Deep Cleans Are A Girl’s Best Friend

On discouragingly dirty late nights like these, I often go to the Facebook page of a local cleaning service and fantasize about hiring a responsible teenager to make my household dirt disappear. I think about what I would ask for now that we’re hosting a party next week, Spring Cleaning should be underway soon, and I’m supposed to be clearing out junk in my bedroom to make room for an office. Would I be too embarrassed to ask about the bathrooms even though it’s where I need help the most? I can’t stand all the beard hair that gets left all over everything after I’ve just cleaned it. I can’t stand the stuff growing in the toilet or that everything we use is out on the counter because there’s not any storage space. If they opened our fridge and saw all the frozen water that leaked from the freezer… man. Is it even possible to clean our oven now that grime has built up for 3 years? Would they show me how to mop my floor correctly since I’ve not started because I’ve not coordinated it with my kids to give it time to dry? Would all the walls and baseboards be back to shiny and new?

I just spent an hour washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, and it’s not even really clean haha. Admittedly, I kept taking breaks because I just really didn’t want to do it. As I sit here typing at my kitchen table that I wiped, there are still dried spots of orange juice I missed… and now I don’t have energy to do it over again. As I was putting away the broom, a giant bag of onions was stuck between the kitchen stool. I moved it out of the way and discovered a nasty puddle of rotten onion juice on the floor, and was disappointed that my long night just got longer. I spent too much time sifting through the bag trying to save onions, and should have just thrown it out because more than half were rotten. I’ve had this realization a lot lately, but tonight I was reminded yet again: I sure waste a lot of time cleaning.

I can’t help it, though. Germs and dirt freak me out. My husband often teases me by pretending he hasn’t washed his hands before touching my face. Even so, I haven’t cleaned my toilets in like a month and have to pep-talk myself every time I go. It is my least favorite chore, and it’s gotten to the point where I’m so grossed out I can’t even. Jer helps me, but not often enough. How will we survive coronavirus? My husband interacts daily in a small classroom for hours with teenagers who he regularly sees pick their boogers and eat them. My kids—even the 8 year old—still stick their hands in their mouths. I have boys who touch their faces immediately after stuffing them down their pants. It makes me cringe and I’m annoyed at how many times daily I tell/assist them to wash their hands. In the cold season I want to sanitize everything, but it’s not realistic because no matter how hard or long I clean, it will not stay clean.

I could have attempted to fix all of these things that bother me in the time it took to write my thoughts. The problem is I’m defeated by dread, having burned out from the other things I did clean and do today—washing drying and folding 3 loads of laundry, a half-done kitchen, bath time for the kids… I become overwhelmed seeing everything in disarray all at once, and even though I get lots of help I feel like I’m the only one taking care of these things day-in and day-out, a cycle of chicken-laundry-dishes-poop. I want a reset, to just start at zero so that I can enjoy my space.

Clean is a source of comfort and security for me. I tell myself that a sparkly clean house will allow me to relax, and bring me enough joy to be worth the cost. I could get a 4-hour deep clean, or buy a new office desk… If I am able to get motivated and do the cleaning myself, the result is I’m overworked and overtired even though we could buy that office desk—and we’re still here in this cycle of late night cleaning and thinking about calling up a Cleaning Lady again. If my husband agrees, it might be worth it to try it!

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