A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life?
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Tue, 01-07-2014 - 9:35am

From Time.com, the author takes a look at her life and whether if you put too much time into domestic chores it takes away from your career:

In the early morning stillness, before the house was teeming with other people who needed things from me, I found myself engrossed in an opinion piece by Stephen Marche, “The Case for Filth.” His essay sprang off a study showing that young men today are not doing any more housework than their fathers did 30 years ago.

In the days immediately following its publication, Marche’s essay was hammered. “If there is a God, this guy will spend the afterlife scrubbing toilets and vacuuming,” tweeted feminist author Jessica Valenti, joining a chorus of critics. And she was right. Marche makes a pseudo-intellectual argument for why men don’t do their share of the chores (“Even the most basic housework proves ethereal on inspection”) while demeaning women in the process (“Millions of young women are deeply attracted to the gloomy vice of domestic labor”).

Still, I must confess: When I came to Marche’s penultimate sentence—“A clean house is the sign of a wasted life, truly”—my day was suddenly shot. I found myself sitting there at the kitchen island, rattled, wondering if I was, in fact, truly wasting my life. “Let them eat crust” echoed in my mind.

In this sense, a “clean house” isn’t merely about picking up dirty socks or putting away the dishes. It is about taking on a kind of hidden housework: making a home that is warm and inviting, comfortable and comforting; creating a space where my children’s friends like to hang out and we as a family feel ensconced; and knowing, as Marche himself puts it, “who likes what on their sandwiches.”

But doing all of this takes time, lots of time. And, though my husband does his share, often there aren’t enough hours in the day to manage my home and family as well as I’d like and to be a writer, too.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2014/01/06/making-sense-of-mess-finding-meaning-in-household-chores/

The only way I survived when I was working full time after my twins were born was that I was able to keep using the woman who would come clean my house every week while I was on bedrest.   It's very hard to do it all, and something will suffer at some point, whether it being your own sanity or time with your family.  

What do you think?  Do you have a messy or a clean house?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 12:17pm

bordwithyou wrote:
I envy those of you who can keep up your house ion "not a lot of time." Between cooking, laundry, and cleaning, I know I spend three hours a day on domestic stuff, and at least six hours on one weekend day.

Me too.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 12:18pm

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p>I do things on a regular basis and not just pick one or two days to do them. That is why I find it not a lot of time. I do laundry every other day. This morning I threw in a load, will put it in the dryer at lunch and then fold and put away after work. I am always cleaning something. My dh cooks during the week most of the time and then I will do the weekends. </p>

I don't want to be "always cleaning something", I want to be doing other things than cleaning.

PumpkinAngel

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 12:20pm

I am always doing something, too, bit I still need a half day on the weekend to keep everything presentable.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

I don't want to be "always cleaning something", I want to be doing other things than cleaning.

I'm not but when I pass by something and it looks like something needs to be put away or cleaned, it takes a few seconds to do it. This is not a deep cleaning session that will take hours and I don't have time for anything else in the day. A quick wipe down of a dirty counter takes a few seconds. A quick run of the vacuum, a quick putting away a pair of shoes, throwing clothes in the hamper. None of those things take very long and affect anything else I want to do in life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

I am always doing something, too, bit I still need a half day on the weekend to keep everything presentable.

Maybe because my home is smaller. I don't find the need much to spend half a day cleaning on a regular basis. If I am having a party or people over, then yes, I will take the extra time to clean everything, not just a wipe down, dusting or vacuuming. Doing things on an everyday basis that doesn't take up much time helps out a lot, IMO.

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 1:31pm

My house is "presentable" at pretty much all times.   When I am expecting guests, I put in an extra couple of hours to make it more than presentable.

Like others have said, I don't want to be always cleaning something. Nor do I want to spend (and I won't) three hours a day keeping it presentable.  Our usual goal is to clean up the kitchen after meals (dishes put away, counters wiped - but often not the floors done), keep personal crap out of the living area, and keep bathrooms smelling decent.   In addition to that, I try to accomplish at least ONE thing every night. Sometimes that is financial stuff, sometimes it is cleaning something, sometimes it is something work related.  For instance, last night I worked for about 45 minutes. That was my one thing.  Monday night I put all my laundry away and put my special wash away.  Tonight will probably be giving my bathroom a quick clean. 

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

Like others have said, I don't want to be always cleaning something. Nor do I want to spend (and I won't) three hours a day keeping it presentable

Right there with you. Maybe because my home is smaller but I would never have to take that long to make it look presentable. It is always presentable looking because of the few minutes here and there everyday it takes to put things away and cleaning up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 1:48pm
I don't see the putting things away or wiping down a surface a anything unusual. Everybody I know does that. This morning I spent an hour folding and putting away a load of laundry, and threw another in the dryer. I also spent about 45 minutes packing up Christmas things, for just over an hour spent on domestic stuff.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

This morning I spent an hour folding and putting away a load of laundry, and threw another in the dryer.

How many loads? It would never take me that long to do laundry

I also spent about 45 minutes packing up Christmas things, for just over an hour spent on domestic stuff.

Yes, I can see packing up decorations to take awhile. I usually try and leave a half day for that. What type of domestic stuff?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 1:54pm
Domestic stuff being the laundry and the Christmas stuff, all told just over an hour.

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