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Have you ever wondered what a “normal” person’s house looks like? I mean, on a normal Tuesday afternoon when they are not expecting guests?
Lets face it, our homes look different when we know nobody is going to see them. When someone is coming over we do our best to declutter, dust and make everything look sanitary. If our guests are eating, we might even break out the bleach in the kitchen.
There are people out there who have totally clean and organized homes. But chances are they have help – with both the cleaning and their children. I have yet to meet a stay-at-home-mom who can successfully clean, decorate and parent without some level of assistance.
As the current CEO of my house I have done extensive research into the housekeeping habits of my girlfriends. Most of which are not ADHD and also not independently wealthy. Some are consummate homemakers, and some are self-proclaimed slobs.
This is what I have learned:
There is no “normal” when it comes to housekeeping.
So we all need to calm down about it.
I feel so strongly about this I am about to reveal to you what my house actually looks like when nobody is coming to visit. So here it is.
An Inside Look at Life with the ADHD Housewife
The Living Room
I have a pretty large living room, so I need a bunch of furniture to break up the space. Actually – I am in the middle of shopping for new furniture so the major pieces you see here will probably move downstairs to my husband’s bar. (I will spare you pics of the man cave.)
My furniture is also not generally moved around but my 6 year-old wanted to make an “island.”
As you can tell there are blankets, toys and various other items strewn about at all times. When someone is coming over I pick all of it up and move it to the office so I can shut the door. Then I promptly forget about it until the next time I walk into the office.
Once per week I vacuum the tumble weeds of dog hair from the floor. I only Swiffer or clean the wood floors when someone is coming over. There is a truth bomb for you!
Yep, my kitchen table looks like that all the time. No matter how often I attempt to clean it off it always piles up again. And yes, I am in desperate need of a kitchen remodel.
I do actually clear off the surfaces each night as part of my evening routine. I like to use Clorox wipes as much as I possibly can because I would rather not use an entire roll of paper towels each time I clean. Also, wipes are just easier and when it comes to cleaning easier is key.
All that crap you see on the table is from a Target run the Hubs made the day the photos was taken. Apparently, my family feels it is my responsibility to empty the Target bags and put away all of the items. It is also my responsibility to remove the tags from all new clothing purchases.
Strangely, I like to keep my sink cleaned out. I don’t like too many dishes or too much grime around my sink. I am guessing this is the influence of FlyLady. I use scrubbing bubbles with bleach because I like the smell.
Bleach = clean to me.
My Closet and Bedroom
In the interest of maintaining my husband’s privacy I will not show you his parts of the room. This is actually quite difficult because my stuff has taken over the entire space.
My closet is a small walk in so I do manage to hang up some of my clothing. I recently purchased these organizers and some of these bins – so we will see how that works out. Denim and pajamas I toss on the floor or at the foot of my bed.
For some reason I pile my bras on the end of this dresser. The only time they are not here is when I launder them. Keep in mind this is my husband’s dresser but all the stuff on top is mine.
Again, this post will not include photos of the Hubs or his stuff, so this is the bathroom I share with my 6 year-old.
Once per week I vacuum this room, similar to my living space. Then I use my trusty Clorox wipes on everything. If you are the mother of a boy you will understand my ongoing battle with urine. Much of my weekend is spent on my hands and knees in pursuit of eliminating the smell of urine.
Since my son likes to smear toothpaste over every possible surface I spend an inordinate amount of time scraping that off, too.
At this point you are probably wondering….what is the point of this post? What problem does it solve for me?
That’s the thing – I am not trying to solve a problem for you, but I am trying to make you feel better about your house.
So the next time somebody calls and says “hey, can I drop by on my way to xyz…” you don’t have to freak out.
The next time you are invited to someone’s home for a gathering and you walk in and marvel at how clean and organized their home looks, realize that it is all a façade. And then ask for the number of their cleaning person.
Whether you have ADHD or not, homemaking is not exactly exciting. It’s totally mundane. The mundane is what we all struggle with. The mundane tasks of life are the opposite of what our brains really crave.
Erma Bombeck once said:
“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”
Housekeeping chores are boring. We crave novelty, excitement, new experiences……DOPAMINE. (Or in my case copious amounts of chocolate.)
There is no normal when it comes to housekeeping.
Relax and enjoy your life. If you work in the home come up with a workable system to get household tasks done. If you work outside the home do the same thing – but either way give yourself some grace.
Next time I want to talk about dividing your house into manageable “domains” so you can come up with a housekeeping plan that works for YOU.
Another article on “normal” homemaking:
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