I like cleaning my house: WTF?! When did this happen?

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Somehow, I’ve gone from a person who found herself filled with resentment and rage while cleaning to someone who actually (get this) enjoys doing my chores. Somehow, I now understand the concept of “domestic bliss.” I genuinely don’t know when this happened. I still have a friend of a friend come and help with the dirt once or twice a month, but somehow I have become someone who gets a sick, undeniable sense of pleasure out of picking up the living room. Somehow, I’m that asshole who shouts “LAUNDRY ZERO!!” with a sense of genuine accomplishment once all hampers are empty and all clothes are folded.

I don’t know how or why this happened, but in the interest of bottling it and sharing it, here are a few of my theories:

Maybe I just got older

Is this just something that sometimes happens to people? Like, I stopped going out as much on Friday nights, and now I wake up excited to do a load of laundry at 8am on a Saturday? Has this happened to anyone else as they’ve gotten older? I don’t think this theory has much merit.

I work from home

The longer I work from home, the more I need to feel like I’ve got a sense of order around myself. When your home is also your workplace, there’s no escaping your own filth, so maybe it’ll feel less depressing (Day 4 of the same sweatpants: please send help!) if I keep it tidy and clean.

I finally mastered living simpler

Sharing a one-bedroom home with a husband, child, and dog, I’ve learned that the easiest way to keep your house easy to manage is not to have that much shit. I give a lot of crap away. Maybe I like doing my chores now because I’ve pared things down so much that there’s just not that much to do.

I’ve fallen victim to America’s Protestant work ethic

I’m so not a Protestant, but there’s no denying that I’m the product of a culture where busy/productive = sense of value. When I feel like I haven’t got shit to show for myself, tidying up the living room for 15 minutes gives me a quick fix of “YES I DID SOMETHING AND AM A GOOD PERSON.” I don’t believe in God, but when my living room is tidy, I feel closer to heaven. Maybe I’ve just been conditioned this way?

It’s much-needed alone time

After I became a mother, I realized that one of the only times my kid will give me some alone time is when I’m doing housework. Apparently for my pre-schooler, hanging out with mom while she’s doing housework is even worse than hanging out by yourself reading books or playing games. (Worse: mom might make you help if you pester her while she’s doing chores.) I love my son, but I work from a small home, and sometimes we all need our personal space. Chores have become part of that personal space, and so maybe that’s part of why I sorta like them now.

People, I don’t know why I like doing laundry now. I don’t know why things like opening the curtains each morning, and then closing them back up each evening suddenly feels reassuring and like I’m a part of something. (For most of the my 20s, I barely even recognized that my houses HAD window coverings, let alone interacted with them daily, let alone enjoyed it.) Who is this monster I’ve become?

Am I the only person who’s stumbled into domestic bliss? What does it all mean, you guys?

Comments on I like cleaning my house: WTF?! When did this happen?

  1. I’m totally with you! I was a total slob when I lived with my parents, but I found that when I lived in my own place, I became kind of a clean freak. I also work from home and I have a serious case of Protestant-work-ethic, so I’m usually looking for something to clean. But I love the results more than the process. I turned my almost-hoarder husband’s house into a happy home full of functional furniture (Couches are for sitting! Who knew?). It’s a total pride thing to look around and remember what the place looked like before.

  2. As someone still living in the battle against the mess, I sorta get the accomplishment glow after, but it isn’t enough to motivate me. Do you think working from home is the component I’m missing? I do spend way too much time at the office (but then I’m messy there too). How do I learn to love this?! I want to!

    • Things that I have found lessen the pain of the process, and can even make it fun:

      -Have less stuff. If you have less stuff, the maximum messiness of your space is less.

      -You’ve probably heard the adage, “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. The first part is key — it drastically reduces the number of decisions you have to make while tidying.

      -If you really need motivation, invite people over just far enough in the future that you barely have time to get everything nice for their visit. My place has never been cleaner than when my in-laws are visiting (my parents don’t rate the same since they live close by and are over here all the time).

      -Use cleaning supplies that work, and that you like. My favourite is Citrasolv, an all-natural citrus-based solvent that seems to deal with just about anything, and has a nice orange scent. I’m chemical-scent-sensitive, but I love naturally scented stuff! Other than that, I mostly use baking soda and vinegar.

      -Put on music you like — preferably up-beat, high-energy music, or whatever helps you get your groove on.

