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

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

Not in the sense that it takes more than a few seconds or minutes. Nothing that I couldn't do something else either at the same time or as soon as I am done. I couldn't just sit and read a book or watch TV, etc. if there was clutter all around me or something that truly needed to be cleaned. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

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

We have small(er) closets that are full so they things get wrinkled right away if they are ironed before putting them away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

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.

Do you have larger closets in your home to be able to space out the ironed clothes so they don't get wrinkled again?

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Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 3:07pm
Unfortunately I do not like the look or feel of many synthetics, so I either have to dry clean quite a bit of my work wardrobe.
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Registered: 08-22-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 3:09pm

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.

I think that I may have spent that much time on household chores when my kids were young, not so much now as an empty nester. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 3:27pm
One of my daily chores this time of year is that the dogs track in mud and snow that melts on the kitchen floor and I end up mopping the kitchen every single night. We have a largish kitchen; it ends up taking twenty minutes to get that done. No big deal, except normal clean up, add mopping and a thirty minute job putting away the dinner things and wiping down the tables and counters becomes an almost an hour long job.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013

One of my daily chores this time of year is that the dogs track in mud and snow that melts on the kitchen floor and I end up mopping the kitchen every single night. We have a largish kitchen; it ends up taking twenty minutes to get that done. No big deal, except normal clean up, add mopping and a thirty minute job putting away the dinner things and wiping down the tables and counters becomes an almost an hour long job.

No one else helps? If I cook, my dh will put things away and clean up. If he cooks, I will do the same. The kids need to clean their plates and put them either in the sink or dishwasher. 

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Registered: 08-22-2009
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 3:34pm

bordwithyou wrote:
One of my daily chores this time of year is that the dogs track in mud and snow that melts on the kitchen floor and I end up mopping the kitchen every single night. We have a largish kitchen; it ends up taking twenty minutes to get that done. No big deal, except normal clean up, add mopping and a thirty minute job putting away the dinner things and wiping down the tables and counters becomes an almost an hour long job.

That is another change that has cut down on my work load, no longer having a dog.  If we still had Red I would be spending  a lot more time on cleaning floors between mud tracked in and shedding hair. 

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 4:06pm

My house is never 100% clean. There's probably no single room that is ever 100% clean for more than about 5 minutes.

"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

Avatar for savcal2011
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Registered: 10-06-2010
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 4:07pm

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">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.</span></p><p style="text-align:left"><span style="font-size:x-small"><span>Do you have larger closets in your home to be able to space out the ironed clothes so they don't get wrinkled again?</span></span></p>

We have more than ample closet space.   My hanging clothes aren't inches apart or anything, but they're definitely not smushed together.

"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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