THE EMOTIONAL SIDE TO HOUSEKEEPING
It took me quite a while to realize that there is an emotional side to housekeeping. The reason you probably do not enjoy doing chores is because you feel there is nothing that directly profits you by doing it except that your house is clean. You only get very exhausted and worn out. It is like a necessary evil. So whenever you think of cleaning the house, the only thing picture that comes to your mind is how tired you’ll feel afterwards. It wasn’t until I began to attach certain pleasurable thoughts and feelings to housekeeping that I particularly began to really enjoy it.
For example, I found out that I get most of my best ideas while I am doing the dishes. Whenever I am trying to think through something and it’s getting difficult, I schedule the thinking for when I’m doing dishes, and it always works. I also discovered that washing the bathroom is like a stress reliever because there is something about being able to shout (sing) at the top of my voice over the sound of running water. Cleaning is also like my imaginary get away from my toddler’s world. So doing chores always gives me something to look forward to. I sometimes would do the dishes by midnight when everyone has gone to bed.
Yours might just be the compliments your spouse gives you when the house is really clean or the validity you feel when you are done cleaning. My point is when you have something to look forward to, especially when it’s pleasurable, the chore becomes a ride in the park. You stop rushing through it or doing the job haphazardly and rather enjoy every moment spent doing it.
The second aspect is to be happy with your house. Notice I didn’t say home, but house. The physical building, the structure, environment e.t.c. Many times we see all these beautifully decorated houses on the internet with draped curtains, bright lights, popping colors and a beautifully arranged dining area and we just feel our houses can never be that beautiful or clean. So we postpone our being able to enjoy cleaning to when we move to a better and finer house. We think our house will be cleaner when it is more spacious. Because we are not happy or emotionally connected to the space we live in, we don’t see reasons to pay attention to keeping it clean.
There are different ways to make your mind happy with your house and creating willingness to do chores. Here are a few:
- Pay attention to the little things: if you are fascinated by the bright light in houses on the internet, and you think your house is dull, you might want to consider changing your lightning from yellow bulbs to white. Invest in bright-colored curtains that transmit light not absorb. Pay attention to the little house accessories like the color of your dustbin and Persian rug. Consider accentuating your living room with 3-4 bright-colored throw pillows or install a full length mirror in your passage area. Buy bright-colored bed-sheets. Replace those beautiful and expensive wallpapers you see in magazines with wall stickers (which are a lot more affordable). Invest in a fresh room fragrance/air freshener( lavender, rose, sandal wood e.t.c). These are just few of the ways you can spice things up on a budget to make your house beautiful for you. When you find your house beautiful, you would want to do everything to keep it clean.
- Orchestrate quick pleasures: Don’t wait till when you do major cleaning. Make yourself happy by conquering the small tasks. Wash the two plates in the sink, don’t wait till they are five. Pick large and conspicuous dirt, clean the table, take the trash out, change the bed cover. Use a wet mop to run through your tiled floor. If you have major issues sweeping your fully rugged sitting room, consider taking the rug out totally, you’ll find it a lot more easier to sweep tiles. I assure you that the joy you get from doing the small things will spur you to do the big ones.
- Work with your house : If you live in a small space, don’t buy things you do not need. Clutter is one of the things that discourage people from cleaning. Women like to keep shopping bags; don’t fall for that trap, plastic bowls, souvenirs you most likely wouldn’t use. Piling up those things will breed dirt and rodents. Something might look good on the store shelf or a magazine, but may be inappropriate for your space.
- Always ensure you have leg room: As much as possible, when you are thinking of storage, think of storing up (on shelves,inside cupboards), not down (on the floor). Make sure you have clear spaces down where you can move freely so you don’t feel clustered. The thought of having to shift cartons or bags to clean can be frustrating and discouraging.
In summary, find something that tickles you when you think of housekeeping. Once you are able to connect emotionally with cleaning, you are one step closer to doing it excellently well and enjoying it while doing it.
I hope these suggestions come in handy. Let me know what you think in the comments.