      • This is all SO true. If I want to buy something new, I think about where it’s going to go. If I can’t come up with a place (or a reason to use it regularly) then it doesn’t come home with me. I’ll also put off cleaning big messes for a couple weeks while I stare at it and mentally put everything away. Then when I do it physically, I’ve already accomplished the hard part (finding places for things). And having cleaning supplies you like is so important. You’re not going to want to clean if you’re worried about using up too many paper towels or getting an allergic reaction from bleach.

      • Seconding putting on music that you like! I am pretty much solely responsible for the housework in our house (my fiancé works full time and I am on the job hunt – ie unemployed – so we made a deal that I do the housework in exchange for him supporting me while I’m poor) and I am the laziest slob ever. But a slob who hates living in mess. What to do?!

        After I discovered the joy of podcasts, housework became so much easier. There are certain favourite podcasts I only allow myself to listen to while I clean, so if I want to hear this weeks instalment of “Savage Love” I have to be cleaning. The same for Pandora playlists – the 80s music playlist is only allowed during housework, and it weirdly makes me look forward to housework because I’m looking forward to singing “Love Is a Battlefield” at the top of my lungs while doing the dishes.

        So…yeah…I bribe myself. And then reward myself with Nutella after I’m done. Cos that’s what being a grown up is alllllllll about.

        • OMG. Yes to podcasts, I’m obsessed. And yes it really helps me get things done, because, hey! i get to listen to Nightvale, or Savage Love, or one of the others on my ever growing list. Plus, as a podcast ends, its like a built in break, time to drink some water, enjoy the sun, and find the next podcast/chore pair.

      • Oh man. Yes, cleaning supplies make a big difference for me! I’ve just started making my own with vinegar and baking soda, with the vinegar being steeped with lemon rinds for 2 weeks prior to use so I still get that awesome natural citrus scent. I’m so excited about using natural products that I WANT to clean!

      • I also like to listen to audiobooks while cleaning! Nothing like getting done with a chore, but wanting to keep cleaning just to find out what happens next in the book!

      • Having people over is the only thing that gets my husband to clean without me having to nudge him along (he has some attention issues and will wander off mid-clean unless he really focuses). About 6 weeks ago he hesitantly asked if he could start having friends over every other week to play D&D (in order to not wake the kids they have to be in the basement TV room). I think was shocked that I said yes so quickly but now the TV room is really clean for the first time since our youngest was born 18 months ago and it’s stayed that way for over a month!

    • I’ve found that doing a little bit at a time helps snowball. So, say I focus on keeping the coffee table clean, and keeping it clean for a week or two or three. In my mind it resets to “coffee table is clean” as the natural state of things, so I’m more likely to put a thing away instead of just letting it sit on the table because that would make it messy and defy the norm of it being cleared off. Then I would move on to something else, say keeping the dishes out of the sink (be it by putting them into the dishwasher or washing them and putting them away). It’s not an overnight change by any means, it’s more of a creep, but now if stuff is stressing me out I might clean some problem areas in my house because then I feel in control of something and it’s an easy visual so I can tell myself “Everything else might be going to hell but damn that [thing] looks good!”

  3. I think this hits some of us sooner than others, and probably never actually hits some people, but I totally get this (and I’m only 23). Growing up, I hated cleaning. Now, I get such a sense of satisfaction out of having a nice home (and workspace, since I also work from home). For me, ownership of the space seems to be a big part of it — when it was my parents’ space, it didn’t matter as much to me, and even when it was a student house (and I was in the basement with four others), I didn’t care as much as when my husband and I moved into our own apartment. The niceness of the space itself also contributes for me — if the space is kinda icky even when cleaned up, I’m less motivated to clean it up. For instance, in our old apartment, the bathroom mirror was really crummy, and had defects behind the glass that no amount of polishing would remove — so it seemed less worth-while to polish it, or even to clean other parts of the bathroom.

    Sure, I still sometimes relapse and avoid vacuuming for a few weeks after the dirt starts to bother me, but then I feel so much happier once I actually vacuum. (I still don’t get excited about doing laundry, although I like having done the laundry — but our laundry room would need a make-over to actually get me excited about doing it).

  4. This gives me hope that someday I’ll get there. There are times when I don’t mind cleaning and when I get satisfaction from a clean house, but I can’t say I enjoy it. I’m still in the “if I have to clean this stupid floor one more time this week because the dogs keep tracking mud all over, I’m going to live in a motel” state of mind. My parents were both super cleaners when I was a kid, and I had to clean a lot because of it, so I think I’m still reveling in being able to live in filth if I want to phase even though I’m in my early 30s and haven’t lived with them in 10 years.
    However, when my son was an infant, I did notice that he never woke up or needed to be fed if I was washing dishes or sweeping the floor, but as soon as I sat down to read a book or whatever, he would need me. It’s like he knew when I was taking a break.

