The fall weather has me planning my cold weather indoor projects and looking forward to board games, puzzles, books, as well as cozy cuddles on the couch. It has also made me realize that my house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. I’m noticing some cobwebs and dust bunnies that escaped my notice during the outdoor season. This wet weather we’ve been having has already started tracking in even more mud. I’m facing the fact that If I can’t tackle my dirty floors soon, I’m going to spend the next few months feeling cooped up in a well, a coop! I have received some encouraging words about my housekeeping from friends. Here are a few:

“Our floors are terrible too.”

“No one will notice the floors because there will be so many people in the room enjoying themselves.”

“Everyone has that one chore they don’t like doing.”

“Sometimes you don’t finish everything on your to-do list.”

Thanks. You’re probably right; I shouldn’t worry about it. I’m such a perfectionist.

A wise Yoda-mom I know said, “There’s no finish line with housework,” when she came over to trim my hair. I could have kissed her for saying that (besides the fact that she gave me such a great haircut!). She definitely fed my worked-up heart that day.

One relaxed outlook on housekeeping that I really admire comes from a good friend of mine with 5 kids: “Kid-spills are a perfect excuse to spot clean little areas of your floor as you go. Today, for instance, I used a baby wipe to clean up the floor under the kitchen stools. Pay no attention to the kitchen floor I haven’t touched in three months!” Can you sense the sarcasm?

She’s great; very real, a prayer warrior, has proven endurance in the mom-department, and I love her. I’ve tried to keep her practical-positive perspective. But I am definitely losing my

mopsBending down next to the table to spot clean every time one of my kids spills, splatters, or
piddles (let’s face it; it happens) is something that tests my faith a little more than I would care to admit. Will the entire floor ever be clean?! It’s a 1940s original, beautifully grained, hardwood so the crumbs and grime are well hidden. My husband refinished it himself; which of course heaps on an extra layer of guilt that I’m not taking good care of it. When we sell one day, we’ll probably sand and polish the floors anyway before we move out.

Another very helpful kindred-spirit suggested that I wait until all the kids are asleep, then clean the floor in the quiet of the night. It’s soothing, she said. I did it, once. It was really nice; rewarding even. I liked how quickly it got done, because I didn’t have the distraction of three children trying to ride the mop and stick their hands in the dirt pile. I even moved some of the furniture and found a lot of missing things; socks, hair clips, toys I could throw away without my children ever finding out! I liked how it felt to wake up in the morning and greet that clean floor.

But nocturnal housekeeping has not become a habit. That’s because I already have a much more deeply ingrained habit of drinking wine, munching chocolate or the tiny salty goodness at the bottom of the tortilla chip bag, while losing myself in Facebook or a real book. Or better yet, talking to the other grown-up human being in my house as he rubs my feet (sometimes it happens) on the couch with the wine and chocolate and…

I admit it. If I won the lottery, the first thing I’d do is hire someone to come in and clean my floors every week. Because then I could justify my spot cleaning habit, and my evening wine habit, and not try to work on building any new ones. It would look like I kept a very well-maintained, vintage, home.

The mantra that I have settled on, which I actually found painted on a cute wooden home decoration goes like this, “Good moms have laundry piles, dust bunnies, and happy kids.” It sits in plain view, at eye level for my own personal sanity and comfort.

Just in case I win the lottery, please let me know who I should call. I know of a few housekeeping services here in Wenatchee: Faithsteps Housekeeping, Merry Maids…who else have you heard of in town that does a great job? The only other requirement is that they have to be really nice…because I’m going to be super embarrassed when they see my dirty, vintage, millionaire home…

…And since most of us probably won’t win the lottery, perhaps you can also use this blog post space to comment and share some ideas and tips on how you’ve learned to tackle the chores in your home.

P.S. I have to tell you I was dying laughing when I took the last picture for this post, because as I was getting all my cleaning supplies out, my husband asked “You gonna clean the floor?” and I said, “No”, between hysterical bouts of laughter, “I’m taking a picture of my floor for the blog post about not cleaning my floor.” Yep! I’m pretty committed to this personal folly in housekeeping!