It’s Clean to Me

If I’ve discovered anything as a divorced woman, it’s that not all men clean their homes equally. I suppose the same can be said of all women, but that’s not the issue for me. It makes me wonder, however, if there’s some appropriate level of cleanliness.

We all seem to have our own standards. Clutter is okay, but not dirt. Dust is ok, but not junk. The countertops must pass the white glove test, or as long as there aren’t any creatures crawling around anything is acceptable.

Setting Standards

I was a slob as a child. At least, by my mother’s standards. When I moved out, I became a bit of a neat freak myself. Life gets in the way though. Keeping a home neat and tidy with young children around becomes a lesson in futility. As they, and you, get older, you just don’t seem to care quite as much. At least, I don’t. Still, I have certain expectations.

Personally, I like a home to be relatively neat and tidy with no obvious dirt and grime laying around. It’s okay if there’s a pile of papers on the counter as long as it’s stacked neatly. A few dishes in the sink are tolerable as long as they’re not piled above the edge and covered with dried and crusty food. A sweater tossed on a bed that has been made is acceptable, while things thrown on the floor ought to be picked up.

What We Teach Our Children

There’s a fine line, I know, between what is okay, and what is not. And, I’m sure my standards are not easily decipherable by my children. This could be their excuse as to why they don’t bother to pick anything up, but I think it comes down to something else. They know I’ll do it. And, I will.

I know there are some parents who are champions of teaching their children how to do household chores. I am not one of them. I could worry that my lack of expectations will create a set of young adults who have no idea how to keep a house clean. If that were true, however, I would have no idea what I was doing. My mother requested very little of me in terms of helping her around the house. I guess I could say she led by example. I choose to believe I am doing the same.

But, what am I teaching them? What is acceptable? What isn’t?

What Our Homes Say About Us

As women, we don’t generally invite people into our homes unless we have them show-ready. Of course, there’s always the threat of a drop-in guest, but that doesn’t seem to happen much these days. I think we’re all too conscious of our own homes to drop-in on someone else.

Men seem to be different. (And, please, don’t make this some sexist argument. I’m just talking from personal experience. I’m really not trying to make a broad, political statement about the difference between men and women. Of course, there are exceptions on both sides.) In some ways, they seem more real. It’s almost a this-is-who-I-am mentality. Of course, that’s assuming they make a conscious decision as to how to present their homes. I highly doubt that much thought goes into it. Yet, it tells you a lot about someone.

Interestingly, I discovered that the cleanliness of a man’s home really matters to me. I’m not looking for the perfectionist who demands everyone removes shoes before entering his house, or requires coasters under every glass that may touch a table. I’m also not interested in the guy who has three-day old pizza boxes on the counter or cat hair covering his pillows.

I suppose what I’m looking for is a person like me. How we keep our homes is a reflection of our priorities. It’s our own determination of what is acceptable and what is not. There is no right way of doing it. There’s only what’s right for me, or you.

That said, there are days when I really don’t feel like cleaning. Yes, it matters, but I’m just too damn tired to do anything about it. That’s when it’s good to know that services like those offered by Immaculate Clean are available.

Author Bio

Jill Reese

Jill is a small town woman in her late 40's raising 3 kids and 1 dog. She is a life expert with an undergraduate degree in advertising and a PhD. in Education. When she isn't trying to figure out the roller coaster of life, she's blogging about it!


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