Thursday, 28 February 2013

Single Me Was Cleaner Than Married Me (Bonus: My Brand New Cleaning List!)

When I was single, I had all the time in the world to clean. This also happened to be a time in my life where my social life only happened on the weekends, and Sunday through Thursday evenings were spent at home, mainly in front of the television. I wrote more about that here.

The thing about watching that much television is that there isn't always something good on. Actually, it happens pretty often. I would watch the shows I really enjoyed... and then some shows I sort of enjoyed... and then a few mindless cooking shows... and then finally after reaching an uncomfortable point of boredom I would launch into cleaning mode. Sometimes that meant taking out the junk drawer and organizing it. Sometimes I was on my hands and knees scrubbing baseboards. Or sitting on the kitchen counter sorting out the spices cupboard. All of these activities involved very loud music, and I have to admit I enjoyed these times - I love the satisfaction of seeing something very dirty or unorganized becoming clean. I know. I'm a bit of a nut.

When Chris and I started dating, this routine looked a little different, but it still existed. I would perform these duties either before he came over after work, and sometimes even after he left in the evening. Once we were engaged my evenings were mostly spent planning the wedding and making various DIY decor, but I fully expected it to pick up again after we said I do.

I feel like I say this a lot when referring to pre conceived notions about marriage, but boy was I wrong. Side note: Was I right about anything to do with marriage?? Anyways, it turns out that instead of organizing cupboards and drawers all I want to do is cuddle up on the couch with my hunny. Very sweet, I know, but also very impractical. I mean, there are things that need to be done! And for the first few months (perhaps the better part of a year) they just... didn't. Don't get me wrong- my house was clean. We did all the weekly chores - sweeping, vacuuming, scrubbing toilets and such. The problem was that there were certain areas of the house that were better kept hidden. At first from company, but after a while even from ourselves because it was just ridiculous to look at. I would avoid opening certain drawers, and would wince each time I went to find a spice we don't use very often. The storage room was.... almost un-enterable (Which was a problem because it's also the laundry room!)

I think things have slowly gotten better. It started out with sudden bursts of energy to go on a cleaning spree, and sometimes just realizing that ___ hadn't been cleaned since we moved in (Can we talk about light fixtures??) and then finally I learned to just manage my time a little better when Chris is busy doing other things like studying or playing video games. Before you get your cackles up about him not helping let me just ease your worries - Chris does 80% of the weekly duties. Without me asking him to. He does almost all the sweeping and vacuuming, and cleaning of the main bathroom. So, do I mind being the one to clean out the fridge or underneath the kitchen sink? Nope. Not even a little bit.

I recently decided to make a cleaning list - something that I could refer to when I have a few moments to clean and could check things off. I love to check things off on a list. I made my list in two sections: Weekly Duties, and Monthly Duties. I laminated it, so we can wipe off the check marks on the weekly list and still keep a running total of what needs to be done on a monthly basis. My goal is to chip away at the monthly duties slowly - two or three things each week should mean everything gets accomplished for the month. It's a work in progress - both the list and the cleaning. It's only been a few weeks and I've already added a couple things, but overall I am really pleased.

I wanted to share, but couldn't figure out how to make a PDF printable for you, so I suppose if you like it enough to copy it you'll need to retype it out yourself. (Sorry!)

 If you have any suggestions of other things to add, please let me know- like I said, it's a work in progress ;)

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