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Housekeeping

March 18, 2010
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If you were to take a peek into my home (which probably would never happen) the first thing you will notice is the lovely (as designers call it) “tablescape” in my pitiful excuse for an entry way.

What then you will notice is the chaos. Things strewed about like we were robbed, papers from my (very expensive) visa journey all over the coffee table that is starting to become my work table much to the dismay of my husband who also uses the same table as his gaming headquarters (I say this because my papers also share space with his two remote controls, headgear piece – two as a matter of fact because one is apparently not sufficent, and his keyboard) and dinner table.

Now the dining room table instead has my craft stuff (I blame this damn wedding) all over the place: fabric remnants that was suppose to be a curtain for the kitchen, thank you notes that I could have bought but in my stubborness decide to “make” them by stamping our initials in a passable monogram (I wish) and a heart (that is as DIY as I get and even then the letters turn out crooked or smudged or what have you) and colored gel pens all over the place. I will not start on the bedroom.

The one place of comfort is the kitchen (my mother’s doing. I cannot abide a dirty kitchen). There at least everything is wiped down, dishes are put away, and everything is stuffed somewhere in a semblance of order (don’t open the ‘junk drawer’ though. I cannot be held responsible for what jumps out at you. You have now had fair warning).

Thankfully, Cory isn’t the neatest of people. Thus, we have managed to cohabitate peacefully under the same roof without anyone yelling about putting the dishes in the sink (okay, so I might have done this a time or two but nowhere near as often as I could, believe me) or grumbling about shirts lying about (also him).

I think I remember a time where my room was orderly. The bed was made everyday. Clothes, papers, homework (no gaming consoles to worry about then) had their place. That period of time is what I like to call pre-depression Jesselyn (not very imaginative but that’s the best I got). As the chaos grew inside me, so did the chaos around me. Seems fitting. I once heard someone mention that a person’s home is a look into someone’s soul. At first, I thought they must be at least mildly exaggerating. Now I wonder if there is some truth to her (it must have been a her. A man would have never been that dramatic) words.

Looking at the mess around me, I have to confess, I am at a lost. I am not certain how I got here and not exactly sure how to get out either. It is afterall, easier to mantain than to fix. I think that is a similar analogy to how I feel inside. Similar I think to most situations we get ourselves in. Weddings (we get sucked in), perceptions of beauty, our integrity, etc. I digress. We were talking about my housekeeping skills or lack thereof. Now I did not read A Practical Wedding’s * exploration of “wife” series. I had every intention to. I mean, I am a wedding blogger who takes herself seriously after all. Not very many fluffy, pretty pictures to speak of but my attempts at “deep” thoughts on not a very deep subject. Anyway, I was planning on reading them but reading the debates and such just made my head hurt. So I say when I say I am in charge of the housekeeping, I say it with much trepidation waiting for a bunch of brides to come over and chew me up and spit me out in little pieces.

*waits for it*

Lemme explain: I am in charge of the housekeeping because at present moment, the husband is in charge of the bread-winning. Believe me, no one is more unhappy about this situation than I am (except maybe him). So yes, I have to take care of the cave and care for Arden the Beagle (and occasionally write papers on the state of the economy and financial theories) while my caveman husband goes out in search of food. Personally I think I make a much better “hunter” so to speak but the US government first wants to make sure I am not crazy (understandable but I do ferverantly wish they would hurry up about it). So it is only fair wouldn’t you agree? I mean, the husband works what? 60 hours a week and I sit on my bum doing nothing. He never says this. Cory is far more compassionate person but the word hangs in the air unsaid. Probably just me conjuring it.

Problem now being as I have now explained to you. I have not much housekeeping skills to speak of. Or maybe I do, it is just buried. Along with my sanity somewhere (my therapist do wishes I stop saying that). Even if my feminist denies the housekeeping ability, it is a useful ability to have. Married or not. So I am resolving to embrace my inner “Martha” and get to work on this apartment.

Only now, where do I start?

I could invite my sister over to help me and ply her with food. Cooking at least I am decent at. (Except chicken pot pie. Chicken pot pie being the easiest recipe in the world and it fails me. Every. Single. Time. I kid you not. Even the frozen ones) But the last time she was over the look of disgust was too much for me to bear. I cannot ask her back again. Even for food.

Help a sister out. Tips to tackling the apartment. Hit me. (Gently)

If you notice I didn’t wrap this post up nice and neatly this time with a epiphany or a solid conclusion about the subject. My only solid conclusion that I suck at housekeeping but somehow must flounder along until I get a job and start working (and not sitting on my bum all day)

 

Picture by Amazon.

* Who I greatly admire and at the same time selfishly envy because I realize all the realizations I have had about the wedding industry complex, brides, and indeed, wife she has already covered (and covered more eloquently than I ever could). *sigh*

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 18, 2010 2:26 am

    This post actually made me want to go home and clean our apartment. Strange.

    I hear ya though, our place is chaos most of the time.

    I find it easier if I just take it one room at a time. It is surprisingly quick. Just make sure in each room that you put everything where it is supposed to go, and aim for one room a day. In the meantime though, make an effort not to recreate mess in the rooms you have already completed.

  2. March 18, 2010 6:08 am

    I feel the same way you do a lot of the time. He works, and I don’t because I’m a student. But it’s even worse because although I’m not earning any money, school work tends to take up more time than his 40 hour/week job does so I have even less time to clean but I’m stuck with the guilt that I should be cleaning. Vicious cycle.

