"I want to be my own design" Clive Barker - Imajica

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cleaning house

There is something so satisfying to me about having a clean and tidy house. It's so nice to be able to not have to worry about tripping over anything, trying to find something because it's out of place, wiping dust off of something I want to use, grossing out over the hair or cat litter on my floors, or searching for something I want to wear only to find it's in the laundry.

It drives me insane and yet, I let my house get really icky sometimes. I know why. Laziness and depression are the two biggest culprits to my untidy home. While I don't let a lot of stuff accumulate on the floor, there is stuff on almost every single surface, papers, random ephemera, bobby pins, etc. Add it together and it makes an untidy mess that is actually really easy to prevent.

Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours cleaning my house, moving furniture, dusting, vacuuming, laundry (even my comforter got washed!), and steam cleaning spots on the carpet. At the end of the night, I took a nice hot shower to help relax after a hard days work and there was such a sense of satisfaction in having a clean, tidy home.

I really need to stay on top of this because damn it feels good to have a clean home and if I just clean up a little bit every day it won't take me 8 hours to clean the damn place, the reward is greater than the cost.

Addendum - I went to my mom's house today and now all becomes clear to me. I love my mother but she is a borderline hoarder and she suffers from clinical depression. As anyone who suffers from clinical depression knows, sometimes it's just too much to expend the effort to clean yourself, let alone your house. You let shit slide, you spend too much money, you are disorganized, frustrated, apathetic. Add that to the borderline hoarding tendencies and I'm sure you can imagine what kind of mess her home is. And then it reminds me of what I grew up in.

Until I hit the age of 10 or 11, my mom was an active lady who worked, took care of the house and me. After the age of 10/11 when she was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses and her depression got worse, she more or less gave up. Not completely, there would be the manic phases where the house would get "Spring Cleaned" but the manic phases became more and more infrequent and the house would get messier and messier. From the age of 7 I was responsible for cleaning my room and doing all of the laundry but as I got older I became largely responsible for most of the cleaning and the laundry and whatnot but I definitely did not keep up with it. When I first moved out at 19, she did a decent job of keeping the house tidy but as the years have passed, it feels like it's been sliding more and more frequently.

Today when I was there, I saw things that made me very sad. It was dirty, unkempt, and heartbreaking. To be clear though, it wasn't like there were dead cats under piles of magazines, there was no dog shit on the floor, nothing that gross. It was just... dishes with old food in them that made the kitchen smell terrible. Fruit that was so rotted and desiccated it was barely recognizable.

So I cleaned her kitchen for her while I was there, I moved everything around, cleaned the counters, threw out any bad food, cleaned the stove top, put away all of the dishes and took her trash out. And all of a sudden my childhood came back to me, then the pieces in my head clicked about why I get so cranky when my house is gross, about why I get so angry at myself for letting shit slide, for letting my house get to the point where I embarrassed to even let a delivery person see the inside. I know logically that my house isn't THAT bad, after all Mr. S would have said or done something if it had gotten that bad but it's how I perceive it, it's how I feel about it that is what triggers my annoyance and irritation.

What today did was further enforce the fact that I really need to take control over myself and my surroundings, that I need to spend that 15-20 minutes a day tidying up, that I need to keep up with it. It's for my sanity, my mood, my love and my friends. I want to be able to have friends drop by whenever they want. I want to be able to feel proud of my home. I can do this. I will do this. I will maintain it.

A clean home is a happy home.

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