.  A few days ago, I realized that the clutter was out of control and was spilling over to such an extent that I would have to sort, pack, organize and discard before I could have the cleaning people show up.  I was now one of those, “I must clean before the cleaning people show up”, kind of people.  I did what any sane person would do. I cancelled their visit and postponed it until next week.  Then, I had to still figure out a solution that I could live with.  It was with a heavy heart, and a recognition that the only solution (short of moving) was that I pick up the assorted messes of papers (news and wrapping), and the boxes from my office, along with various other piles of accumulated who knows what, and put them in the second bedroom, in no particular logical order, and shut the door.  I was on a mission.  Back and forth, to and fro until it was done. Counters were cleaned, table was cleared, blankets and pillows on the couch were folded and fluffed.  I swept and discarded the crumbs and looked around, after I put away the broom and dust pan, and saw, IT WAS GOOD! It would probably pass the Mother-In-Law or Queen of England test, as long as she didn’t ask  to see what was behind door number two.  We could leave town and none would be the wiser.  I could live with this.  I could control this chaos.  A personal victory.  Yes, it is true, at some point soon, I will have to tackle the room and get things back to my usual standard.  In the meantime,  my secret is safe.  Right?

Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend.  Don’t clean. Free yourself.  Life is spectacular.


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