05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, April 6, 2012

Clean? Do I Have To? by Judith Ashley

No, not our house in the background
I grew up in a family where my Mother had certain standards of ‘cleanliness’. We didn’t have plastic on furniture nor did we take our shoes off just inside the door, but we did

         - change our clothes as soon as we came in from school or church on Sunday,
         - do the dishes every night right after dinner, and
         - clean our rooms every Saturday morning (unless we wanted to miss getting our allowance and going to the Saturday Afternoon Matinee).
There were more chores than listed above but the biggest challenge for me was meeting my Mother’s high standards for cleanliness.
In my fantasy life, my family (whoever is in that configuration at the time) pitches in with housework, yard work, cooking, whatever needs doing. Over the years, I’ve tried Family Meetings, Chore Lists, Rewards (dinner out for example). Nothing my creative mind came up ever really manifested my fantasy. Even with just my youngest granddaughter and me at home, it still isn’t happening.
The truth is that neither of us likes housework/chores and neither of us have a ‘clean gene’. In the past, I’d clean if I knew people were coming for a meeting or to visit. I’m less fussy now and really don’t care what friends who stop by to visit or spend the weekend think of my housekeeping skills.
What about cleaning this one?
My granddaughter and I sit down every few months, write up a plan to keep the house clean. We commit to it and even follow it for a few weeks or even a month and then something comes up and we put the plan aside for just today or this weekend. Except we never really get back to it. We still have times when we do clean – it just gets too messy and dusty for even us. But for the most part, we just live in our house, keeping things up (we aren’t hoarders, you don’t need hand sanitizers if you stop by, and you will feel comfortable using our toilet) to a standard that would horrify my Mother.
In my dreams, I’m published and my books sell well. The first thing on my ‘dream list’ I’ll do with that extra income is hire someone to clean the house! Do you enjoy cleaning house? If you do, please share why. I’m curious to know. Maybe it will help my granddaughter and me to do more in our home.

Pictures by Mariah Klefman

© 2012 Judith Ashley


Diana Mcc. said...

Hey, Judith! I don't particularly like house cleaning either. However, some little gene or DNA in my wiring short circuits if I haven't swept the floor in two or three days, or cleaned the carpets and polished this week, not to mention if I don't make the bed daily it bugs the heck out of me. The biggest writing block I have is when my small writing area is messy. I have to clean it up before I feel comfortable writing. Good post!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Diana. I'm afraid I don't share that gene or DNA in my wiring as it's been almost a week since the floors were swept. I do need clean kitchen counters and a certain order in my office though to be my most productive.

Donna Del Grosso said...

LOL, Judith!!!!!!!!
I sat down to check my e-mail after...A MAJOR bathroom cleaning! We're talking scour power, on hands and knees, roll-up-the-sleeves kind of cleaning. I thought I'd get a break from it!
Too Funny! =)
PS- Fridays are the day to clean house but I still don't like it!

Judith Ashley said...

Wow! Donna - that is a MAJOR bathroom cleaning! I grew up in a family where the tradition was to clean our rooms on Saturday (change the bed, dust, take every thing to the basement laundry and then help with other 'bigger' chores like dusting the house and helping my Dad in the yard or washing the car).

It just doesn't seem to work for us to have one day to do it all. And yet, if we do it by bits and pieces, it never really looks 'done'.

Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks at the Desert Dreams Conference. (If you've never gone, you must go! If not this year (conference is April 27 - 29) mark your calendar for 2014!)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Judith,
I like your attitude. My mum was a stickler for the saying - Cleanliness is next to Godliness. I don't like living in an untidy house, but hey, I had 3 boys and a hubby who were. Desperate times called for desperate measures and I got a lady (an angel) in once a week and she kept the palce spotless. Luxury personified. Now that I am retired I can't afford to pay someone to clean my place. I have to do it myself.



Paty Jager said...

Judith, I don't have that gene either. But I can't stand a messy house for more than two days so it gets cleaned even if I hate every minute of it. Luckily my daughters inherited the "clean" gene from my mother in law so when they're here I don't have to clean!

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

LOL, Judith! I like a clean house, but I don't have a "clean gene" either. So I do what's needed to keep from bugging me and ignore the rest. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Margaret. I've heard the 'cleanliness is next to godliness' saying but it doesn't apply to me either. I did have a year or so when I had someone in to clean - that was heaven - but being semi-retired I'll need more income from my writing and workshops/trainings to do that again.

Judith Ashley said...

Paty, Wish my son or granddaughters had inherited the 'clean gene' - but no, no one has so that's certainly one reason things are slow to get done.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Genene, Diana certainly hit the nail on the head with the 'clean gene' analogy. I also keep the worst at bay so I can get things that are important to me done. I remember the days when I'd scrub the house up if someone was going to visit - no more. I will wipe up the worst but if our friendship is based on how clean my house is then we don't have much of a friendship to begin with.

Tammy J. Palmer said...

I too, will hire someone to clean my house, just as soon as I'm rich and famous. Or just rich, as my Dad swears he's going to win the lottery one of these weeks. (I just hope he means it about sharing.)

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Tammy,

I have an agreement with my Circle Sisters that if one of us wins the Lottery, we'll share. Not sure which is statistically more likely to happen - my winning the Lottery or my becoming an award-winning, best selling author with strong book sales and large checks. At least with my writing I believe I have a bit more control over the process - maybe not much but at least I can revise my ms. - not allowed to 'revise' my ticket. lol

Gimi Garcia said...

I've always so admired people who are naturally neat and tidy, and effortlessly keep their space clean. I struggle with it. Like you, Judith, I used to work myself into a cleaning frenzy before company arrived. Now, uh, not so much! There are so many more important things. The kitchen has to be really clean at least once during the day, and I almost always make my bed, but on most days, everything else is optional. As a teenager, as soon as I got home from school on Friday, I cleaned the common areas of the house top to bottom, including mopping and polishing the furniture, so I would be free for the weekend. I do know that one day I will have a housekeeper clean for me regularly, not to impress anyone but because it raises my energy when the house is sparkling. I'll do it for me!

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Gimi. I agree with you - I do like a sparkly house but not enough to keep it that way all the time myself.

Less than 3 weeks and I'll see you in Phoenix! Yeah...

Sarah Raplee said...

You've been to my house, Judith. 'Nuff said!LOL

I'm glad we have similar standards (or lack thereof), as i don't stress out when you come over.

I used to much pickier, but I owned (and worked in) a commercial and residential cleaning business for three years a long time ago, and I scrubbed my clean gene into a permanent state of exhaustion.

Luckily mu DH hates clutter but doesn't mind a little dirt!

Judith Ashley said...

I admire you for owning and running a cleaning business! I'd never make it in that business - I learned the value of an education because in the 1950's my options were teaching, secretary, waitress, or nurse. I knew I didn't want to empty bedpans, wait on someone and carry those heavy trays. I thought about secretary but in the days of manual typewriters - nope, that wouldn't work. So that left teaching. Another story for another day on how and why I moved on.