I've never been a good housekeeper.
It is a lack of skill that brings me continual grief.
Now, I could go into all kinds of excuses for my non-talent in this area. I could say that I have three children under the age of 6 who are constantly undermining my efforts. I could say that I have had a number of health problems in the last 5 years that have been difficult to recover from and have left me with an energy deficit that makes cleaning arduous. I could say that I'm just too overwhelmed, I have too much going on, that the messes of 5 people are just too much for 1 person to clean up.
But really, that doesn't quite pinpoint the actual truth.
The truth is; I didn't listen to my mother when I was younger.
(Hi, mom! *waving* :P)
I didn't understand the purpose behind making my bed if I preferred laying in crumpled sheets. I didn't understand the benefit of putting things up on a shelf when it was easier to let them drop to the floor. I cultivated an unkempt corner of my room with reckless abandon. What's more, I loved being a "night owl", and created a deeply-ingrained habit of late nights and noon wakings.
Bottom line: I was lazy.
I could get into all the how's and why's of this particular flaw in my character, but that would be boring. The facts are that it IS a flaw, despite what I might have convinced myself of in previous years, and it is one that I struggle with to this day.
Unhealthy habits are hard ones to break, let me tell you.
To say that I am overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do would be only halfway true. I do get overwhelmed, BUT...over the years I have found that unless I have a constant stream of never-ending work to do, I revert back to my inherent laziness.
If I don't have enough to do, I get bored. If I don't have a large enough variety of things to do, I get bored.
Let's face it, dirty dishes are boring. Laundry is boring. But if I have certain enjoyable things interspersed amongst the boring chores, it helps relieve the drudgery. Dishes, then rabbits, then laundry, then taking kids swimming, then reading, then mopping, then vacuuming, then cooking, then napping, etc. etc. etc.
Also, having really enthusiastic children helps too. My kids will take rags and attack a dirty toilet like none other (also, they LOVE squirting cleaner onto...well, everything). Then I don't have to do it (yeeecchh), they learn valuable skills, and they have fun with it too. I do have to avert my eyes while they do it because honestly, using anything other than rubber gloves and copious amounts of paper towels while cleaning a toilet grosses. Me. Out. But that's just me being squeamish. There's nothing actually wrong with cleaning the old fashioned way (with slave labor! wait...).
SO. Here's my list of tips for anybody else who struggles with laziness and keeping a clean house. Hope somebody finds it useful!
1. Work really damn hard.
2. Get up early. Late nights are NOT worth it!
3. Let your kids help. I cannot stress enough how important this one is, both from a parenting perspective, and a life's-better-with-company perspective!
4. Get a shop-vac for your house. Seriously. They clean up anything. Household vacuum cleaners aren't worth a crap compared to these babies!
5. Make lists. If I do something that's not on my list, I write it on my list so that I can put that infinitely-satisfying line through it. Ahhh. Accomplishment.
6. Get shelves. I like the industrial-styled shelves from Lowe's, personally. I'm not a naturally organized person, so these have helped me immensely by giving me a ready-made place to put things. Also, my house doesn't have a lot of built-in storage space. The kitchen has a lot of shelves, but most of them are out of reach for a shorty like me. I reserve those for storing things like extra mason jars (you can never have too many!!) or things that I don't use on a daily basis.
7. Work Really Damn Hard. Seriously. Just do it. Don't give up. Do it, cross those bitches off the list, and feel powerful. Character flaws do NOT have to be permanent. I might be a poor housekeeper, but I'm going to be the poor housekeeper who tries the hardest. Which brings us to number eight...
8. I'm getting off the computer now. I wish you all shining success and unbeatable attitudes!