Spring Cleaning

Though you can't really tell by poking around my house right now (thanks to having a baby and a million construction projects), I actually kind of enjoy cleaning. It's my ultimate stress reliever, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I've made our truly heinous bathroom sink gleaming white again. I love the sound of crumbs crackling through the vacuum hose, and the feeling of lightness after stuffing a giant bag of seldom worn clothing into the Goodwill drop box.

Unless someone wantonly tracks mud all through the house, I wouldn't say I'm neat freak at all. I can live in squalor for quite some time before I start getting really antsy. It's actually the process of cleaning, and the feeling of having cleaned, that I like.

I think I enjoy cleaning my house for the same reason I enjoy editing various documents at work: when I'm done, things are noticeably better around here. That awkward phrasing -- I will fix it! That pillow -- I will fluff it! All the things that are wrong will be made right! Can't you see how it is looking better already? It's deeply satisfying to know that everything is in its place, print ready and squeaky clean. And that I, armed with a steam mop and a red pen, made it so.

I know this probably means I'm crazy somewhere deep down inside, that the perfectionist I try to keep at bay is rearing her perfect head whenever I pick up a scrubby sponge. The fact that I've made a secret detailed list of spring cleaning tasks, and have felt very self-satisfied by the things I've already checked off, is further proof. (The fact that various corners of my house are still very disastrous is no matter. Small victories are still victories.)

And yet... YET... I hate washing the dishes so much that I'd rather buy a whole new set than wash the ones that are sitting in the sink right now, with pieces of caramelized onion ossifying on them. I've even been known to box up our dirty dishes and drive them over to my mother-in-law's to use her dishwasher. And I almost strangled myself with the power cord from my breast pump when I went back to work after maternity leave because of the endless cycle of washing pump parts and bottles. (After a couple weeks of this misery, my husband volunteered to take over and I'm no longer a threat to myself.)

So I guess maybe the sheer odiousness of doing the dishes balances out my odd enjoyment of vacuuming? Could I be normal after all?

Surely it's not just me. Any other crazies out there actually kind of like cleaning? Or hate washing dishes beyond all reason?


  1. Nope. I love it too. And HOW DID YOU CONVINCE YOUR HUSBAND TO WASH THE PUMP PARTS? I have tried. I finally bought enough sets of everything that I can do it once daily. I put the used ones in soapy water until I am ready.

    1. I had a very methodical system!!!!!!!

      Step 1: Marry a really thoughtful guy.
      Step 2: Make your deep hatred for doing dishes well known in the early stages of your relationship.
      Step 3: Cry a little in the middle of the night when the baby wakes to nurse YET AGAIN, when you've got work the next day. And again when you forget to wash the pump parts the night before and get water all over your work clothes the next morning when you're already running late.
      Step 4: Ask him to do it. Or if he volunteers to do it before you ask, enthusiastically say YES YES YES and then be genuinely grateful and doting when he does.


      I only have one collection kit for my pump. I keep it hidden in an opaque tupperware container in the fridge at work so I don't have to fully wash in between pumps. 7 months into it, I've had no problems with spoilage or anything. YAY!

  2. wow. i think we are twins. that pretty much describes how i feel. i love cleaning...and i would say that i am kind of anal about it. but i hate washing dishes. hate it. i love a clean kitchen and i love baking & cooking, but please don't ask me to also clean up after myself! i also hate cleaning the shower. tile and grout and i do not mix.

    1. Cleaning grout does stink! Currently our only shower is one of those one-piece fiberglass things, so it's not very hard to clean and I don't mind it. We're thinking of a tile shower in our master bath, but the prospect of cleaning it does make me a little hesitant. We really must be twins! (I'd be the much shorter Danny DeVito twin.)


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