Slob or Domestic Goddess?

Its difficult not to compare yourself to other people isn’t it?

My mother-in-law keeps the most obsessively clean house I have ever been to. Every inch is scrubbed and polished, the kitchen and bathroom are bleached twice daily and dust is too frightened to settle. She must do at least two loads of laundry a day and I feel dirty just standing there.
My house will never be like that.
By contrast I have a friend who seems pathologically incapable of cleaning except before major events. Dishes go unwashed for weeks on end, bins fill up and don’t get emptied, clean and dirty laundry mixes indiscrimately in every room of the house and drifts of paper colonise the floors.There but for the grace of the gods…

So what counts as normal? What do you do?
In my 2 adult, 1 dog (no kids) household with 1.5 jobs, a PhD in progress and a serious predeliction for sleep we manage the following:
Washing-up – everyday [occasionally every other day, more often twice a day]
Laundry – 2 or 3 loads a week
Vacuuming -at least once a week, sometimes every other day
Kitchen – surfaces cleaned once or twice a day, floor washed 5 or 6 times a week, fridge cleaned every couple of months, corners dusted once every 6 months or so
Bathroom – toilet scrubbed once or twice a week, sink cleaned every week, bath scrubbed every fortnight, floor scrubbed every 2 or 3 weeks
Bedroom – dusted about once a year

The house never feels clean or tidy. I feel like I can never get on top of the chores. How do people with full-time jobs and/or children cope?
I wonder if it is a matter of perception.. what should I be doing? what is normal?
I think I need to adjust my expectations and throw some stuff away!


One thought on “Slob or Domestic Goddess?

  1. I hear you on the house never REALLY feeling clean and tidy. However, the full time job & kids combo isn’t quite a schedule-wrecker it COULD be.

    Kids eventually can pitch in to clean up the mess they make. We’ve got four adults, three kiddos, and a dog. Pick up happens a couple of times a week and as we go along; the house is lived-in but for the most part livable.

    Laundry is a load here or there during the week (and you just get used to not having everything put away), and big push for it over the weekend. It CAN be done during the week, but sweet baby monkeys is that NOT FUN.
    Kitchen, living room, bedroom of the littles and the adults all get picked up and swept about once a week and surfaces decluttered and stuff put away every day. We do deep cleaning once every couple of months. None of us except the MIL will touch MIL’s room — in theory our only requirement is that we be able to get a gurney in there if we need to do transportation, but that’s kind of a work in progress right now.
    Bathrooms are picked up on a semi-daily basis (mostly by kiddos, as they leave laundry EVERYWHERE!). Sinks are cleaned by me as I go (OCD has its advantages). Toilets get wiped down as needed, and scrubbed once every two weeks or so. No firm schedule there — if it needs it sooner, IT GETS IT!

    It kinda means learning to accept that the house will be lived in. But as long as the clutter isn’t bad and surfaces aren’t visibly dirty, I can live with it. There’s too much life to live otherwise!

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