love to organize, hate to clean

lilydillyJune 13, 2008

How do I learn to love to do both. Our house is decluttered, easy to clean, I have the right tools, I have the time....

I've tried music, routines, motivational stuff... nothing seems to help me like doing it.

There are some things I don't have a problem with. I'm always happy to clean the toilets, the sink, and benches, do laundry, iron, and I'm even happy to scrub the doll's furniture! The things I don't like are showers, floors, mirrors, windows, dusting... I must have an aversion to surfaces or something. Or is it that they are just plain boring things? Oh, and the oven, but I've never met anyone who did like cleaning that LOL.

But I read on here of people who'd prefer to mop the floor than organize a closet. I'm just the opposite.

Is there a way to change? I really love our home, and there is nothing actually about it that creates the problem. It's to do with me.

I'd rather clean inside the car than the outside.

I'd rather scrub the patio chairs with a toothbrush than sweep the patio? I'd rather wash 10 sink loads of dishes, than get out the mop.

So, you wise and wonderful people... what's my problem.

Have any of you changed, and what's the secret?

I thought I could pretend I was yoga class or something, but nope, I'm perfectly happy doing bow poses at yoga class, and perfectly miserable doing bow poses while I'm mopping.

Yes, I could employ a cleaning lady, but I don't want to, and have no reason to, really. Oh, and I do clean, because I really do love having a clean house, but that's not motivation enough for me to enjoy the actual *process*.I just want to learn to love cleaning.

Open to all advice, thank you.

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I'm 52 years old and I was born organized. However, I tried to learn to love cleaning...and I couldn't. And, yes, I love a clean house, too. I gave up trying and have had a cleaning lady for many years now, once I could afford the service. I use the time saved to do extra volunteer work. To me, that's a worthwhile tradeoff.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:58PM
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I think you organize, and then hire someone else to clean.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:04PM
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Yes, I know. sigh. So it's really truly incurable?
What about cleaning ladies? Don't they enjoy their work, or learn to? Or do you have to be born with the cleaning gene?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:10AM
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I can afford to hire someone to do the stuff I don't want to do. I work, so I would rather plant flowers than pull weeds or mow grass in my spare time. We have a gardening guy. People work at things because they get paid to do it. My cleaning lady is lots younger than I am and its not such an energy drain for her to clean, and its good money for her to do when her kids are in school. When I was 16 I cleaned houses to get money for school.
I used to clean my own house, pull weeds, etc. and then I realized that when I was a substitute teacher I was giving up a day's pay sometimes to clean. Thats not practical, so I hired somebody to clean. It kept us really neater because its easier to organize and declutter if the house is scrubbed, & mopped and you are still full of energy, and I always made my kids clear up the clutter before the cleaning lady arrived.
Your time and energy are a very perishable commodity, and you have to be careful how you spend each one, and everyone gets to make their own choices.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:40AM
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I'm embarrassed to say my DH does most of the heavy cleaning. I have always hated washing floors. It used to be my assigned job when I was growing up. Got married at age 20 and hubby has been doing the floors (including vacuuming), bathrooms and windows ever since. I dust, do the majority of the laundry, dishes, shopping, bedmaking and general straightening and balance the budget. He does all of the mechanical work too. Works for me!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:31AM
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Perhaps if cleaning didn't require so much straightening up first, it could be fun--the way a crossword puzzle is fun. Making order out of chaos.

But I've never quite been able to get there.

I could do the BIG cleaning, once it's really gunky. Because the order is so clear to see, and the chaos so bad.

But daily, weekly? It just feels like drudgery or make-work.

I don't know about cleaning ladies--whether they find it enjoyable, or whether they're just really accustomed to it.

Maybe if you do it often enough, it does end up feeling as though you are "caring for"--in BOTH senses of the term, to cake have of and to have care for--your home. "Blessing it," as FlyLady says.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 10:20AM
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I don't like to clean OR organize. Takes time away from what I really want to do like sew, or cook, or garden, or read, or visit. I'm not sure what clean is (do you wash the floors once a week? Uh oh. Dust more often than every two weeks? Yikes!) I'm always glad to have company - gives me a reason to do a little surface work around here so it looks presentable!

As for putting things away, I'm not sure where "away" is! I don't like to spend money on containers to organize, but I did take to heart Talley Sue's comment on another thread about plastic bags looking like piles of junk. They are! So I got rid of 'em! But I don't know what to do with so much other stuff.

In the long run, it's probably harder to be as lazy as I am than it is to be organized and do the cleaning. I not only lack the ruthless (just-get-rid-of-it) gene, I lack the organize-and-clean gene. And I don't have enough money for housekeepers or containers.

