A Clean House is a Sign of a Wasted Life?

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iVillage Member
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
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:44am

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">One of the people that uses my washer works with one of those Extreme Couponers. A few times a year she will show up with a bottle of Tide that she says she got for something like 75 cents, and she'll give it to me for a present.</span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">Do you charge these people for using your washer/dryer? I guess it just seems odd to Jams that you mention this now as you have said in the past your dh is very frugal. It is hard to believe that someone like that would allow others to use your facilities. </span></strong></p>

She's mentioned it before, I remember someone getting the vapors because someone outside the family was using the machines.  What does being frugal have to do with helping others? 

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:45am

I've seen some amazing small closet makeovers recently. People putting in three racks, using vacuum packs to store out of season clothes, things like that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:46am

We do as well, but even our little closets hold a great number of shirts/pants/etc and since they are put away neatly, no wrinkles. 

There is no room inbetween my pants, at all. Many of them have 2 pairs per hanger as there is not enough room even for a thin hanger. lol. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:47am

It is true that if you just give things away and don't deduct them from your taxes, it won't have an impact on your budget.

You can deduct things from your taxes at tax time and it still does not impact your monthly budget. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:47am

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">If no one is around, why would things get messed up, if everyone cleans up after themselves?</span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">They could be out but still made a mess before they left.</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left"> If "I" spent all of my time cleaning/pickup and so forth in order to have a totally clean organized clean home, I would think it was a waste of "my" time, I can't think why I would want to spend that much of my time worrying about where things are in my house.  </span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">It is not worrying about where things are in the house but when you need to go and find them, you can do it in less time if they have a "home" and are put in that "home" each and everytime. To me, a waste of time is trying to find something that was not cleaned up or put away in the first place.</span></strong></p>

Are you picking up after your family members on a regular basis? 

I don't need to have every single thing in my house in a home place in order to find things, it's not really that complicated.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:48am

No one helps you?  I mean you have said you spend a lot of time cleaning/picking up and so forth each day, doesn't anyone help you?

Of course they do and I have said that before, even in this thread. I never said I spend A LOT of time either. I did say that I do clean/pick up/do laundry on a regular basis and not wait for one day to do it all. I find that frees me up a lot more time to not have a wasted life. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:49am

blackandwhitemolly wrote:
<p><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">Why can't you relax if things are out of place in your home?</span></p><p><strong><span style="font-size:13px; text-align:left">I like an organized home and I can't sit around a have clutter and messes. Guess that is just the OCD in me. </span></strong></p>

That makes sense, I'm sure that you can understand that others don't suffer from OCD and therefore having a bit of clutter just means that there is clutter, no judgement.  Right?

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:50am

bordwithyou wrote:
<p>I've seen some amazing small closet makeovers recently. People putting in three racks, using vacuum packs to store out of season clothes, things like that.</p>

I only store a season or two in my wardrobe, (don't use a closet for most things) at a time.  

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:50am

Mine isn't either, to me...keeping my house 100% clean and picked up 24/7/365 would indicate that I have a wasted life, I can think of so many things/people/etc that are more important than a 100% clean house 24/7/365.

Who ever said they clean and pick up 24/7/365? I have a balance in my life and able to do many things. A clean picked up home IS an important part of my life but it has never stopped me from doing anything else.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Fri, 01-10-2014 - 11:51am

What does being frugal have to do with helping others? 

Using a washer/dryer uses water and electricity. If you are frugal and try to keep your bills down, letting 3 other people outside of your home use your washer/dryer can allow your bill to increase.

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