  5. Now that I have a steady 9-5 M-F job it has helped me become more organized. Sundays are for laundry and cleaning. I’m in a routine. What also helps me is Unfuck Your Habit (http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/) Such a great tool to help make cleaning not so overwhelming!

    I also have wireless headphones that I can play my music on or have netflix playing on the TV of my favorite TV show. Its amazing how much cleaning you get done in a 30 minute or hour long episode. You don’t even notice the cleaning because you’re listening to the plot points.

  6. I’m hoping to reach this place once our fixer upper house is “finished”. Right now, it’s in complete disarray because most rooms are under construction of some kind. I never really cared much before, but now living with my then-fiance/now-husband made me change to where I desire a higher degree of tidiness. Maybe it’s because before it was only MY mess, and now I constantly see HIS mess.

    So, now that we’ve bought a house…I’d like to be able to take a sense of pride in our humble little home. I don’t want to be scrambling when friends stop by, or having to feel the need to apologize for “the mess” to visitors.

    I think I may try this lady’s approach, which seems to be to start with a few basic ideas (always clean and polish your kitchen sink at the end of the day so you can have a fresh start in the morning, and always put on shoes so that you feel motivated instead of stocking-feet-all-day lazy), and gradually work up to having a house that more or less always able to be cleaned in just 15 minutes or so each day:


    • I love FlyLady except for the shoes thing. I get the psychology behind it but I refuse to wear shoes unless absolutely necessary. (plus shoes indoors are gross)

  7. Usually I’m the messy one (which is quite an achievement considering what mess the dog makes!).
    However since I’ve started feeling my house is my “home” I’ve noticed that I clean more.
    I’ve started to become more focused on cleaning in the rooms we have decorated (be it painting walls or just setting out some nice candles), the more that I “nest” the cleaner I seem to become.
    I think it has to do with it being “my” space, and wanting it to be as nice as it can be. Before it was more a space which I occupied, so I felt less of an urge to keep it in a mess free state .

    When we decorated the hall I added a vase with flowers and some candles to the windowsill. I bought a small box to sit on it to put keys and stuff in. Now if I leave stuff on the windowsill it ruins the aesthetic so I’ve noticed I don’t do this anymore.
    Its a combination of setting a specific place for things and also discouraging myself from leaving things lying about.

    • I don’t mind housework in general, but laundry is probably my least favorite chore. Laundry Zero feels soooooo satisfying, and now I have a name for it!

      • I am the total opposite. LUV doing the laundry. Everything is soft and smells fresh and clean, and folding is the easiest chore to accomplish while watching House of Cards.
        Now putting those folded clothes away is another story….

      • I LOVE doing laundry! But only when I can marathon it (and a trashy TV show) all day. I hate doing maintenance laundry (a load every other day or so) but I get huge satisfaction out of doing laundry all day every two weeks and just seeing my closet go from ’empty’ to ‘full of new clothes yay!’. This method also helps me to sort out things I don’t want anymore- if I haven’t washed it in the last two or three laundry rounds, obviously I don’t care enough about it it wear it even if I’m desperate, so into the donation bag it goes.

        Now if only I could get on board with other cleaning. I just can’t seem to do it. But I just downloaded Unfuck your Habitat’s android app and that has already helped me to accomplish a few things. I’m hoping it’s just the sort of motivation/list making/task directing structure I need.

  8. I’m starting to get a sense of satisfaction out of decluttering, because I just love the results so much. And it’s easy to pick up a big pile of stuff and bring it in front of my computer, where I can have a show on and sort things while I watch. My weakness is definitely cleaning the surfaces once they’re more organized. I let stuff get grimy and dusty and know I should clean, I just…don’t. I tried to keep the counters and floors in our communal (6 people!) kitchen clean, but decided it was a losing battle and got too discouraged. But I have a lot more control over my room and bathroom. 20/10’s? Listen to podcasts? It’s just not part of my routine yet, but maybe this post is the kick I need to make it so.

    • Get a pretty spray bottle and cloth, half fill the bottle with vinegar, top up with water. Keep it out on your bench, and then whenever you go past, it’s not hard to *spray*spray*wipe* done!

