I have ADD1 and while I certainly hope my house isn't a health hazard, I do struggle with housekeeping. I sat down this morning and wrote a list of all the chores I think I should be doing. (Really, they should get done no matter if I do them or my husband does. I wrote the list in preparation to sit down with my husband and create a chore schedule that fairly divides the work.) Here's the list (click to embiggen):
This is what housework looks like in my head -- except without even the divisions into Daily, Weekly, and Less Often. A huge, tangled list of things that I must do, should have already done, need to do all of right now.
Is it any wonder I just throw up my hands and don't do any of it? Well, I do the things absolutely necessary to life (like cooking and washing dishes to eat off of), and I do the other stuff when it's been ignored for so long that I can't live with it anymore. My threshold for this is below "actual health hazard" but well above "humiliated if anyone who doesn't live here walks in."
And yes, I have tried FlyLady. Multiple times. It doesn't work for me for a number of reasons. The concept of breaking things down into small steps is awesome. The underlying philosophy (and eye-rollingly cutesy presentation) is what I can't get along with. I quickly grow to resent the idea that housekeeping is all my responsibility -- Flylady gives no guidance on how to divide up tasks fairly. Even if I ask my husband to do things, that means it's still ultimately my job -- I'm just delegating it. And I really grow to resent the idea of "blessing" my husband by keeping things clean and tidy. I'm not the angel of the frackin' house.
And fundamentally? Shining my kitchen sink? Before I can do that, I have to do the following:
- Call to get an appointment to get the dishwasher fixed (it's refusing to drain again)
- Put away everything on the countertops in preparation for step 3, because right now there is no room on the countertops for the dishes
- Move dishes out of dishwasher and sink onto countertops
- Find the stupid dishwashing gloves
- If I can't find them, go to Target and buy another set, oh and while I'm there, get my prescriptions refilled. Actually those gloves are old and nasty, I should just get a new set anyway.
- Enter spending from Target into budget software
- Throw out old nasty sponges
- Find new clean sponges under sink
- Actually, you know what, why don't I just buy a pack of microfiber dishcloths at Target while I'm there, and forget the stupid sponges altogether
- Handwash, rinse, dry, and put away dishes from dishwasher, dishes that piled up while dishwasher hasn't worked, and large awkward or small fragile dishes that always require handwashing
- Bail out disgusting un-drained water from dishwasher using red plastic cup
- NOW I can shine my sink
So yeah. Today I am looking at my house and thinking "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
So, yeah. Any ADD-friendly, feminist, practical guides to keeping up with housework expected of a normal adult are welcome. But for today, I just don't even.
For the record, while writing this post, I have boiled the same pot dry twice. And I still have not made poached eggs for breakfast as I intended, nor indeed have I yet eaten any food at all. I'm brilliant.
1I leave out the H in ADHD because I have inattentive-type, not hyperactive-type.