Cleaning house

This box of rocks and dandelions is an example of something Kalista "made." It remains on my bedroom floor.

Tonight I Googled “tips for single parents cleaning house.”

Why?

Because I need them.

Let me get this out of the way: of all the responsibilities single parenthood has tossed my way, there’s only one I loathe. Housework. You can go ahead and put folding laundry – my archnemesis – into this category. I do.

I believe the thing about housework that kills me is the time of day I have to do it. My life is essentially this: I work the usual 9 hours, get Kalista to bed and then – only then, really – have time to chill out.

Or do housework.

Take right now, as I write this blog, for instance. I should be straightening up the living room in preparation for a vaccum blitz. But I’m not. I’m chilling out.

Another thing that should be known (it could also be called a “disclaimer;” I’m going to call it a disclaimer) is my house is not dirty – it’s untidy. Remnants of a 5-year-old’s spirit lay strewn about the place. For instance, the kitchen table grows into a collection 3-foot-high shelf for school notices, library books, unwanted mail and a stuffed animal or so by the end of a week. The larger, more formal dining room table becomes a larger, more formal shelf for more stuff like this. The living room’s got an afghan on the floor, clothes on the back of a chair and a dry erase board that just won’t go away. Kalista’s constantly “making” things and leaving them wherever she happens to be when she loses interest.

Her bedroom? Don’t even get me started.

But I’m pretty good about germ-related stuff, I must say. Kitchen counters remain disinfected, dishes stay put away and clean or tucked inside the dishwasher and the bathroom – for the most part – is safe for surgery. Tidiness is the issue here.

So I looked up a website I hoped would address the matter and got “How to Clean the House Quickly if you’re a Busy Parent” on ehow.com. You know what I learned? Nothing I didn’t already know,with the exception of one thing: pure gumption – not a housekeeping instruction manual – is what I need to get the job done.

Now let’s see if I can find some of that online …

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