A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life?

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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: 12-22-2013

Domestic stuff being the laundry and the Christmas stuff, all told just over an hour.

Oh ok. Sounded like you spent 1 hour on laundry and then another 45 mins on decorations. 1 hour for laundry seems to be a lot of time, especially if you do it on a regular basis and not leave it all for one day.

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:03pm
No, it takes me about 20 minutes to fold a load and get it hung up or put away, unless things need ironing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

Gotcha. I don't ever bother ironing as it gets wrinkled once put away, anyway. If I had walk in closets, I might. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:13pm
I've got way more closet space than clothes right now, but the things I end up ironing the most are DH's shirts, my blouses and linens. I confess that if I get behind on the clothes, I will send them out to be pressed. But I'm too cheap to pay someone to iron the linens as they are very easy to do myself.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

've got way more closet space than clothes right now, but the things I end up ironing the most are DH's shirts, my blouses and linens. I confess that if I get behind on the clothes, I will send them out to be pressed. But I'm too cheap to pay someone to iron the linens as they are very easy to do myself.

I barely iron anything anymore. I don't buy materials that need ironing for everyday clothes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:37pm

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">I don't want to be "always cleaning something", I want to be doing other things than cleaning.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">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.</span></p>

Those were your words, not mine.  I tend to put my things away, mostly and I expect other people in the family to do the same, I don't believe it is my job only to keep the house clean.  I expect everyone, including my children to do their part in putting things away and cleaning up after themselves. 

PumpkinAngel

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Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:38pm

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="color:#111111; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, Helvetica, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size:13px; text-align:left">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</span></p><p><span style="color:#111111; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, Helvetica, Geneva, sans-serif; font-size:13px; text-align:left">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.</span></p>

So you aren't always cleaning something, saying so was more of tongue in cheeck or an exaggeration?

 

PumpkinAngel

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Registered: 06-27-1998
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:42pm

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p>Gotcha. I don't ever bother ironing as it gets wrinkled once put away, anyway. If I had walk in closets, I might. </p>

I'm confused, if you put it away neatly, how would it get wrinkled once put away?

PumpkinAngel

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:44pm

bordwithyou wrote:
I've got way more closet space than clothes right now, but the things I end up ironing the most are DH's shirts, my blouses and linens. I confess that if I get behind on the clothes, I will send them out to be pressed. But I'm too cheap to pay someone to iron the linens as they are very easy to do myself.

I tend to iron in large chunks.  I'll avoid wearing all my needs-to-be-ironed clothes, then I'll finally spend like an hour or hourandhalf ironing everything in my closet that needs it.

"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

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Registered: 12-22-2013

Those were your words, not mine.  I tend to put my things away, mostly and I expect other people in the family to do the same, I don't believe it is my job only to keep the house clean.  I expect everyone, including my children to do their part in putting things away and cleaning up after themselves. 

I never said otherwise but if no one is around, I don't just let things sit around. I detest clutter and things not in their "home". An organized, clean, put together home calms me more than sitting around with stuff all over. That is just me though. I know some people can sit around with clutter all around them, things not 100% clean, etc. Saying it makes you have a wasted life is ridiculous, IMO.


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