Clean House, Clear Mind

This holiday weekend for me wound up 90% work and 10% fun.  But even the work part had its benefits.  My husband took the boys away for a couple days and I had the house to myself.  It would’ve been nice to sit on the couch and watch my Joan of Arcadia DVDs that are gathering dust, but I had some major housekeeping to tend to.

You see, I tend to lean toward ‘clean freak’ tendencies and my husband is clearly in the ‘neat freak’ category.  If you think they are pretty much the same thing, I can assure you; they aren’t.  My husband is content to see all the toys picked up off the floor and stuff stacked neatly in piles.  As long as walkways and counters are reasonably clear, he’s okay.  I don’t mind clutter so much; it’s the dirt under the clutter that drives me nuts.  I have to move things to clean spaces underneath them, I have to get dust off the baseboards and I like to know things are clean.

While the house was cleared of my major mess-makers (I still had the dogs and cats with me) I shampooed carpets, scrubbed tile, scoured bathrooms and cleaned my office.  I took a break to spend several hours with my best friend; we went out to lunch and hung out at her house and chatted since her husband was also out of town.  Once I returned home, I got back to the laundry, straightening and purging of unnecessary items (I am a great collector of ‘stuff’.)

There have been times that such cleaning is motivated by procrastination of writing.  Not the case this time.  I’ve been on quite a roll with my writing, but I’ve found that the housekeeping nagging in the back of my mind started to get louder and more prominent.  I had to take care of it before it squeezed the last bit of creativity out of me.  I even managed to get writing done while they were away; I’ve gotten my manuscript writing class short story done so that I’m two weeks ahead on homework.

The men of my house returned home and within a few hours, my cleaning efforts seemed barely noticeable.  There were tennis shoes on my carpet, dishes in the sink and suitcases plopped in the hallway.  I knew it would happen; I’m realistic that way.  I know that ranting like a mad woman would be wasted energy.  I also realize that these are clutter issues and fall into my neat-freak husband’s territory.  He saw to it that they were remedied before bed-time and I didnt’ have to say a word.

I must say that they played everything right; as they brought the house back to the lived-in state – they all gushed appropriately about how great everything looked.  They remembered to show appreciation, even if the hours I spent cleaning made no difference to them.  They knew it mattered to me.


6 thoughts on “Clean House, Clear Mind

  1. Brown Eyed Mystic September 6, 2010 / 10:08 PM

    Aww, Janna. I know what you mean!

    I reckon you should put some pictures captioned “Before” and “After” on the blog! 🙂


    • JannaTWrites September 6, 2010 / 11:12 PM

      Ummm…that would be an interesting idea, but I would be too horrified to put the “before” ones up for view 😉

      The other problem: even at its best, my house is not orderly by any means. An outsider may not be able to even tell the difference between the before and after!

  2. Lua September 7, 2010 / 11:10 PM

    All that cleaning and then some writing? Wow- you’re my hero Jenna!:)

    When I do some major house chores I find that creativity starts flowing again… I don’t know what the connection is but some cleaning, washing the dishes or doing the laundry (not ironing though- I hate ironing) really helps to get over some minor blocks!

    • jannatwrites September 8, 2010 / 7:25 PM

      I’m with you on the ironing! My idea of ironing is a water bottle and a couple good shakes…if it doesn’t straighten out I either 1) wear it anyway or 2) give it away!
      I’m glad the cleaning works to unblock your thoughts. Wouldn’t it be awful if eating chocoloate was the only way 😉

  3. chlost September 8, 2010 / 7:48 PM

    Wow! Can you come to my house? Whoops-maybe that wouldn’t be such a good idea-you would never talk to me again.
    I clean only when necessary-guests coming. Hate, Hate, Hate it. But I do keep it up-just not to very high standards. I could write constantly as a way to avoid the cleaning.

    • jannatwrites September 8, 2010 / 9:10 PM

      Your comment cracked me up; writing to avoid the cleaning! Love it 🙂

      I also despise cleaning. The kitchen is the only room that stays clean. I do the bare minimum for a long time and then it gets to the point I can’t take it anymore and I go on a wild cleaning binge to get things back in shape.

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