I hate housework. Like HATE it hate it. I have never understood when I talk to people who say that cleaning relaxes them. To me that’s like saying “I don’t go to the spa. I find it much more soothing to sit stab myself in the eye with a fork”.
What I do like, though, are pretty, clean, tidy houses. Over the years, I have left my home in such disarray that when you came into the house, you may, or may not have to step over stuff.
Over the past couple of years though, I learned that my son’s ADHD is exacerbated by mess and clutter, and that his home environment was actually causing him severe stress. This prompted me to start cleaning up, but I realized that it didn’t really matter how much I tidied up if I was goi by to keep everything, because the mess would just keep coming back. It had nowhere else to go.
So, over the past 2 years (caregiver leave and COVID) I have spent so much more time at home than I had in years, and started to realize that some of the stuff in my home was just here. There was no particular attachment, it was just here.
So I started purging. I started taking handfuls of Vampire Romance novels that were handed down to me and that I would never read, and putting them in boxes. I cut the amount of silverware and dishes that I had down to enough for my family and visitors. I tore up old towels for cleaning rags. I took my too small clothes and donated them. I pulled out my candles and started to use them. I brought plants into my home to cleanse the air.
And I made myself a deal – the only things that could come into the house were things that were intentional and I knew what they would be used for. Even better – I would look for specific things and only bring those into my home if I found the perfect thing.
I still hate housework, but by having less, it isn’t as overwhelming to do, and it leaves space for building a pumpkin centrepiece for Thanksgiving out of baby pumpkins from my local country market and dried sage from my garden.
It leaves more room for enjoying my home and knowing that it is not causing harm to my son. It has also taught me that I feel so much more relaxed in a tidy home, too.