Bad Girl's Guide

Thursday, June 22, 2006

5. Good Housekeeping

Since no-one added anything else to the list over here, this will be the concluding entry to the series for this week on Catering to Your Man. I honestly don't know why Pops added this one on here, but it's supposed to be essential. Perhaps his thinking is that having a clean house will make your dude more inclined to come home than go chill at some bar. Perhaps he wanted me to pitch in with more household chores. Either way---he stressed it, so I'm tacking it on the list.

For starters, there is alot of things that fall under keeping a good house. I'm not suggesting that we slip into the Stepford Wife archetype that the feminist movement has taken us away from. However, I am saying that we should apply the same diligence and stewardship in our homes as we do in every aspect of our lives.

As single women who live alone, it's very easy to get into this regimented routine of living however you want, choosing to leave dirty dishes in the sink and cleaning up only when you feel like it. However, once you add a man into the mix, the whole dirty factor is going to be probably tripled (or quadrupled, depending on the guy!). In addition to the fact that most men (not all, but most), are notoriously not good housekeepers it will fall to you to keep things running smoothly in this domain.

Your home is your castle. Your abode. Your sanctuary. It's the only place that you have (besides your car) that is your own personal space, your oasis in this world full of 6 billion people. So why not put a little effort into keeping it shipshape? At the end of a long day at work, do you really want to come home to a crappy, stinky, dirty house? How is that supposed to help you relax in any way?

I'm not saying become a neat freak, germaphobe or obsessive-compulsive about cleaning, but remember that a little effort goes a loooong way---especially in cleaning house. Here are some tips to help maintain some semblance of order.
  1. Assign chores: Yes, it's archaic and childish, but assigning tasks have proven to work for majority of people. It's just like at work, the shit that gets organized and assigned tends to get done more often than the stuff that is just left to 'whoever'.
  2. Understand the Differences: Guys tend to move at a slower rate than we do when it comes to housekeeping. When you say, "Take out the trash honey," he might take it to mean take it out when you get around to it. As in when he's done with his game, TV show or when he just plain feels like it. You can't force a guy to do something that he's not ready to do, so it's good to specify WHEN you expect this to be done. And lay off the nagging please. That only pisses them off and won't get the job done.
  3. Break it Up: That way, the work load doesn't look so intense and burdening. My mom broke up house chores into bits and pieces all through the week. Everyday, there was something you were in charge of, and on Friday, well, that was super cleaning day. (I came to have a love/hate relationship with Fridays)
  4. Have Routine: Routines are good to maintain organization. Especially when it's 2 or more of you doing the cleaning. Honestly, how frustrating would it be to vacuum when your hubby did it yesterday and you didn't even know? In addition, routines promote structure. Most guys know that the trash must be on the curb every Tuesday and will eventually get to the routine and stick to it.
  5. Trade & Barter: Of all the household chores, I totally abhor mopping floors. I will sweep, dust, vacuum, do a trillion dishes and pretty much anything to get around mopping. The solution? Barter it off as his chore in exchange for something more tolerable.
  6. Get Geared Up: Having fun cleaning items like the Swiffer product lines, a spiffy vacuum (like the Roomba), Scrubbing Bubbles etc, all take the drudgery out of cleaning house. Sure they might be expensive, but at least you'll have fun right?
  7. Key Pieces: I once read this article that all you had to do to make every room look presentable was take care of key pieces. In the bedroom, make the bed (and shove everything else under it!) and close the closet doors. In the living room, straighten the couch & pillows, pick up bits of trash off the carpet etc. In the kitchen, hide the dishes in the dishwasher (or wash them!), wipe the stove down and sweep the floor. Once you take care of the key pieces, each room looks more presentable than before. Then you can take a break and sip a daiquiri~~~ or just finish it, heh!
  8. Good Smells: Invest in some nice potpourri, Plugins, sprays, aromatic candles and incense for your home. Not only do they help set the romantic mood, it also helps to associate that smell with comfort and happiness. Imagine, every time he smells anything remotely resembling Hawaiian Breeze he will think of your place. Remember that guys are more drawn to natural homey scents like cinnamon and vanilla than any exotic concoction. However bear in mind that there's a fine line between aromatic and nauseating.
  9. Clean Up After Yourself: Isn't this like the first housekeeping rule we ever learned? And yet, the one that people in their laziness and carelessness tend to break. Just pick up after yourself when you leave a room and avoid leaving a mess. That way, there's less to clean up.
You can actually get by without doing anything house wise for a couple of days with a little maintenance. But a couple of weeks? Now that's a whole new ballpark.

Your thoughts?


Posted by Vixen @ 3:41 AM :: 7 trainees letting it rip!

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