Clean House, Clean Conscience

I never realized how many cookbooks I had until they were organized in one place.

I feel for all those bloggers that have to utilize their nights and weekends writing.

Life is too distracting when my family is home to be very creative, especially since my desk is right in the middle of the chaos. During the school week, my ability to gaze out my front windows, absorbing the sunlight and the trees, is only skewed by seasonal rain or snow. Then, of course, I can get lost for hours in the moisture rich skies. There are no children running through the house, football watching husbands shouting at the TV screen or pressing schedules. Plus, when everyone is home, I feel guilty taking too much “me time”. I feel like I need to be physically busy, not just mentally moving. Unfortunately, though, I haven’t been very good at balancing my writing time with my housecleaning, resulting in my husband wiping a wall of dust off of his nightstand this weekend when he reached for the remote control.

I was incredibly embarrassed.

Add to the fact that The Hare needed more attention due to minor oral surgery on Thursday, and The Tortoise has come down with some sort of head-cold, I have been needed in areas other than the laundry room. Monday was my opportunity to tackle the grocery shopping and cleaning. In my head, I really thought I could get it all done in a few hours, leaving me time to write. But by six o’clock, I was still in my bleach-stained cleaning pants with a mop in one hand and a spoon in the other stirring potato soup. I was asleep by 10pm, which is highly unusual, but I had three clean bathrooms and bedrooms, vacuumed carpets, mopped tile, glistening granite, organized shelves, folded laundry and dust-free rooms from top to bottom. And a kitchen full of fresh produce and usable groceries.

I was incredibly productive.

As I sit down this morning, for the first time in weeks, my conscience is clean too. I didn’t realize how burdened and cluttered my brain had become from neglecting the space around me. I had developed tunnel vision, only looking at the pictures on my desk or the view out my windows and ignored the dried toothpaste on the bathroom counter. Three days away from my craft made me a bit anxious, cementing in my mind that this is more than just a hobby but a passion. However, now that I have sweated Pine-Sol and waded through elbow grease, I also see that I can’t neglect the other things I am passionate about: taking care of my family and my home. The scales were weighted unevenly and balance needed to be restored.

I was incredibly unbalanced.

And now, I’m not.

So, please, if you have any words of wisdom about how to get it all done on a daily basis, I am all ears.



2 thoughts on “Clean House, Clean Conscience

  1. I finally caved and hired someone to clean my house twice a week. With a four year old and a 1.5 year old and never a moment alone, I never had time to clean – only to scratch the surface of the clutter they leave strewn in their wake.

    They were never off the floors long enough to mop them.

    Dusting? Ha!

    The first time my house was cleaned, three ladies cleaned for 3.5 hours. Assuming I was as efficient and not interrupted, it would’ve taken me 10.5 hours of constant cleaning to achieve what they did.

    I don’t have that kind of time right now, and the time I do have, I’d rather spend with my kids. Or my husband. Or writing. Or reading.

    Time is just too precious.

    Go you for cleaning the house. I know how you feel. The first few days after my house is cleaned I can breathe and it’s wonderful.

    But I also get grouchy when I see my husband splatter a mess and not clean up. “The floors were just mopped!”

    So there’s something to be said for dirty floors, where one more thing won’t make it worse.

    My biggest issue is most of my writing time is at night. Which means my husband loses out the most.

    I’m still working on that.

  2. I wish I had a magic wand or a twitch in my nose to help me get it all done. It seems like the clutter follows me around. First my desk gets cluttered, then my car, then my bedroom and then….you get the picture.

    I have picked up a few tips from My favorite one is to use a timer when cleaning…I set it for 15 minutes and its a race against the clock. I stay in one room for the entire 15 minutes. . When the timer stops, I stop. Then it is on to the next room, another race against the clock. I keep at it for 1 hour then I get a 15 minute break. The timer helps to keep me focused.

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