  9. Cleaning has always been my go-to when I’m angry, especially when it’s about something I can’t control. I get my frustrations out physically, get to be a little destructive, get to be in control, and don’t look back on my actions with regret once I’ve calmed down.

  10. I still go in waves with this (Pisces that I am), but some things that helped me make huge strides forward:
    – Changing my perception of it. This is hard to do, but possible if you really want it. I figured out that part of what I hated about cleaning was that growing up, I was ALWAYS fighting with my mom about this. She would never ask me to do something, she would scream at me to do something – so I built this HUGE negativity around it – I felt horrible and wanted to avoid cleaning even years after living on my own, years after she’s passed away. I realizing I was still associating housework with being screamed at by my mother. I can’t write a step-by-step on this, but eventually I managed to separate the two. I managed to focus on the reasons why I wanted to do this now, for me and my family, and tried to keep everything about the present, not the past.
    – I had to quit keeping score. I have lived with my husband for about 8 years now, and neither one of us is very good at keeping on top of the chores. But for a while, we had this thing where everytime one of us did ANYTHING around the house, we needed the other person to acknowledge it and be thankful and impressed. But then it becomes “I did this and this and this today, so there’s no way I’m doing THAT.” We used to focus on our own messes, but anything that was both of ours, would get ignored because neither of us wanted to own it. And ignored mess just grows. I realized that even though I’m no better than him at keeping on top of things, I do have a higher EXPECTATION of cleanliness – and the only way I’m ever going to achieve a cleaner home is to do it myself. And that is not to say he never helps – because he does. But he helps when he wants to, how he wants to, and I’ve learned to appreciate that because really he’s amazing and I love him and wiping the counters myself is a better option than leaving them and being mad at him for not doing it himself.
    – I have also discovered that the cleaner the house is, the cleaner people will tend to leave it. If our kitchen is a disaster and ignored for days on end, my husband will never put anything back or clean anything up. However, during those times when I can manage to maintain a higher level of cleanliness there, he just might put things back in the fridge, or put dishes in the dishwasher – there’s a tendency to carry on the current level of cleanliness. I refuse to create arguments out of housework, I know first hand how damaging that is. So I do what I can, and without saying anything it signals to my husband to help out a little more too.
    – Sometimes when I get up after dinner to go tidy up the kitchen, husband will come help me. I thank him, I express how nice it is to have a clean kitchen, I point out how quick and easy it is when we both work on it, and cover him with hugs and kisses.

    Positivity. Wrap it up in positivity. For my own sake and that of my family. It’s not foolproof, because I still battle laziness – but one piece at a time I know I’ll get there!

  11. I always feel weird when saying this but there are some chores I like and others I just can’t do. I will take almost anything over Laundry and dishes for instance. Luckily I have housemates who I can share chores with.

    I should mention that I am a guy and love cooking, sweeping, and cleaning the bathroom (yes you heard that right) so it is a bit odd when divvying up chores. I feel like a cleaner place helps me paint and I like painting.

    • I hear ya. Doing the dishes is almost therapeutic. Gives you a few minutes alone to think and do something satisfying at your own pace. On the other hand, I HATE vacuuming with a passion. So much so that I literally danced for joy when we bought a house that had ZERO carpeting. Now, we only have small throw rugs that can be shaken out and tossed in the washing machine.

      • I thought I was the only one who hated vacumming. Dusting, cooking, bathrooms, organizing, scrubbing gunk out of the bottom of the fridge, I got that! Vacuuming… ain’t gonna happen. 😀 Thankfully my husband doesn’t mind vacuuming (and dishes to a point which is my other dreaded task).

      • I like the daily chores, the tidying, and some of the deep cleaning – but I *hate* the bathroom. No matter what. I hate it. I also hate cleaning our basement.

        I get into a nice groove when it’s just me around, and I can clean, and make the house feel wonderful – I can’t do that when my fiance is here. It’s been the same with all previous live-in relationships, and it doesn’t matter if I am working from home, or out of the home. When I am by myself, I can clean all the live long day. When he’s here? Nope.

  12. I’m currently sitting in a dirty house because our weekends have been overbooked lately and I’m under an art show deadline, but I also enjoy cleaning more than I did when I was younger. Having a laminated chore sheet has helped. We can check things off if we do them slowly over the week, and also keep track of who did what so neither my husband or I are cleaning the bathrooms two weeks in a row. I just enjoy being in a clean house with food already purchased and meals planned out. That way you can sit back, cook dinner, and relax. Sometimes when I don’t want to clean the cat box or scrub the toilets I’ll imagine that my house is a spaceship and I have to keep it running. I know, huge nerd, but on my favorite sci-fi shows like Doctor Who and Firefly they’re always tinkering with the ships to keep them flying so I just imagine the general house maintenance keeps our little “ship” running smoothly too.

