My Cleaning List Is A Thing Of Beauty, But My House Is A Hot Mess

#CleaningGoals don't always translate so well into reality. (Image Credit: Gemma Hartley)

#CleaningGoals don't always translate so well into reality. (Image Credit: Gemma Hartley)

If you were to walk into my house on any given day, you wouldn’t know that I am an efficient and organized person.

I would, of course, disagree. In my mind, I am very clean and well-organized. My imaginary bullet journal, if you could see it, would be mindblowing. My daily and weekly organization would be off the chart, I assure you. 

And my house, if you could see it as it is meant to be seen, would be immaculate.

You see, I have a master cleaning list. It's three pages long in fairly fine print. In fact, when you walk into my house you can see it, hanging on the corkboard so everyone who enters my home can see exactly what kind of an organized cleaning master I truly am.

It outlines chores for each day of the week, and features a rotating list of monthly and bimonthly chores to ensure not a single thing gets left behind. It breaks down kitchen cleaning into every last task - from wiping down the microwave to dusting the ceiling fan.

It includes things like vacuuming out the crevices of our windowsills and replacing the filters in our heating vents. It’s the sort of thing Martha Stewart’s wet dreams are made of.

Honestly, I could probably draw some fancy floral pictures around it and sell it on Etsy as a guide to keeping the most beautiful handmade home. It took years to compile, and it is absolutely perfect. No stone left unturned, no high surface left undusted. And you best believe it includes some regular Marie Kondo-worthy decluttering, lest your closets become a wasteland of shit you don’t want to actually organize.

There's only one tiny problem with this work of cleaning genius - I don't do it.

Monday? Time to deep clean the kitchen. Friday? Let’s start the weekend with some hardcore medicine cabinet organization. 

If I’m being honest, making the list itself was the ultimate form of cleaning procrastination. I convinced myself cleaning would be absolutely useless unless there was a method to the madness — some way to ensure that I wouldn't run into an oven that hadn't been cleaned in five years and try some bullshit cleaning concoction from Pinterest that would ruin both my oven and my morale (true story).

In fact, I came to the conclusion that I needed to make said master cleaning list while elbow deep in a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and dawn dish soap — crying because I had cleaned about one-tenth of the oven window (but coated the whole oven) when my infant woke up an hour early from his nap. My oven smelled weird and smoked like a chimney for months afterwards, and quite possibly looked worse than when I began. I still couldn’t see through the window portion, that’s for damn sure.

I swore I would never find myself in such a terrible cleaning situation ever again, but instead of behaving like a normal person and buying a goddamn can of EASY-OFF, I sat down and pinterested every cleaning schedule known to man, compiling them until I had created my magnum opus.

When I was satisfied that I had covered every nook and cranny of housecleaning, I hung the list proudly on the wall, where I would be constantly confronted with everything that needed to be done on any given day. 

Monday? Time to deep clean the kitchen. Friday? Let’s start the weekend with some hardcore medicine cabinet organization.

I once made it two, possibly three whole days into the master list before completely and utterly failing, and let me tell you, my house was looking presentable as fuck. Sometimes, around the time of spring cleaning fever, I get in a frenzy and try it out again for a couple days before burning out. But most of the time, I simply look longingly at the cleaning list as it continues to hang on my wall, a testament to my utter failure as my house remains forever unclean.

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