Last week, for the first time since I got married, I didn’t scramble to clean the house in order for someone to come over.
You’d think I should have been prepared enough to look after one man. I grew up with five brothers! I guess that living on my own for two years made me forget how messy guys are. With two girls (my roommate and me) in the house, it was just a quick walk-through to make sure everything looked fine. Put away the dirty towels hanging in the bathroom, put away the dishes… that was about it. My biggest concern was the dust! Now, still two people but one is a guy. Different story. Totally different story.
My husband loves to socialize. He is always wanting to have people over. Every time, I only agree if I have enough advance warning to clean the house first. (The non-warning thing happened once, before he knew I would go into panic mode.) I always have to spend a few hours cleaning just to make the house presentable before we have company. I’m so grateful we don’t have many friends who just “stop by”. Our house has been pretty much a wreck for the past year because I was devoting all my spare time to major issues and the everyday type cleaning was getting completely forgotten. I really hated it because I’m not normally that type of person. And it’s hard to see the disappointment on my husband’s face when I tell him I don’t want to have company because I don’t have time to prepare.
One of the things I did during my time off work in December was deep cleaning and making a cleaning schedule. Becky, from Organizing Made Fun, did a blog series about how to fake an immaculate house. I thought it was a brilliant idea… if I could make it work. One of the biggest things that stood out to me was cleaning 15 minutes a day. Most of the time I feel like I come home from work and get straight into cooking supper. By the time we’re done eating, I’m ready to go to bed. But 15 minutes? Surely I could work that in there somehow. It beats spending the whole weekend cleaning! So for the month of January I’ve been following this schedule. I put the timer on and do as much as I can before time is up. It has become a sort of race against the clock for me, to see how fast I can work. I don’t always get the whole bathroom clean (I start with the important things like the sink and toilet) or the whole house dusted, but it’s better than not doing it at all. And no, I don’t always do it every day. Yet. But when we had company and all I had to do was wash a few dishes and straighten the living room, there was a moment of great satisfaction. I looked around and thought, “It’s working!!”
So, only three weeks into it and I’m effectively faking it! I think all this cleaning and organizing is a little contagious too. I love it when I come home and my husband says, “Notice anything?” I usually look around and find that the dishes have been washed or a box has been moved to the garage. It makes me happy. 🙂