Cleaning house can be fun?

By Caitlin Kelly

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OK, I admit it….

I don’t carry the burdens/pleasures of: 1) a huge house; 2) children; 3) pets; 4) slobby, gross room-mates.

I do have: 1) a small apartment; 2) a very tidy husband; 3) a work-at-home job.

So cleaning our home is much simpler and easier for me than those of you with dogs and cats that shed fur and/or with multiple children dropping/breaking/smushing things into your walls, furniture and flooring.

When you’re home the majority of the time (instead of fleeing to a tidy, clean office or other place of work), you tend to notice every dust bunny and mirror smudge. All of which is great for procrastination! Ooooh, time to polish the silver…

But I actually enjoy housework and usually do 15-30 minutes of it every day so I don’t end up feeling overwhelmed on weekends. My husband (who enjoys it!) does all the laundry and I do (which I enjoy) all the ironing.

Because my husband loses two hours every day commuting to his job, I’m OK doing most of the housework.

And, after we invested some very hard-earned money into two recent renovations, (our only bathroom and our galley kitchen), I also feel a much deeper pride of ownership and enjoyment than when we had a nasty old chipped Formica counter and a yucky and unreliable wall oven from the 1960s.

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Why, you wonder, could I possibly enjoy housework?

— It’s our home. I like it to be clean, tidy, polished, welcoming. By nurturing our environment, I nurture myself and my husband

— If you own a few good things (and it’s great when you can afford to invest in one or two), take care of them! That means dusting, polishing, waxing

— It is a way to break up my day, get off the damn computer and get a bit of physical exercise

— It helps me take inventory of what is soon to break and needs repair or replacement

— I really notice what’s working well and what is not (i.e. use of closets and storage space) and move things around so they do

— I appreciate my objects and items more when they look their best and I know I am not damaging them through carelessness or neglect (yes, coasters!)

— It helps me see what a lovely home all our hard work and creativity have given us. Your home is not just a place to gobble some food in front of the computer or television, to crash and burn. It’s where we recharge mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

Here, from my favorite design blog, Apartment Therapy, some tips on how to clean your home better/more easily.

Do you enjoy it?

Or is it overwhelming and endless drudgery?

35 thoughts on “Cleaning house can be fun?

  1. Yes and no — I enjoy having a clean home but my housemates are on the messy side, and I’m not thrilled about cleaning up behind others. As in I don’t do it. My hopes are that I can teach my children to value a clean space and I do my best to guide them as they learn. My husband and I joke that I need my own small, tidy house next to our too-large and chaotic one. I wholeheartedly agree with you on all of these but especially that home is a place to recharge mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally. Because we do have young children and animals, it’s challenging but I still think it’s important. We all feel better when it’s more orderly and clean. Thank you for the inspiration. I needed it today!

    1. Thanks for weighing in! It’s really hard (and tiring) if the other members of a household do not do their fair share or do it only after much nagging. A lot of it, as you know (?) is having dedicated, specific spaces to store stuff…so there is no reason it needs to be scattered everywhere. (Clutter vs. dirt, but same problem.)

      When we renovated our kitchen we re-purposed a pantry closet that was very poorly used and I now have three very large deep drawers — into which I fling all my work-related stuff at the end of the day. Out of sight, out of mind and I know where it is!
      We use three large armoires for all sorts of storage; they are attractive pieces in and of themselves, but they are also doing heavy organizational duty as well.

      Good luck….:-)

  2. I actually enjoy housework too! I feel much more focused, and centered, when my surrounding are tidy! I love deep cleaning everything and then lighting candles all around my home. I live in an apartment as well, but do have a four-legged roommate to clean up after. I love the points that you made about why you love housecleaning! I definitely relate. 🙂

  3. I won’t say I love to clean house but i do love a clean house – so it is a Friday ritual of dusting vacuuming and mopping – laundry and changing the linens. I am also one of those crazy Fall and Spring major cleaning people – scrubbing the kitchen cabinets, washing walls and windows, laundering curtains and cleaning and lemon oiling the furniture. It is very satisfying when it sparkles and the scent of lemon oil lingers – Ok maybe I do like to clean house 🙂 K

    1. See…? 🙂

      I think it’s very comforting to have a nest that is fully in order. Even putting on fresh, clean and freshly-ironed pillowcases makes a nice difference. It’s also so much healthier to not have dust, dirt, etc. We walk around our hardwood floor apt. barefoot which is quieter and cleaner…and motivates us to keep the floors smooth and clean as well.