    • I love the spaceship reframe! My partner and I both grumble about cleaning (especially dishes since we lost our dishwasher), but maybe if we pretended we were Wash and Kaylee it would make things easier.

      I do find that I have a higher standard of cleanliness than he does, which can lead to me feeling resentful. I often fret and stew about cleaning when I’m tired and/or hungry, and sometimes I have to tell myself, “Don’t react until you eat something!” Often, messes that seem horrible and life-threatening when hungry become manageable cleaning to-do’s after I’ve eaten, rested, and talked about it with my partner.

  13. I think it’s the child thing! I read that and now I am all excited to go clean and get a freaking break! I am going to have the cleanest house ever! Tell me, what age did this effect kick in? 🙂

      • i’m going to say that our kiddo loves to halp* with chores (rather than trying to avoid them). but i still use chores as alone time, because at barely-3 there’s a lot he just can’t help with, and it makes me feel like not-an-asshole for getting alone time (“hey buddy, time to play in your room – ‘ive got to do the dishes” – reasonable. “hey, buddy, time to play in your room, i’ve got to sit here on the floor and not hear you talk at me!” – asshole.)

        *”halp” – provide assistance with any task, thereby making it take twice as long as it would have otherwise. opposite of “help.”

          • I just posted a video on youtube of my dog from earlier today, “halping” with the cleaning. (It’s here, hope that’s allowed.) Between him and his “halp” and the cats with their pursuit of “unroll all the toiletpaper” – I sometimes think the pets think I am not busy enough.

    • Closer to 3 for my kid. He used to love being in the Ergo when I cleaned but now it’s too boring. Now he has 2 choices when I clean…clean up your toys, or play with them! 🙂

  14. Lists are hugely helpful to me. I jot down a handful of things I want to get accomplished, and crossing them off feels weirdly satisfying!

    Also, I’ve found taking 30 minutes a day to clean/organize works way better for me than spending the better portion of a weekend day doing it all at once. I hate that. Instead I focus on one or two areas/projects a day, and feel pretty accomplished when that’s finished.

    And yes, less clutter helps! I’m working on that.

    • I’m one of those”I’m miserable if I’m not doing something” kind of people. So now that I have a summer off from school and I’m only working part time, making lists of chores and marking them off is how I get my “I did something today” fix. (Living with a neat freak husband who tells you what an amazing wife you are every time you do the dishes doesn’t hurt either.)

  15. I feel you about starting to like chores. I still don’t like doing certain things, but dishes is something I learned to like. I still hate the last bit of dishes that are right before bed (as I have to do them all by hand) but throughout the day they give a nice time to mellow out. I guess give your brain a time to not really have to think hard about anything… meditation if you will? It sounds crazy but it is part of Zen buddhism… right?

  16. this kind of ties into the protestant work ethic aspect, but as an office monkey, there is very little primal sense of accomplishment in my life, and chores totally provide that. that is, i can spend *weeks* at work with nothing to *show* for it (like, things happen and get done, but i can’t pick them up and say “look – i made this!”)

    but i can spend like 30 minutes doing dishes and there is a physical thing that changed “see that clean kitchen counter? i *made that* with my effort!”

    it’s not as good as building shit, but it’s a damn sight better than typing.

  17. Great article!! I like cleaning. I find it therapeutic! I grew up in a spotless home and anything other than is frustrating. I love being able to sit back and see a tidy and organised area and think ‘I did that!’ I work from home and struggle to be creative in amongst mess, so it’s really important for me. But I also hate monotony, and after a few weeks I really can’t be arsed! I’ve found switching up tidying and gardening really helps, the mix of fresh air and lemon scented surface spray are oddly complimentary! And simpler living for sure. We haven’t a lot of money anyways and aren’t the hoarding type, but keeping windowsills and surfaces free of nicknaks makes them soooo much easier to keep dust free!

