My Tidy Little Habit
We are all creatures of habit, whether those habits include leaving piles of dirty socks in odd places all over the house or hitting the snooze button 10 times before we actually get out of bed. Oftentimes our habits do nothing but annoy our spouses or make us as round as bowling balls but occasionally they can be of good use.
Jason and I are far from lazy but between working hard and working hard at having fun there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything we need to get done. Hence, it’s often proven difficult for us to keep up with our housework even when we have the best of intentions. We used to clean in massive clumps because we couldn’t find time to do so otherwise but a few months ago I decided to put an end to this manic straightening. I devised a plan to encourage housework to become as much a part of our regular routine as brushing our teeth or putting on a fresh pair of underwear each morning. (Jason often overlooks applying daily deodorant so I won’t use that as an example of an established habit.)
I instituted “cleaning night” and now Jason and I spend an evening every week attacking our house with dusters and mops from top to bottom. Cleaning night has proven quite effective. Our house stays pretty tidy these days and if it does grow unruly putting it back in order isn’t an insurmountable task. I’ll admit that all the summer yard work and vacations have made it considerably harder to keep the cleaning constant but we’ve managed to stay on top of it reasonably well because I’m too obstinate to give up on any of my cockeyed ideas.
Now that our house doesn’t suffer from dust neglect I’m preparing to implement phase II of my habitual ploy. You know all those deep cleaning projects that you never ever have time for: the cupboards, the pantry, vacuuming under the bed, etc? Well, I have schemed up a way to get them all completed regularly. I have compiled a list of all these never-dones and Jason and I are going to take one of them on every week until they’re finished, at which point we’ll begin cycling through the list once again. These deep projects will be tackled in addition to our regular cleaning night. Yes, our lives are going to be even more packed, which doesn’t seem possible, but at least our cupboards will be tidy. Sadly, time is always a casualty in the war for neatness.
Between yard work and house work and regular work, life doesn’t give one much of a break. Jason and I sometimes lose whole weeks without anything to show for it except sparkly bathtubs and a happy yard. This seems to be an all too common complaint among the chronically busy. Regardless, I think cleaning night is a keeper. I would recommend a straightening ritual to anyone. Why should date night have the monopoly on breaking a sweat?