  4. Caitlin, I’m very sorry for the money you spent on your recent (beautiful) renovations but I think I want you and your lovely husband to move in here straight away. I can promise you a bathroom and a kitchen from later than the 60’s (just) and an ironing pile to keep you happy for months. I don’t mind doing the washing/drying as my share. 10-14 minutes a day would have me I mean us, in tip top shape in no time at all.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  5. I feel the same as you. I do a little bit of cleaning each and every morning. Around an hour or so. Makes my whole day feel so much better. I have beautiful bamboo wood floors which my dog has scratched but nonetheless I vacumn every day and keep them spotless. It’s a nice feeling.
    I don’t have one day per week or month whereby I do heavy cleaning. As I said, I do a little each day. One day may be windex day. Another may be polish day. Another may be ‘scrub the bathroom’ day. In any event, I clean as I go. Everything in its place and a place for everything.
    Hubby is a slob and most of my time is spent picking up after him BUT he cooks and does the dishes and pots every day and the laundry once a week. So it works out fine.
    I usually put on disco music if I have a lot to do (like wash down the wood floors). I enjoy cleaning my home. It’s fun!

  6. During the summer when I’m home I tend to do frantic housework like attacking closets and drawers, as if I must purge those snickering dust bunnies and crumb munchkins from existence. During the school year the MEPA methodically surface cleans on Mondays. I blow that schedule by being home. Now that school is starting again I look forward to an outwardly clean house. I can almost here dust and crumbs convening in their anticipation of my absence.

  7. i am more like you, in my approach. i live alone, with my small cat, in my tiny cottage, and tend to just tidy things up as i go along. i notice the details. when i have company coming or the grand babies have been over i put in a little more effort. i like it clean, though not a neat freak, and i like a house that looks lived in, but not dirty, a very different thing. i enjoy organizing and kind of putting things in their little place and i do take pride in it.

  8. I wouldn’t say that I really enjoy housework but I do feel a sense of satisfaction when I complete chores around the house. I like clean, tidy spaces and I do enjoy de-cluttering. Recently I decided to sort out my chest of drawers and get rid of clothes I no longer wear. That felt good! I took a big bag of clothes to the charity shop. I’m preparing for the upcoming academic year and getting organised helps me get into a good frame of mind.

      1. I thought it was…good luck!! The “real world” looms….:-)

        I am teaching writing and blogging (2 separate classes; have a blog post going up this week with details.)
        I hope it does, too. Excited/nervous.

  9. I feel similar, but I live with a 12 year old boy, and an artist who always has graphite on his hands… I have learned to be realistic, and not to stress. I use cleaning to breakup the thinky work, to wool gather and brew ideas, and because I want this to be a good and nurturing space.

    1. It’s such a great break to switch from brain mode to physical labor..sitting is deadly, for one thing…but it’s also just good to switch it up.

      I love that expression “wool gather”…haven’t heard it in ages. 🙂

  10. “Enjoy” is such a strong word for housework. Wink, wink. I enjoy the results. I enjoy the peace and calm that come from knowing my house is clean and closets are not overflowing. As I am in the thick of it with two sons, rarely is this the case. However, I march on. And I do a bit at a time, every day, being proud of that bit.

  11. That photo of the towels stacked so perfectly make my heart go pitter pat. I’m a little OCD about my linen closet but that comes from living in a 1000 sq ft house for almost 14 years. We recently moved and have more space but I continue to appreciate a well organized space.

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