My friend tells me that if I'd just get to it, I'd free up time to do what I want to do. After all, she's sitting in MY kitchen, enjoying my coffee and freshly baked pie while her house is magazine pretty! I think that even if my friend did the work for me, it wouldn't take me long to get stuck under again, because I wouldn't do the maintenance required. I'd bake another pie. Which brings me back to laziness.....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Lena M

I don't know about cleaning ladies--whether they find it enjoyable, or whether they're just really accustomed to it.

I got to talking to a woman who is starting a cleaning service for businesses. She really takes joy in her work, and loves to create a nice place for people to spend their workdays. She uses natural products with a bit of aromatherapy thrown in, and her goal is always to make things sparkle. Talking about how much people loved the results of her work, her face just glowed with pride.

(Me? I should just hire HER!)


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:05PM
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Why should you learn to like cleaning? Promote yourself to management, dear. Think about it...does a person who has been running an office for as long as you have been running a house do everything him/herself? Of course not.
Everyone has special gifts, and if you waste time doing what you are not good at, you lose the time and energy you are supposed to be using on the things you are.
If the cleaning person doesn't like the work, it will show in the quality, and you can move on to someone else.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:47PM
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I used to love, love to clean. Now I hate it. I don't do it. I know it's because "then" clean lasted for about 5 days. Now 4-6 hours of cleaning lasts about 3 hours. All that work and it's like the house has never been touched. It's such a thankless job when it looks like heck after a day. So I'm like, "why bother?". But I still wouldn't mind cleaning someone elses house. Just because I see a final product that turned out really good and I'm not there to see what happened to it next!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 8:50PM
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When I was younger I took on some housecleaning jobs to bring extra money into the household. I discovered it was much easier to clean someone else's home. One reason is that you know your job description and don't become distracted. The focus is on getting the job done. You don't start supper. You don't reorganize the book shelves. You don't answer the phone.

SO maybe there's a lesson for someone who dislikes cleaning. Pretend you are in someone else's house, and just do it! Remove the subjectivity and replace it with goal-oriented, efficient, simple systems.

If you don't enjoy the process now, I doubt you'll learn to love it, so my advice would be to find ways to minimize the time required. Decide what must be done to make you happy, then streamline that.

If you go to the housecleaning forum, those folks are into it! They are a wealth of ideas, and some are professional cleaners. They're the ones who know how to make short work of cleaning.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:17AM
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But I still wouldn't mind cleaning someone elses house. Just because I see a final product that turned out really good and I'm not there to see what happened to it next!

This is true for me, too. I could cheerfully clean someone else's house.

Maybe we need "cleaning buddies."

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 6:32PM
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I also like to organize, but hate to clean. I'm right on top of the laundry, but forget everything else unless there's company coming *g*. And mopping floors? Forget it!

I now have a wonderful cleaning lady who comes twice a month, and that's been a huge weight off my shoulders. It's also good discipline for keeping the house picked up and orderly because she can't clean if the place is cluttered. I used to feel guilty about it since I'm a SAHM and should be able to keep the house clean myself, but as logical as that scenario sounded, it just wasn't happening. The cleaning lady has been a huge help and is worth every penny.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 8:26AM
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For me, the big change came when I realized that I deserve to live in a clean, pretty house. Sometimes, I still lack the energy to do everything I want to do, but I have the desire. If I clean just a little bit every day, it's not a huge job.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 12:30PM
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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, who says you "should" be able to do everything? If you started a business, which involves fewer actual areas of work than running a house and raising children, you would hire someone part-time to do your accounting and your office management as soon as you could afford it, and as you grew the business you would expand your staff and put your energy into the core business, wouldn't you? The difference, at first look, would be that a business brings in revenue, and housekeeping doesn't...but in fact, concentrating on the management of a house allows you time to be creative in economizing and making use of your resources, which often translates to a cleaning person at least every other week.
For feel your house is in order, so you don't leave the house to go shopping. You are happier and less anxious about mess, so you find more ways to engage your children in keeping their home nice, and they don't grow up thinking mothers are servants...the boys make better husbands and the girls don't inherit the idea that they are servants.
You love to cook, and so because you aren't overwhelmed, you save a ton of money and increase your health by not buying fast- or junk-food.
You aren't so tired and distracted by chores all the time, so you and your husband have a better chance at more, shall we say, private time, which gives him confidence and energy to do better at work, and makes him like you so much that he offers to do laundry. Well, maybe not laundry...
Burt you get the idea. I was well into my forties before I suddenly looked up and realized that what my family really wanted was a happy, amusing, loving person at home, and to be that, I had to look first to maintenance of my spirit, and second, to the abandonment of ideas of perfection.
I shut up now.....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 1:44PM
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