Why I Can’t Keep My House Clean

This summer has shown many a minute being spent perusing cleaning articles on the ‘net; namely, how in the world do I keep my house neat and tidy? And while my search has revealed many admittedly great tips I still can’t help but wonder, who are these people?

Like many, I do appreciate a clean house. I really do. A friend of the family growing up was and still is an immaculate housekeeper. I love a tidy area with scrubbed surfaces. There is order and beauty.

Three years ago is when I began to truly care about getting my house in order. Layne was off in Missouri with the Army and I was staying at my parents with a new baby who slept a lot. My parents are not tidy people, so I’m not about to say they inspired me to great desires of cleanliness. But I had little to do but be a mom, and some way or another I found myself reading about minimalism, which of course leads to housekeeping. I’m happy to say I can pinpoint this summer as a changing point in my housekeeping.

But I’m still so far from perfect. I’ve discovered that I can deep clean a house with the best of them. Maintaining that order? Another story entirely.

In my road to becoming a neater person with a neater house, I have decided to take a deep look within and identify my problems:

  1. My parents weren’t the best housekeepers. I hate to blame them, but when I was about six my mom started teaching piano and my dad has always worked. We were far from the messiest house I had ever seen, but we just weren’t all that tidy. Therefore, I didn’t grow up in a neat-as-a-pin home. My expectations are different.
  2. A super-clean house apparently isn’t a priority. A gal I grew up with and recently stopped following on Facebook due to her inane and perfect life had a baby some months ago. Days after giving birth, she posted a picture of her super clean kitchen that apparently was more important than resting. To each their own, but after giving birth to Ruby our apartment was a disaster. Seriously, though, as much as cleaning has grown in importance to me, it’s still not there at the top of the list.
  3. I’m a working mom. Which would be a different story (hopefully) if my kids were in daycare full time, but they’re half-timers. So, kids are home without me. Making messes. Yup.
  4. I haven’t figured out the right schedule. All the little aforementioned tips gleaned from the internet are all about getting cleaning into my daily schedule. Sadly, I just don’t schedule it in daily. Oh, I can take a few hours every so often and power clean like no one’s business, but the little upkeeps throughout the day? I just don’t can’t think of it.
  5. I can’t put cleaning in perspective. I think I may have done to the perfectionist extreme of cleaning, which is just as defeating. I see messy and I see clean. There is no inbetween. It’s clean or it’s not.
  6. I make it my job. We had a chore chart for awhile between Layne and I, but he didn’t care and I did. Now, if I give the man a job or even a list of chores, he will do them just fine. But he doesn’t think of cleaning any more than I do.


Now, what to do with these? #1 has is a sailed ship, though Mom and I can always laugh about our tidiness issues. #2… I like to think I have come far here. Combine it with the perspective of #5 and I may be onto something. The rest are some decent goals: get Layne and Ruby involved and take those internet tips to heart.


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