    As for tips, Miss C’s suggestion is actually an excellent one that I never considered before. Or you could take a tip from Sara at 2000dollarwedding and figure out what chores you want to have done daily, weekly and monthly. I tend to follow that structure so I know what need to get done when, it keeps me organized. Here’s her post:
    http://2000dollarwedding.com/2008/08/tip-1-how-to-have-successful-marriage.html

  3. March 18, 2010 7:47 am

    Our tiny flat is overwhelmed by stuff and lack of storage space. (I blame the wedding too!)

    I don’t really like tidying up the boys things because he only gets grumpy I’ve put them in the wrong place.

    One room at a time, ok here I come little living room!

  4. March 18, 2010 8:41 am

    I have started setting the oven timer and working on a specific room for that time. The time goal motivates me, and I can always add extra minutes if I am not done. Housework/organization is a challenge for me too, and the more I let it go, the harder it is to tackle. The weird thing is, I feel soooo much better in a clean house. I think there is something to be said (at least for me) about the state of the home being linked to emotional state. I have been thinking about some sort of schedule where I clean/organize certain things on certain days, but so far haven’t tried that. The most effective thing for me: invite people for dinner.

    Also: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Veggie-Pot-Pie/Detail.aspx

    I love this recipe and it is pretty easy. You could add chicken, and can use a good amount of frozen veggies in the mix, if you want, and pasty puff dough bought from the freezer section at the grocery store for the crust top. Or I tried it with biscuit dough last time. Last time I made double the filling and froze it to have it on hand when we get the urge. Yum.

  5. March 18, 2010 9:14 am

    When he doesn’t work, I tell him he has to clean. It is only fair in my opinion. When we both work, he rarely cleans unless I nag him mercilessly. We are both dirtttyy and lazy. I can’t wait until the wedding is over so I can use my spare cash to hire a weekend maid.

  6. barbride permalink
    March 18, 2010 11:09 am

    If the state of my house says something about my emotional state, then I’m in trouble. But I’ve been pretty messy my whole life…so maybe that explains it? Anyway you made me want to go clean!

  7. March 18, 2010 11:45 am

    Maybe try focusing on one area at a time? Like the junk drawer one afternoon, the coffee table another day? My house is starting to get bad too…I have an ironing board and sewing stuff strewn all over my br, I have no other place to put it and I hate putting it all away and then getting it right back out.

  8. March 18, 2010 2:54 pm

    I understand that it might be hard to admit to being sucked into the traditional non-feminist wife role if you haven’t really chosen to stay home… Heck, it’s hard admitting to it publicly for me and in my case it has been a choice my fiancé and I made : he works, i take care of the kids/home/laundry/etc.

    And a couple years ago it was the other way around : he stopped working to take care of the kids while i worked outside the home, and it was a given that he would have to do all the house related chores. (And he also had a hard time admitting to it publicly, go figure….)

    It actually works well if it’s really all laid out : clearly state what each is waiting for from the other, so there are no hidden expectations.
    Maybe you should talk to him about it ? Maybe, just maybe, he’s not really waiting on you to do anything ? Or maybe some specific things but not others ?

    Also, something that really helped me get back on track of housekeeping is http://www.flylady.net/. Just a series of routines you (slowly) set up to help you get control again. That and repeating to myself : “it didn’t get this messy in a day, i’m not going to get it clean in a day !” 🙂

  9. March 18, 2010 4:15 pm

    I did Apartment Therapy’s Spring Cure a few years ago and found it really helped us get an organizational structure to our home. It just started up this week if you’re curious: http://cure.apartmenttherapy.com/2010/spring

  10. March 18, 2010 8:44 pm

    I unfortunately have no words of wisdom as our place is exactly the same. We rent and have no cupboards at all. So I am hoping that this is the cause of the problem… .but I think it’s just us! If you find the answer let me know!

  11. Jason permalink
    March 18, 2010 10:14 pm

    I never seen your place, but from the stories I hear, I don’t think I’d want to…

    I’m a pretty messy person too, but I make it a mission to clean up once every week or every other week.

    1) wake up early…open the windows and let the sunlight in and air out the place
    2) get a BIG industrial size garbage bag
    3) start throwing out stuff*

    *stuff: anything that you don’t use. Includes things that may appear to be useful, but isn’t. Also includes old papers or magazines or things you bought that you never ever used (nor will you ever use).

    My old supervisor used to make me clean up his cubicle for him (yea what an ass) with the reasoning “Clean desk, Clean Mind”. It just kinda stuck with me since then, since I think having a clean desk and apt I do work and live more comfortably. I try not to shop at Costco now given I know I don’t have much storage space. I rather pay a premium to live in a spacious home rather than a cramped apt.

  12. Jesselyn permalink*
    March 19, 2010 12:55 pm

    @Anna – When I put Cory’s stuff away, he always grumbles that he cannot find it when it is where it is suppose to be. *rolls eyes*
    @cupcake – maybe you hit on the solution. I need a maid! lol
    @m.dentelle – thanks for the link. I think that is also a lot of what my problem is, I feel like by cleaning I am succumbing to the traditional “wife” role. Next, I am suppose to be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen!
    @kc – I once tried that I think. I don’t think it worked to well 😛
    @ Jason – yeah, Cory and I are packrats. I will clean my place and you and the sissy can come over for dinner for real

  13. March 19, 2010 1:50 pm

    my kitchen is also the only part of my apartment that is orderly- house keeping is hard, but i am so happy when the home is clean…I too am the house keeper as I am in graduate school and husband is the breadwinner- i know how you feel!

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