I Fell Off the Wagon

Look, before I even start, I know I’m a total geek, and probably also considered a weirdo in most circles because (dramatic pause for big announcement): I don’t mind cleaning the house. It’s not on my top 5 list of favorite things to do, but I like to do it because it makes the whole house seem, well, so much cleaner! And fresher! And brighter! And it makes me happy.

The problem though came with getting hooked on the TV show Hoarders on The Learning Channel. Yes I know that hoarding is a mental illness. It’s very sad, in fact, because some of those people have no control over their impulses. After watching a couple of episodes though, I decided that I was a total slob, maybe even borderline hoarder, and went on a maniacal cleaning spree about 3 months ago. Anybody that knows me will tell you my house was not and is not dirty. I keep things neat and tidy for the most part. But I was seriously  going overboard with the cleaning. We’re talking closets that hadn’t seen the light of day in years, clothing, under beds, baseboards, walls, windows – nowhere was safe. And I was going strong for about a month and a half. It felt so good! I got rid of a ton of ‘stuff’ that I had been holding on to for years (just in case I ever needed it, of course).

I got a little crazy about cleaning because the show freaked me out. We have a big house; 5 bedrooms and a loft, 2 stories. It takes for-ev-er to clean. So I started working out a cleaning schedule. Trying to breakdown the house so I was doing a little bit everyday. Then I started adding reminder things to the list (like cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning the inside of the oven, oiling the squeaky front door), and before I know it the list was unmanageable. Again. Like it was before I started. So then I decided to Google (I heart Google) to see if I could find some generic cleaning schedule I could tweak and work with. There wasn’t one out there that I liked. But I found lots of good ideas. And I also found FlyLady.net, my lifesaver! You can subscribe to her daily email, and she breaks down cleaning and organizing into one room a week. It doesn’t happen over night, but it does happen (wasn’t that the tag line to the old school Pantene commercials?). And then because I’m a TOTAL geek, I developed a cleaning schedule, weekly and monthly reminders and all, in Excel (I really heart Excel!). I know, please don’t tell me what a total dork I am. But it worked for me! Until…

Until the great flood of 2010 hit us. And I fell off the cleaning wagon after that. Or at least that’s the excuse I used. After all the water damage and the house being all torn up, I just said forget it, it’s not even worth trying to keep clean. I am SO good at talking myself out of doing things I don’t want to do! Also, really, what’s the purpose of trying to keep the house (specifically tile floors) clean when you’ve got three kids and two dogs? Between the juice spills, spit, spit up, and wet dog paws, the floor looks dirty about 10 minutes after I clean it!

So now, I’m trying to climb back on the wagon. I really do like it when the house is clean. When it’s not clean, I get stressed out because it’s not clean. So as of Monday, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled cleaning schedule. But since I have been neglecting it for so long, it’s going to take forever to get it back to spic and span. Yay.

And so it goes…


  1. Stephanie says:
    Totally not a dork. I discovered after failing for over a year to keep my house clean that I needed a schedule. I do the great room and living room, top to bottom every Monday. The bathrooms and hallways on Wednesday. The bedrooms (sheets and all) on Friday. Anything I don't get done on one of those days can be finished the following, unscheduled day. Everyday, I do the kitchen and whatnot, but Sundays I deep clean the kitchen and check the bills and regroup for Monday.

    I'm not doing Flylady anymore, but she changed the way I looked at cleaning. She made it a fun challenge to get these things done and "shine my sink." And really...making your bed first thing in the morning and then walking out to see that shiny sink from the night before...it really helps the tone of the day. A lot of her suggestions have stuck (like getting dressed to the shoes and making my bed in the morning).

    Don't sweat it too much. Seriously. If you're really trying (and I can tell you are - it's definitely on your mind), you'll come up with your own routine that you'll be able to stick to. The hardest part for me was realizing that I can't clean our whole house, top to bottom, in one single day. Not possible, but breaking it up into rooms is totally doable and feels just as rewarding knowing that those rooms are already done for the week. (I had a clean my whole house, every single day mindset previously that was KILLING ME LOL)
  2. Holly Renee says:
    You sound pretty awesome and not dorky to me, but I've been told I'm a dork, so I don't know where my opinion gets you LOL. It's funny that the show Hoarders made you clean more. I watch it and I think, "Man I'm doing such a good job. At least I don't have crap everywhere." I think your reaction was a bit more productive.
  3. bbcd mama says:
    While I'm not that wild, I do enjoy vacuuming. I get such a sense of accomplishment, and I feel like, if I can pick up and put away stuff, and vacuum, all is right with the world. :)
  4. My sister used Flylady.net and loved it too! I've never checked it out though. I too, love a clean house and fortunately I don't have a very big house, so that saves some time. Can't imagine what it will be like with kids though!
  5. Hey..since you are getting back on the wagon...could you ride it on over to my house and clean for me??? I hate it..but I love a clean house!!
  6. One Love Mama says:
    I enjoy cleaning too! Maybe not scrubbing the toilet, but I love a clean house so much... I don't mind doing it. I've always though that was because I'm a Virgo... but who knows? I'll have to check out FlyLadies! Have a great weekend xox
  7. The Reader says:
    The only way I ever managed to get and maintain a clean house was when we moved to Brazil and none of the clutter was allowed to come with us. Plus, smaller house, and no dog. So -- good for you!

    I share your thoughts on "why bother?" though - it's like the quote says, "You don't shovel snow while it is still snowing; why clean house while the kids are still there?!" ...sigh....

    Anyway, thanks for popping over to my blog and following me; I popped over here and just read the entire front page of posts -- you write so well! Am following you now as well!
  8. My husband is the one who's hardest to pick up after. Blerg. He tries....mostly...

    But flylady.net I will have to check out!


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