Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Favorite Things: Confessions of a Negligent Housekeeper

When I quit my job as a banker in late 2007, I never expected that I would spend a great deal of time writing about chores. Cooking. Cleaning. Budgeting.

But life has a funny way of surprising you, and by the time last spring rolled around, I was fairly used to my new domestic life. But there were still a few things I needed to work on. Read below about my confessions of negligence:

Yesterday I spoke to you of my plans to freshen up (in other words, scour) my home in the days to come. Now I realize that ordinarily spring cleaning is supposed to be an intense and yet rather short affair. Like a week long. But I am imagining that it will take a stretch longer for me. Why?

Because I've never done any spring cleaning in this house. That's right--Never. Feel free to judge me all you want. For someone so domesticated, I've managed to avoid this annual chore for over 4 years. Right again--Four. You can count them. Sure, I've scrubbed down a few things, and dusted in corners, and put the oven on the self-cleaning cycle. But I've certainly never done what I'm about to do.

Which is to say that I intend to move furniture. That's right--actually scoot my sofas away from their terminal resting places and--heaven behold!--run a vacuum underneath. And do the same with the beds. And wash down the doors and walls. And clean out my closets, which are undoubtedly stuffed to the gills with things I've completely forgotten about and never intend to use.

And why have I never done these things? Well, mainly because I didn't have the time. Up until a year ago, I worked full-time like many of you readers out there. And during my precious leisure time I sure as hell didn't feel like moving furniture! So I've done what I think a lot of people do: the basics and not much more. Therefore my house has always looked presentable (as long as you don't gaze above my eye line, which according to my husband--who is five inches taller than me--is quite grimy), but is far from clean.

And why am I doing it now (and writing about it daily)? Well--other than the health concerns arising from the terrifying layer of dirt on the blades of my ceiling fan--because spring is coming. And though I was raised to be a faithful feminist and eschew the trappings of housekeeping for more noble affairs like world domination, I feel this almost primitive urge to air-out and clean-up. It coincides with the exact same urge I've had this winter to hunker down and snuggle up.

I call it Nesting. And apparently I've been very bad at it over the past four years. Now, I don't feel too guilty about this because honestly--in the grand scheme of things--who cares if my nooks and crannies are less than presentable? It's not a character flaw. But for once I thought I'd indulge this ancient urge to spring clean and see where it takes me. I'm hoping that during a season of struggle these simple tasks will brighten my spirits as much as they brighten my home. Call it spring cleaning therapy.

We'll see how it goes!

Originally published 24.Feb.2009: click here to view the original post

Other Related Posts:
In Defense of Clean Sheets and Fresh Bread
Drawing the Domestic Line (why I won't be ironing my sheets)
Modern Benefits from a Vintage Chore

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin