Hello. My name is Liz and I hate cleaning. It’s been 5 days since I last did the dishes. I’m not sure how to use a vacuum and I firmly stand under the belief that cockroaches help clean up.
Disgusting? Yes, I know. As a kid, I wept over chores and my mother declared my room a hazmat zone. As a young adult, I would pay my sister to come clean my house, but only after months of living in filth. Okay, so my life was dirty to the extreme, but I’ve always lived my life with no bounds. The sky’s the limit, no? I hope you’re still reading. I do come to a relatable point.
When I got married, and even more so when Chelsea came to be, I achieved what my family calls a miracle. I was channeled by none other than OxiClean’s Billy Mays. It was now my life’s mission to get the tough stains out of my household. I scheduled my cleaning into the day so every part of the house was clean at any point on the calendar week. Anyone ever heard of flylady.net?
Despite the growing cabinet of cleaning trophies I was receiving, it was never enough. If I didn’t have a perfectly clean house, I could not THINK STRAIGHT. I later read an article about why that can be, especially for women. I was in a constant power struggle between the desire of down time with family and the urgent need of other responsibilities. I’m sure you can guess the reigning champion. It got to the point that family time was squashed. If I wasn’t cleaning, I just wanted to be alone to relax for once! Is that too much to ask for!?
My child’s needs were just added to the to-do list of life, and when the hubby was home, I just wanted him to help me with that list. Where quality should have been, there I was making sure that pesky kitchen sink was clean before bed. Thanks flylady for the tip!
Like I talked about in a previous post, I got a break living with my in-laws. However, my mindset hadn’t really changed. The day I moved back to New York, I was able to get everything from the car into the townhouse AND put in its proper place, all while caring for my 18 month old. I was so proud!
The next day, I picked up Ed from the airport and after a meal, we went straight to the storage unit. He opened it and my heart sank. All this stuff I had no responsibility for after a year’s time was suddenly and very literally towering over me. The task of moving it, putting it in the house, and unpacking it (finding a place for, cleaning, managing, etc) was daunting. This is not to mention that I knew we were moving in two months and would have to repeat this process backwards and forwards. It was almost too much too process.
Is this how I wanted my life to be? Constantly bombarded with organizing my stuff, cleaning my stuff, and filling my house with more aesthetically pleasing stuff? What had I done to myself? I had degrees, I was friendly and sociable, why was my life doomed to this boring, tedious list of chores? I know it sounds dramatic, and you could possibly be thinking I’m a selfish and ungrateful brat. Your husband went to war for you, woman! The least you could do was clean house and make it look nice! What? That’s exactly what you were thinking? Yeah, me too. There was no peace inside my head.
And that is what a clean house really takes. Your peace. Don’t get me wrong. A clean house is peaceful! I seriously love coming home to a perfectly aesthetically-pleasing house. I’m only noting that the work involved in cleaning your house takes your peace. It is so much work to manage the household. We are constantly piling high the workload as we add space and bring stuff to fill that space. The work is never complete, so peace is never restored.
So if you’ve read this far, I hope you agree that I did indeed come to a relatable point. When was the last time you thought or asked Can’t I just get some peace? If I was a bettin’ man, I’d say probably pretty recently. Now I’d like to encourage you to ask yourself a follow-up question or two. These are questions I try to ask myself frequently. Feel free to think short and long term.
What is taking my peace?
What can I change in my life to create that peace I so desperately crave?
So why is it that we can never achieve a clean house? Why is there a never-ending list of stuff to clean or put away? Because there is just too much space and just too much stuff. Of course, I’d like to believe I am of a higher species and can control my animal urges to nest, but the fact is if there is a space, I am going to fill it! If my house is 1000 square feet, I will fill it. If my house is 5000 square feet, I will fill it. People want to fill their spaces. It is our nature. I’m afraid it is also our nature to overfill, resulting in obtaining more space (bigger house, two-door garage that is not for your car, storage sheds, etc). This behavior does not fix our problem nor give us peace. We only start to fill up our new spaces! What is the solution? Downsize.
Have you ever wanted to downsize but didn’t know where to even start? Check out my free course or leave a comment below.
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