Boring Women Have Immaculate Houses


I love this sign. It encapsulates perfectly my philosophy on house cleaning. It is not a priority for me to keep a neat, germ-free house. I know that there are people out there who enjoy cleaning, who find the process soothing, who get down on their hands and knees to wash their floors. These people mystify me.

Don’t get me wrong: I love having a clean and orderly house. I just don’t want to have to do it myself. I’d rather read a book, play a game with my kids, or have coffee with a girlfriend. I’d rather write a blog post, or a poem, or a journal entry. I’d rather spend a morning in bed with a delicious man, or go out dancing, or stare into the distance and think. It seems like such a waste to wash a floor when it’s just going to be sticky again as soon as the seven year old pours himself a glass of apple juice.

You might be one of those people who gets down on her hands and knees to wash a floor. And by now you might be thinking, “Get your lazy ass off the couch, sister, and pack that dishwasher!” I will. Eventually. But it will give me no pleasure. There are so many other, far more interesting ways I could spend my time.

I remember dropping by a friend’s house a couple of years ago. “Come in,” she said, giving me a warm hug. “Have a cup of tea with me.” We walked through her house chatting, past her dining room table, which was covered with unfolded laundry. There must have been four or five dryer loads on the table. As we walked past, she didn’t even seem to notice it. There was no apologizing for the mess, no excuses about why the laundry hadn’t yet been folded. “I love this woman”, I thought to myself. “She is a true soul sister!” And there’s nothing boring about her. She’s been back a few months from a year-long sailing trip with her husband and three kids. Her next adventure – at fifty – is to complete an arduous bike race in South Africa. This is a woman who lives life to the fullest.

I have another friend who boldly held a dinner party without tidying her house. Her partner was mortified. “If I waited for my house to be clean,” she told me, “we’d never have anyone over ever again.” She is an artist who paints delicate water colours and who maintains a lush and vibrant garden. She has more important things to do than clean her house.

I know that there are women who live rich and satisfying lives and still manage to wash their floors at least once a week. I’m not one of them. As I’m writing this, I am blissfully unaware of the sticky floors in my kitchen, of the many surfaces that could use a good dusting, of the laundry piling up. But I’m engaged in the creative process and I love the feeling of “flow” in this place. The floors can wait.

I was reminded recently, though, that not everybody shares my views on this subject. One of the statements I had to respond to on the e-Harmony personality profile was, “My house is generally cleaner if I have company coming over.” I laughed out loud when I read this. Yes, this is always true of me. Nothing motivates me to clean like the prospect of company. And having been in a relationship with a guy who loves cleanliness and order, I know that house cleaning can be a sticking point for lots of couples. So it’s good that e-Harmony is weeding out the slatterns early. Maybe along with my profile pictures, I should post a picture of my kitchen after I’ve cooked a meal.

Okay. The floors can wait no longer. It’s time to get out the mop. I can hear my children’s feet sticking as they wander through the kitchen, foraging for snacks.

And besides, I have friends coming over tomorrow.






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About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
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19 Responses to Boring Women Have Immaculate Houses

  1. Rose says:

    Yes! I am NOT one of those boring women!

  2. I definitely clean for company! I had a good two or three months when a mom in our playgroup thought I kept a clean house. She now knows the truth… and these days, she’s at the top of the list of people allowed to come over when my floors are disgusting.

    • Sally says:

      It’s just so much easier when our friends know the truth about our slovenly ways. When my dearest friend described my kitchen floor as a petri dish, I was at first offended, but she still comes over, so I guess she accepts me as I am!

  3. susielindau says:

    Great point!
    I used to be a lot more concerned when I was trying to fill my day. Now that my children are in college and I am writing, I don’t have the time either! My house is neat and tidy and I keep up with the laundry, but I hope no one gives it the “white glove” test! 🙂
    Well said!

    • Sally says:

      White gloves are not allowed at my house! Thanks again for hosting the Blog Party! I can hardly wait to get back for another glass of champagne!

  4. cayman thorn says:

    When Mr Miagi shows his face is when my floors get waxed, that’s how I look at it.

  5. Julia says:

    Ha! My husband knows to vacate the house when I’m vacuuming. Something about it sets my teeth on edge. It’s possible to get through the rest of the house chores listening to books on the ipod, but you can’t do that while vacuuming without blowing out your ears. Susie’s right. It does get better when the kids go off to college. Then of course you kind of miss socks on the floor. … (found you on Susie’s blog party)

    • Sally says:

      Hello! How nice to meet you! Susie has fabulous parties, doesn’t she? I love your idea for cleaning while reading. Too bad we can’t figure out a way to clean as we write! Looking forward to coming and checking out your blog!

  6. Yatin Patel says:

    I wish I am married to a boring woman. We have two boys so one can imagine how orderly things would be at best. My “not-so boring” wife ensures that the boring job is done by us.

    • Sally says:

      Yes, I know that not everybody wants to be married to a woman like me, who doesn’t appreciate a clean house. But it’s good for you to help out at home! Just think of the good learning for your boys!

  7. White gloves, white socks beware. I am a company cleaner too, but at the same time a wannabe clean freak. I clean, but I just never can quite excavate all the way to the bottom. 🙂

    • Sally says:

      I hear you, sister! Nothing gives me greater pleasure than a spotlessly clean and tidy home. It’s just that I’m so woefully unable to make it happen! Thanks for dropping by!

  8. Kecia Adams says:

    Hi Sally. Susie sent me from her blog party! I love how you freely admit that you appreciate a clean house, you just don’t get any juice from cleaning it yourself. One of my neighbors proudly proclaimed the other day that she’d wiped down all the baseboards in her home. I honestly didn’t know what to say to her. People actually do this? For fun? I work at it, mainly because I want to stay married, but I really don’t smile when I’m cleaning. 🙂 The only thing that seems to help is horrifyingly loud music.

  9. heysugarsugar says:

    Washing floors? what’s that?! lol…my house is clean and tidy(ish) I run round like sonic on speed if someone is coming over but really a true friend, wont notice the dog hair, the piles of ironing not done, the general crappyness of Chez Sugar! ..btw I own a Coffee Shop/Tearoom and Bistro so guess my hygiene standards there are top grade ( have certificates to prove it) but I got better things to do at home than play with the sticky foor 🙂 nuff said! lol..Ceri

    • You own a coffee shop? How cool is that! I am absolutely devoted to my favourite, local coffee shop – and to the baking they produce there!

      As for ironing, I own a wardrobe completely devoid of cotton shirts requiring ironing. I’m a knits girl all the way!

      • heysugarsugar says:

        I find if I hang everything on hangers on a rail I constructed by the clothes airer ( my kitchen looks like a Chinese laundry!) if I hang them I can nearly always get away with no ironing! lolol and Yes I own a coffee shop..I will do a post on it soon for you to see some pics. 🙂

      • That would be great! I’ll look forward to it.

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