New Hobbies

The Secret To Maintaining A Long-term Relationship (Or Why I Decided To Just Do The Laundry Already)

You wanna know the secret to a long-term relationship?

BRAINWASHING!*

Or maybe denial? Actually, you probably shouldn’t trust me on this one. I’ve only been in one truly serious relationship in my life and I’m pretty sure it’s because I managed to find the most tolerant person on the planet. (Also, dividing up our stuff sounds like more work than just staying together for the next 60 years, so I guess we’re stuck with each other.)

I recently read this article from the New York Times and it hit eerily close to home. I don’t think of myself as a dirty person, but I am definitely a slob. (Like the author, I have also worried that Adam would break up with me because of my inability to put my laundry away. Somehow that is still not enough to motivate me to actually put the laundry away.) Got clean laundry? Why bother hanging it up if you’re just going to wear it again in a few days (or weeks)?

I have learned, however, that this is surprisingly not how all adults live and over the years I have tried my very hardest(ish) to force myself into a routine of cleanliness. (The score is currently: Cleaning – 50 million, Sophie – 0.)

Inspiration from my brother’s girlfriend. I’m sure she and Adam could spend a good several hours comparing frustrations.

To be fair to me, Adam knew what he was getting himself into. The first time he ever visited my house (right after we started dating), I wanted to make a good first impressions so I shoved all the dirty clothes covering my floor into my closet. (Actually doing the laundry would’ve been too easy.) A few weeks later, I found him doing the dishes that had piled up in my kitchen sink simply because he couldn’t stand to look at them anymore. (Pretty sure they had been there since the last time he had visited so he may have just been trying to convince himself that I wasn’t as disgusting as I appeared.) That being said, I understand a solid relationship is about compromise and trying to be the best version of yourself for the sake of the other person so I’ve decided to maybe try a little harder. Maybe.

Part of my goal in finding new hobbies (and writing this blog) has also been to find a routine. Not necessarily a set list of things to do from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, but something to give me guidance throughout the day. It also makes working fun activities into my day a bit easier. Since I’ve had relative success with the fun stuff so far, I figured I might as well apply this logic (and hopefully success) to my least favorite activity on the planet.

Cleaning. (Insert pukey emoji here.)

The only way this chore chart was getting made is if it involved pretty colors.
Why I Never Clean
  1. It seems inefficient to my brain. If I dust now, I’ll still have to dust again in a week so why bother dusting at all? Voila! Your life is now super economical (and dusty).
  2. It’s boring.
  3. I never know where to start. If I want to vacuum, I have to pick things up off the floor. If I pick things up off the floor, then I have to find a place to put them. If I have to find a place to put them, then I have to clean up another area of the house so there’s room. It’s all very “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”
  4. I honestly forget what chores need to be done. If I’m not staring at something in the moment, I tend to forget about it. Like sometimes I think, “I should really empty the bathroom trashcan,” but as soon as I leave the bathroom, I forget. (Adam doesn’t understand this at all. He is apparently a cleaning encyclopedia.)
  5. Adam and I have different ideas about what “clean” is and what our pet peeves are. For example, I hate it when he dumps his coat on the couch or leaves the Lysol wipes on the counter. (And he hates that he has to clean almost everything else.)
How To Make Yourself A Tidy Person

Chore charts.

This is why cleaning is terrible. Look at everything has to be done! Every week! Adulthood is not what I thought it would be.

Inspired by my brother’s girlfriend (apparently the clutter bug is a genetic trait), I have made chore charts for out house detailing who is responsible for what and on which days of the week. My hope is this will solve 2 issues:

  1. It’ll help avoid burn out by forcing us to clean consistently throughout the week. (I typically get the urge to clean everything about once every year or so and then feel like I never want to clean anything again.)
  2. It will help us remember what actually needs to be done without constantly having to remind (nag) the other person to do their part. (It also removes the ability to blame the other person when things don’t get done. I don’t like this part.)

    Even though Adam’s daily lists look longer, mine are harder! (At least that’s what I told him.) He works from home so he’s around more.

Since I literally just made these an hour ago, I have no idea how well they’ll work, but they’re fun and colorful and we’re both weirdly excited about them. I even started working on one of my chores that isn’t on the list until Wednesday!

(For the record, I’m considering making the chore charts to be my chore for the day and I’ll start following the chart tomorrow. I totally promise!…)

*Results may vary.

22 thoughts on “The Secret To Maintaining A Long-term Relationship (Or Why I Decided To Just Do The Laundry Already)

  1. I hate cleaning for the same reasons as you, particularly the WHERE DO I START part. It just seems so circular! Also growing up, my mother was an absolutely obsessive compulsive cleaning demon so no sooner had anything been set down than it was whisked away. Sometimes I would have to go looking for my spoon more than once after she had washed and put it away WHILE I WAS EATING. As you can imagine the minute I was left to my own devices that spoon stayed right where I needed it, even if that meant balancing precariously on top of the box of Frosties.

    I try to strike a balance now but I know I’m pretty messy. I fight it, but it usually wins. I refuse to make up a glorious chore chart like yours though and instead go on cleaning sprees after which everything is spotless before sliiiiiiiiding into disarray again until the next one.

    Is this going to be a lifelong battle? I feel exhausted just thinking about it…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am totally with you! My parents weren’t crazy compulsive clean, but they definitely had better cleaning habits than I do. Now that my brother and I are out of the house, their house is spotless.

      I’ve always been a binge cleaner too. It’s our downfall.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I, like Quinn, clean everything in a barrage and wait until it needs to be done again. Usually, I spend 1-2 hours cleaning everything really good and then call it quits for a few weeks, except for dishes and laundry; those get done (eventually) every week.

    My brother lives with 2 roommates and for the past 4 years, they divvy up the chores by playing video and board games. The loser gets the worst of the jobs like cleaning the bathrooms and mopping, where the winner only has to take the trash out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s hilarious! What an awesome system (if that works for them). Binge cleaning is the bane of my existence and absolutely the reason why my house is always a mess. We’ll see if the chore chart helps!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m am such an untidy person. Three things motivate me to clean: 1. “Oh s**t, people are coming over. 2. The very rare: “I can’t live like this anymore” 3. Guilt when my husband starts cleaning in earnest. Fortunately, my husband isn’t too bothered by most of it. I’m also having hard time right now being consistent with good habits. Hope you have luck with the chore board. Once you establish a habit, it does become easier (unless you easily fall off like me).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahaha there’s the other problem where you’ve actually begun the cleaning but you see a picture of a tiny pup on your instagram feed and before you know it, the vacuum cleaner is on while you’re all stretched out on the couch with a phone in your hand, looking at cute puppies. Oops. I forgot.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hahha I like the ‘results may very’ bit. I’m actually a very lazy person too, all summer my room has been a mess, but when I don’t have something to do, or if I’m just super anxious cleaning actually helps distract my mind. But it’s such a task. I’m soo amazed at these chores chart! All the best to youu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Also, I completely agree. Being an adult is nothing like what our 5 year old selves thought it would be. Where’s my ice cream for dinner?

      Like

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