To clean or not to clean!

Is it really that dirty in here?

Now I used to be a clean freak, a real clean freak, hoovered every day, sometimes twice, three times if something was spilt! I would clean all carpets weekly, hall carpet daily. Kitchen and bathroom floor cleaned daily. Kitchen and bathroom cleaned daily. All I did was clean, clean and clean some more, but at the time it was all I had control of. A failing relationship, abusive and controlling, the only thing I was allowed to do was clean, and I was allowed to clean as much as possible for fear it wouldn’t look good enough when he came home. So cleaned I did, it really was all I had in my life that I owned. It sounds sad and I hear you saying ‘why put up with it, get out, move on’, but until you have been there please do not judge.

Moving on from that little emotional moment, now I have my allotment, I work, I have three children, I study and cleaning really is at the bottom of the pile and keeps getting pushed down daily! Until yesterday when my husband (not previous relationship I might add) was talking about how his mother was never a clean freak but she does seem to keep the house cleaner than we do. He has never witnessed the clean freak in me. When I went through my separation I wanted the old life to vanish all in one go. Besides my husband is the most untidy person you could ever meet on the planet and to be honest I just gave up. In my previous relationship mess was not an option so even though I cleaned the house within an inch of its life, it never really got messed up. This time I just gave up because no matter how much I did I could not get on top of it. My husband isn’t bothered about mess, my children are getting older so leaving things lying around and obviously the more children you have the more mess there is and so the horrible cycle of mess has continued and I am afraid to say I feel stuck in a rut and not knowing how to get out of it. How do people keep their houses so spotless when they lead such busy lives? How do they get everything done in a day and complete all their other commitments?

For example today I have to go and do some banking and run a couple of errands, I have school runs to do, swimming lessons and a baby alongside me while I  complete all the above so before I know it, it will be 7pm and nothing in the house of any use would have got done. Well possibly the dishwasher and a load of washing but I can’t see what else will get time after I have done all the running around I need to do. I also have some bulbs to plant, the garden needs sweeping, the birds need clearing out and feeding and I have some seedlings to plant. And somewhere today I need to do several hours of study!

So I am asking how do people do it? How do people keep spotless houses? Why, whenever I see houses on the tv or in magazines etc are they so spotless? Why can I not achieve this anymore? I used to have this house of complete spotlessness, where did it all go wrong?

Answers on a postcard will be extremely appreciated!

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