You wanna know the secret to a long-term relationship?
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.)
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.)
Why I Never Clean
- 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).
- It’s boring.
- 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.”
- 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.)
- 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
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:
- 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.)
- 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.)
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.