I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

~ Confucius ~

Cleaning Up

August 4th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 1 min, 52 secs

Cleaning has some influential effects.

Cleaning has some influential effects.

I don’t mind cleaning. Not all the time of course. But the desire to clean a kettle or see the gleam in the paintwork of a sparkling car makes me feel good. So I do it, but never enough.

Tidy as much as you like, the process of dirt accumulating and mess mounting back is continuous. You cannot escape from the burden of cleaning. So, unless you can afford to pay someone else, you may as well learn to enjoy what you have to do.

It fascinates me how couples decide how to handle mess. Some seem completely compatible by jointly ignoring their clutter. While others flit around together like two birds building a nest, happily absorbed in activities of tidying and organizing.

That leaves everyone else to squabble over their different views about the distribution of labor in the cleaning process. In turn, this also highlights tensions about whoever keeps making more than their share of the mess.

So cleaning can be a trigger point for conflict. Even seemingly happy folk get quite bent out of shape about the mess factor in their lives as the issue takes on major proportions. It’s clear cleaning is important and doing it well deserves more than effort. It needs a plan.

Enter the big clean up campaign. Just as households did of old with annual spring cleaning rituals, every home does well to get a thorough going over now and then, regardless how tidy it looks.

We all do well to maintain a few cleaning routines too and (ideally) aim to share the wear. That way, not only does it become easier, but also everyone can appreciate how much effort it takes.

Yet, despite our exertions, mess is inevitable. Carpets get stained, and spills, marks, and scuffs are part of everyday life. Yet, surprisingly, these commonplace aspects can easily become catalysts for arguments and lingering resentment.

For these reasons, it’s also wise to talk about the fallout of mess so that everybody knows what is reasonable and not when it comes to untidiness and cleaning up.

While clarifying your cleaning routines, it’s worth discussing and agreeing on how much cleaning is needed. After all, for some in the household cleaning is a blessed ritual, and almost a measure of being. For others, tidying up is a toxic chore to be avoided whenever possible and rarely done at all.

Talk together about what keeping your home clean and orderly means to you so those at home know about its significance. Because whilst tidying up might not be critical in the grand scheme of things, our state of organization and how we feel about our cleanliness definitely does.

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Diagnosing House Disorder


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