Does anyone here get major anxiety from cleaning or the thought of cleaning? I’d like to come out and express my disdain for it. It’s genuinely the thing I hate most about adulting, and I am certain that I am not the only one.
Before I moved out, I considered cleaning a somewhat pleasurable activity. Granted, I only really cleaned my room and my sister’s room occasionally. My parents did most of the cleaning, one thing I really miss about living at home. It felt really productive to clean, do my laundry, and fold my clothes. I thought I was good at cleaning, or at least had a positive outlook about it. “If I ever became a housewife, I’d survive”, I’d tell myself. Fast forward to the present day, I can tell you that I’ve never been more wrong in my life. I’m pretty sure being a housewife for me is completely out of the question.
For the sake of clarity, let’s define cleaning as the following things: vacuuming, changing bed sheets, laundry (the whole process of it), kitchen housekeeping, dishwashing, throwing out the garbage, cleaning the washroom, cleaning make-up brushes, etc. If you live alone and do all these things routinely rain or shine, I’d like to congratulate you. You’re the real bomb diggity.
The reason I hate cleaning is frankly because it takes a lot of time. As a Type A personality, I am constantly thinking about opportunity costs, which is the concept that the cost of making a particular choice is the value of the most valuable choice out of those that were not taken (Yes, that’s straight out of Wikipedia).
Let me explain this in detail. The whole process of cleaning for me usually takes a minimum of 4 hours. FOUR HOURS. Let that sink in. I could have spent that time playing piano and learning a new song, writing a few blog entries, learning more about investing in stocks, or finishing a short book, opportunities for growth or mastering skills that I have now missed out on because I needed to clean. Not to mention, I get absurdly anxious when I see my place getting really dirty that I end up stress cleaning. The worst part is cleaning never ends, so the opportunity costs multiply.
I also find that there are two types of people, the low-maintenance and the high-maintenance. This will determine your feelings about cleaning. It’s not a binary system; it’s more of a spectrum. I would place myself as somewhere in between, but closer to the high-maintenance side, which is why I think of cleaning as a huge ordeal.
For instance, I know people who clean so often because they just love the feeling of cleanliness (these are obviously the high-maintenance folks). My mother is like this, as she is always cleaning day and night for whatever reason. She says things like: “cleanliness is next to godliness”. If you watch Friends, Monica is a classic example.
I also know people who only change their bath towels and bed sheets once a month (these are of course, the low-maintenance folks). One of my guy friends told me that this is how he cleans, and I honestly yelled: “What?!” to his face so loudly in utter shock.
Unfortunately, cleaning has to get done. You can’t run from it; you can’t escape it. It’s just an organic part of adulthood. Otherwise, our condos and houses would be infested with all kinds of nastiness and germs that we can probably die from. I’m also deathly allergic to dust for real.
But here’s my plan. Someday, when I’m at a stage in my career and my life when I can afford to pay for a cleaning service, I would totally do it. Not only will I be helping myself, I will also be helping out someone who needs to make a living. It will be a worthy business transaction. I really do look forward to that day. It’s going to happen, I promise.
For now, I must log out of WordPress and start cleaning.