Note: Today’s post is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. You can find the introduction and links to the posts in this series right here. Additionally, this post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Those of you who enjoy organizing and tidying up are going to love today’s assignment! For the rest of us, it might feel like drudgery. Although I enjoy cleaning much more now than I did in the past, it’s never been my favorite thing.
In high school, my room was always a mess. But I figured that once I got to college, I’d keep my dorm room immaculate. When that didn’t happen, I assured myself that when I got married and had my own home, I’d keep it neat as a pin. After that plan failed, I lied to myself that the problem was with the house and not with me; the house was too cold, too old, too dirty, and too lacking in storage space. And while all of those things were true of my first home, the biggest problem was in my bathroom mirror. I just didn’t want to admit it.
Truth be told, it took another 5 living spaces and 12 years of marriage before I got even a feeble grip on my lack of homekeeping skills. So let me assure you that if today’s assignment doesn’t elicit an excited squeal from your lips, I sympathize.
Someday, perhaps I’ll share more about why I struggled so badly with tidying my home (it wasn’t laziness or a lack of knowledge), but for now, suffice it to say that I’ve discovered that keeping my home somewhat picked up has been a huge blessing to Jon. He’s been a true sport about our cluttered and unkempt house, willingly lending a hand when things get too out of control. But when I can keep things organized without his help, he loves it!
So, today’s assignment is to clean for your husband.
But let me give you some guidelines so that this won’t feel like the worst punishment in the world.
First, do NOT spend 12 hours slaving over a crusty oven! We all have lives to live beyond cleaning house. While we are to be keepers at home, which includes managing it well, we have little ones to train, errands to run, and dinner to prepare.
Second, choose something that will beneficially impact your husband’s day, routine, or hobby. While you might want your hall closet to be reorganized, this may not serve your husband nearly as well as clearing a path through all the shoes in the laundry room so that he doesn’t trip when he leaves for work at 5:30 in the morning. (I may have been writing from personal experience there. Ahem.)
For example, if your husband loves tinkering in the garage, why not collect the visible trash, take a box of donations to Salvation Army, and sweep the floor? For Jon, his biggest pet peeve with our dirty house was walking barefoot through the kitchen, stepping on all of the crumbs the kids had dropped. So I began making it a habit to sweep the floor (almost) every day. This one simple act blessed him tremendously.
Last, make sure you’re cleaning for your husband and not for guests. Years ago, when Jon worked nights, it was very hard to keep our bedroom clean. Not only was it a place where I could throw things in and shut the door when company came over, but with Jon’s and my opposite schedules, one of us was almost always asleep in there! I didn’t have a lot of time where I could clean and organize our room.
When Jon finally found day-time employment, I felt completely liberated to clean our home. I didn’t have to be quiet and could run the vacuum in the middle of the day!! But I realized I had a choice: I could clean the living areas where guests would see our home, or I could clean our bedroom, where only Jon and I would notice. It was SO tempting to clean the part that others would see. But instead, I chose to clean for him and went to work on our bedroom. The transformation was amazing and provided a haven for the two of us, something we’d not had in a long time.
If cleaning’s not your thing, I get it. If you have obstacles in your way (like a husband who sleeps during the day), I get it. If you feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start, I get that, too. Even so, choose one thing to clean for your husband. It can be a small thing, like sweeping the kitchen.
(Note: If you need help with house cleaning, I highly recommend Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free. You might want to see if you can find it in your library or find a used copy.)
And if you’re like my sister-in-law who is blessed with the ability to clean and decorate well, you’re already on the path to accomplishing today’s assignment!!
What are you going to clean today, and why?