I’ve been a clean freak for the most part of my life.
Maybe, I’m so even now.
Though this obsession of cleaning the house to spotless clean has mellowed down with age.
Let me begin with a confession:
I love a clean home. It makes me happy to be in an environment that is clean and well-organized.
Being happy is life’s ultimate goal. Maybe this was why I have been taking cleaning a bit too seriously. I am not proud to admit that on more occasions than I can count I have shown traces of behaviour that can be classified as being somewhat obsessive-compulsive about cleanliness and order.
Let me give you an example;
Every time we have a visitor at home, before their arrival, I go on a crazy cleaning spree.
When I was still a teenager, I used to spend hours polishing the decoration pieces, vacuuming the rugs and ensuring the home was squeaky clean and in perfect order.
At that point, I used to see this habit of mine as an obsession with cleanliness or orderliness. Something I was proud of. But one that without fail, left me in pain.
Though I do not think the same way anymore.
Every time I catch myself crossing the boundary, I revisit the reasons why I love cleanliness and orderliness in the first place.
Then I take a U-turn and run through the list of possibilities that would happen if I chose to do nothing.
Here’s the good news. The world wouldn’t stop spinning on its axis if I stuck to my daily routine of cleaning and did NOTHING more.
Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but the kind of effort and time I invest in micro-cleaning the house when we’re expecting guests kind of matches that.
Something amazing happened yesterday, something I’d never imagined possible until it actually happened.
Yesterday, my cousins were due to visit us. As expected, I was running around the house putting things in order.
Just when I’d done enough, I stopped for a moment to think about why I was doing something I didn’t do on a daily or rather a regular basis.
I do keep the home in order but what I do when we are expecting the company is nothing short of insane.
A house that is in order and kept clean should be sufficient on a daily basis and that should also be the case when we have guests coming over. But, this understanding never worked for me until yesterday.
This time, I held myself back from overdoing the cleaning or going overboard in making the home look picture perfect.
It took me 10 minutes of contemplation to not get back to my old self.
At the end of the day, I had saved myself enough energy to use it during my interaction with the guests and enjoy every minute of it.
In retrospect, it might be the gift of my new-found wisdom (showered by the three new grey hair) or maybe my recent inclination towards weighing in the utility of every habit I have.
I am pretty happy that I have changed for the better.
Overdoing the cleaning used to drain my energy leaving me cranky and dull enough to not enjoy any minute of the real occasion.
I believe, becoming a parent has also contributed to bringing about this positive change in me.
With a baby tornado in the house, I am left with no choice but to be satisfied with a clean home that is in order only during the school hours.
I can safely strike through my old habit of being obsessed with keeping the house squeaky clean and am glad to bid adieu.
It helps to understand that if your home is not as clean and organized as you’d like, you got to change your strategy and not work harder.
Seeking help from the family in this endeavour can really work wonders. Though their cooperation might not match your enthusiasm. However, to keep the house clean and organised every day of the year, this is a vital step.
The song on my mind: Yeh tera ghar, yeh mera ghar ~ Saath Saath
8 thoughts on “Why I no longer want my home to be sparkling clean ”
I am telling you, I’m “grown up Pari”, and you’re just like my mom 😀
I had a poster on the door to my room that read “Please don’t clean my room. You’re making my perfect world upside down!” 😀 😀
Our home is where our heart is, where we are most comfortable. If we’re having to clean it and rearrange it like crazy every time there is a visitor, either the place need more daily cleaning or we’re trying to portray a false side of ours to people, God knows why. This was my explanation to her every time, for not wanting to do it 😀
I couldn’t help but agree (now more than ever before) to your thought of it being an artificial portrayal of our life if we are going way out of our way to clean up the home just cause we have visitors. Though this kind of sense has taken 30 long years to descend over me but am grateful that it finally did before anymore damage to my mind could be done 🙂
And I guess I told you before and am telling you again, I’m beginning to love like I love Pari ❤
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Yay yay yaaaaaay! ❤
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Anything that changes us for the better is always welcome. 🙂
Too true Swaram 🙂
Same pinch. I used to obsessed with cleanliness until I had an epiphany – How many hours of my life am I spending cleaning that I can do something else with? I also had this need for perfection when people come over to kinda show that I am good at cleaning.
I am still a quite clean person relatively and don’t spend as much time and energy as before. Luckily I do not have to clean much when guests come over as I clean as I go most of the days.
Yay! so glad to have company in my journey of leading a sane life and not fussing with polishing every article in my field of vision 🙂
I am with you in being a rather neat and organised person. Shedding the torturous drill of cleaning away the already clean surfaces has made room for so much more in my life too.
More power to us so we stay the same wise selves and never get back to our older madness.
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