Sunday, July 6, 2008

Week One - July 7 - 11 - Make My House a Home

As I mentioned in my last post, The Last Day, my house had become sorely neglected. I live in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome), an acronym I can’t take credit for since it was coined by I would describe it as similar to living in a frat house, which is really sad since my husband and I are in our 30’s and are responsible for rearing a young toddler.

What may be difficult for someone to believe when visiting my house (not that a have a lot of visitors, I tend to keep them away) is that I’m actually a neat person. In college, I had the same roommate for almost all 4 years, and my side of the room was always immaculate and she was the messy one, the packrat who kept everything and had a place for nothing. There was an invisible line down the center of our room where her mess ended and my neatness began. My side always had to be the side near the door otherwise no one could get in or out.

So what happened? I fell in love with a man who was the male equivalent of my college roommate, at least as far as neatness is concerned. And I had mentioned there was an invisible line in my college dorm room, which was because, while I am good at cleaning up after myself, I am not good at cleaning up after others. But when you share not just a dorm room but an entire house and a life with someone, you stuff just intermingles, and keeping separate sides is more difficult. But I can’t completely blame my husband for living in squalor; that isn’t fair. As my job became more demanding… ok I can’t blame my job either. I had about 90 free minutes on most days (other than the days I had to work from home) and I could have been cleaning during that time, I just chose not to. Instead I chose to watch TV and blog.

What had caused me to become more motivated to clean my house, besides quitting my job? I realized my house is not a home, just a place to sleep. It became that way because my husband, my daughter and I didn’t spend much time there. Even on the weekends we were off running errands. The weekends were really the only time we had to run errands. Since my daughter and I will be home more often now, I want it to be a pleasant place. I also want to teach my daughter the importance of taking pride in where she lives, and taking care of her things.

My husband and I live in a townhouse style condo that has 2 bedrooms, 1 ½ bathrooms, and about 1200 square feet. I always wanted something more. I wanted a house with at least 3 (preferably 4) bedrooms with about 1500 (preferably 2000) square feet. That was why I busted my butt working. But as I was busting my butt, I didn’t make the most of what I had. I always said once I had a house I would keep it clean. But now I’m beginning to think that I should make the most of our condo. What I like about our condo is the low mortgage which gave me the freedom to quite my job. If I was living in my dream house, I would be stuck in my job, because my husband and I would not be able to afford the mortgage otherwise. Which reminds me of a quote I heard somewhere, I don’t remember where:

“Do you own your things or do your things own you?”

Cleaning our mess is a little overwhelming, but here is my plan. I am going to spend 1 day each on each room of my house, and for each room I am going to get 3 boxes, and label them, “THROW AWAY,” “GIVE AWAY,” and “PUT AWAY.” This is a method I got from

Here is my schedule for the week:
Monday, July 7 - Kitchen - The most used room of the house, which is why I‘m starting there.
Tuesday, July 8 - Living Room
Wednesday, July 9 - Bathrooms
Thursday, July 10 - Master Bedroom
Friday, July 11 - Fiona’s Room - The neatest room of the house, which is why I left it for last.

Other guidelines:

  1. I will spend 1 day on each room and only 1 day. Even if the room is not clean to my satisfaction, I will not continue on that room, but move on to the next room as planned.
  2. I will create a schedule next week for maintaining what I began this week.
  3. Any remaining mess will be cleaned as part of my maintenance schedule to be created next week.

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