What does ‘clean’ mean to you? What does ‘clean’ look like, to you?
There are so many different ideas around the definition of clean. According to the dictionary, ‘free from dirt, marks, or stains’, means that it is clean. Factors contributing to the perceptions of cleanliness: ethnicity, physical environment, parental tendencies, personality type, and I’m sure there are more.
For me, clean means to be able to make lunch on the counter, without having to wipe away crumbs from another meal, or move dirty dishes to create a space. Being able to use at least one side of the sink, at any time of the day, without removing contents, is a pet peeve of mine. This is a very general statement, but one that I follow to be respectful of others; if you make a mess, clean it up. This is simple, common sense!
I am no where near being a neat freak, or a germaphobe, or anything else that resembles it. Again, it’s simple to me. If I share a space with someone else, then I make sure I tidy up my stuff within a reasonable amount of time, so it doesn’t infringe on the other person’s space. Why should they have anything to do with MY MESS? They shouldn’t.
Do unto others as you would have done unto you, or something like that. I think that’s fair.
The general all around house cleaning, should be shared between the occupants. A no-brainer. If you share expenses, share good movie-watching, share cooking, share moments with a glass of wine, do your own laundry, then, help clean the house. If everyone pitches in, then no one is left with much to do. There is more time for the fun stuff.
It was challenging as a mother, one son was a neat freak, but only in HIS room; the other son was the complete opposite, and not only in his room. I made an effort, in several creative ways, to establish some sort of neutral ground. Unsuccessful would be a good word. The one, whom was the neat freak, is now the creator of disasters, and the other one, much improved. I would never have known that it would turn out this way.
I think it comes down to being mindful, slowing down enough to notice the mess, slowing down enough to notice the others in the room. The mind may be creative, with a messy craft room, but the mind cannot be peaceful if the rest of the house is the same. There must be some space for ‘space’. A place for your mind to breath, to expand, to de-clutter. Feel joyful, when you walk into the bathroom that you just cleaned, and you notice how it sparkles. Lie down on the carpet that you just vacuumed, and smile when you get up and have no dog hair sticking to you. It’s the little things that usually go unnoticed, that make the biggest and most profound changes in your life.
This will come back to the topic of cleanliness, but I thought it prudent to mention. Being in a relationship is always, I believe, a work in progress. Communication is key, and contribution sits right next to it. Without discussing who will do laundry, then you will never know who should be doing it. Without discussing boundaries, you will cross over each others, and unknowingly create strife. A willingness to participate in all aspects of the relationship, without grumbling, or eye rolling, shows your partner that you care.
I will say again, I am not perfect, nor do I expect others to be. Just be respectful.
Would love to hear your thoughts on cleanliness. This could be an opportunity for you to rant!