  18. I am finding that I that the relative cleanliness of my space matters much more to me than it used to and significantly influences my mood. Also, the other day I decided I deserved a “treat” after an especially long week and decided to choose something while I was at the grocery store getting dinner fixings….I ended picking some more expensive laundry detergent and cleaners that I adore the smell of but don’t usually spring for (it was Mrs. Meyers brand, if you’re wondering). As I drove home, feeling very cheered up and genuinely as if I had indulged myself, it suddenly dawned on me what I’d just done and that this must mean I am well and truly a grown up now. My space is still a mess because I’m currently working a job and an internship and trying to keep up with my kid’s activities and I have trouble motivating myself to do anything but watch T.V. or goof off on the internet when I finally get home. But seriously, household cleaners for a “treat”? I MUST be more grown up than I was.

  19. I never look forward to doing my chores… I still look at the messes with a long-drawn out “uuuuuhhhhhhhg”… but OMG DO I LOVE when shit gets done!! I look around my clean bathroom, hands on hips in my Wonder Woman pose, and grin ear to ear as I let out a nice “ahhhhh”

  20. Transitioning from a house to a home was a huge part of it for me — when I stopped moving from apartment to apartment every 12 months and really settled in for the long haul (decorated, made the place mine)… that’s also when I really started to enjoy keeping things clean and tidy. I worked so hard to make my place look and feel nice, that I wanted to keep it that way.

    Having modern appliances helps, too — doing laundry is so much better when you don’t have to go outside the house to do it! Doing dishes with a dishwasher is so much easier than doing them by hand! My first apartment with an in-unit washer and dryer was seriously life changing.

    My chore-that-I-just-can’t-stand is dishes. Hate, hate, hate dishes!!! Even worse, here in Indonesia it’s SO GODDAMNED HOT. I do like three minutes of chores and I’m sweating like craaaazy. Soaked through the clothes nastiness.

  21. A HUGE part of my job is cleaning- tidying, organizing, un-destroying everything the kids destroyed, dishes, laundry, directing children to clean, sorting, getting things ready for the next day, etc. I love (love!) my job, but it takes. so. much. effort. during the day that when I get home, I am not about to clean or organize or anything of the sort. This is a problem because it often falls on my husband, and that’s not fair. So I’ve started to separate ‘school chores’ vs ‘home chores’ in my mind. At school I do the dishes in the sink because with 22 students, they are going to pile up fast and it will be gross (yes, even just water cups and yogurt spoons get gross fast). At home, the dishes are unsightly and it’s hard to make dinner or mix up a margarita if the counters are full and so I try to get them into the dishwasher as soon as possible. It’s the same job, but the motivation is different and that seems to be helping me to distinguish the two so it doesn’t seem like I’m cleaning 24/7.

    Something I am working on is getting rid of half of my things. I want to reduce the stuff in my house by half in the next few weeks. I started with my clothes, and then did the kitchen- just a drawer or a cabinet at a time. I put the things I’m getting rid of in a bag and that bag goes in my car. There is a donation bin at the gas station I go to regularly, so it works out to be nearly effortless. I still do big purges but this way things aren’t as overwhelming.

    I can’t get on board with other cleaning though- vacuuming, mopping, etc. I don’t know how to make myself do those things in way that doesn’t feel like hell on earth. Working on that.

  22. I feel like a switch went on in my brain this year where I really stopped resenting chores so much. Maybe this sounds corny, but reading a few books on Buddhism has really helped me. Especially with just accepting things, and choosing to be in the moment just have neutral feelings about it instead of choosing to be angry just because cleaning sucks. Just because it doesn’t make me happy doesn’t mean it has to piss me off to no end. When I started practicing that attitude, I actually started to feel happy about cleaning because I look forward to the outcome! I don’t like cleaning the bathroom, but I love that a friend can swing by for a visit and pee/wash their hands in a bathroom that’s not stinky and covered in hair. Sweeping and mopping is not fun, but I love that my neighbor can drop off her 1 year old for a last minute babysitting emergency and I don’t have to worry about her picking up something gross off the floor.

    Also, figuring out a cleaning schedule and chore list that helps me split things up with my partner has really helped because I no longer feel swamped. I have finally accepted that he can’t just come in the door, see a dirty thing, and clean it. He needs a visual list of what he needs to do and when he needs to do it. We rotate lame tasks so he doesn’t get burned out on one horrible chore (cleaning the shower, anyone?). I never wanted to do that because it was “babying” him and, you know, pride. But when I dropped that shit and just did it…magically good things happened. We now take about 2o minutes after the kid goes to bed and give the major stuff a wipe down/sweep/finish dishes and it really, really helps.

    So I guess for me it was just getting over my own mental hurdles more than anything else.

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