Truth time, Nerdship.
I am not a good housekeeper. I have been a slob since nearly day 1. I’m terrible at de-cluttering and having a place for everything. Though, after nearly 9 years out of the nest, I’m starting to get the hang of it. I can have people over with minimal frantic cleanup beforehand, and if the doorbell rings, I won’t be having a panic attack over opening the door on a mess (just over talking to a stranger unexpectedly).
At first, I had a system where I basically bribed myself to do a bunch of crap every week. It sort-of worked for a while. Then I got really broke and I couldn’t pony up for my prizes anymore, so I had to find other ways of making myself clean.
I ran across a blog called A Slob Comes Clean a few years ago, and it was such a refreshing “Aha!” moment for me. The author, Dana, is a self-described recovering slob. She writes about her day-to-day battles with making a clean, safe, happy home for her family from the point-of-view of a recovering slob. It’s much easier to follow advice from someone who’s on the same path as me. I don’t know how many organizing/cleaning tip articles I’ve read that are written by neat freaks where I just close my eyes and sigh, knowing I’m nowhere near being able to implement any of that stuff.
So, bolstered by Dana’s articles and a sense of self-improvement, I started with “baby steps,” ie: Little stuff I knew I could do without getting overwhelmed. Little stuff like picking up the little trash around the house, making my bed every day, sweeping the kitchen floor, putting all the shoes away, putting the recycling in the recycling bin, etc. Next came more drudgery-type tasks, like laundry, loading the dishwasher, and sweeping the house. Then, I added in bigger stuff that had to be done periodically, like deep cleaning the bathroom and kitchen.
When we moved into the house we’re in now, I realized I’m at work less than my honey. So, I took it upon myself to be the one to perform most of the daily cleaning tasks. It makes sense to me: I’m home most, so it’s one less thing that has to take up the precious little time we have together. Other couples/families have different systems, and that’s fine.
To keep myself on track and accountable, I made a little chart that has boxes to check off the chores I get done each day. DOWNLOAD IT HERE! I don’t do most of them every day, though I do try to do each thing at least once a week. I check off those boxes, and it makes me so happy. I don’t know why, but it does. For reasons, I guess… lol
To be fair, there are some weeks where I kind of fall off the wagon. I don’t always keep up with my cleaning, and those are the times when my honey invites someone over and I do an hour of panic cleaning, all the while telling myself to do better next week so I won’t keep doing this. It happens less and less, which is great. The common areas stay presentable. My bedroom, office and spare room, on the other hand, are not as well. One foot in front of the other. 😉
These pictures are of my kitchen, after letting it go for almost a week. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like picking up after yourself. When you’re an adult, nobody makes you do jack. Sometimes, that’s not a good thing. After taking these pictures, I turned on my “Word Up” Pandora channel and spent a solid 40 minutes loading the dishwasher, putting things away, throwing things away, sweeping and wiping surfaces. It’s not perfect, but I’d be perfectly happy letting someone see the “after” kitchen.
Bloggers aren’t more put-together than everyday folk, we’re just sharers by nature and we can crop/’shop nearly anything out of a picture. My life’s just as wacky/hectic/messy as yours! We can get on the road to recovery from slob-itude together. You just have to try every day, and keep at it. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t quit, and don’t let naysayers steal your thunder. Holler at me in the comments with how you conquered your slobbish ways!
We’ve got this, Nerdship.