Cleaning at Midnight, Just Like Mom Used To (still does)

So, my kitchen is clean. Yes, I said clean.  Not even just clutter-free.  I actually moved stuff, and cleaned UNDERNEATH things. I reorganized the bottom shelf of the spice/medicine/everything else cabinet so that it’s not a precarious tower of pill bottles, vitamins and baking soda.   I sorted the mail stack! I know, radical.  I even, wait for it, set the coffeemaker to start automatically in the morning all by itself.

And I did it all between the hours of 11:30pm and 1am last night.  And it was wonderful.  Don’t get me wrong, no one very few people really LOVE to clean.  And if you talk to the man I share this home with, he will tell you I am MOST DEFINITELY not one of those few people.  However, there are a few clarifications I would like to make.  To me, cleaning means REALLY cleaning.  Taking something that was actually dirty/dusty/grimy/had-something-on-it and making it squeaky/shiny/nice-smelly clean.  Tidying up means putting stuff away.  I will admit that I do not possess a strong genetic disposition to put-stuff-away.   But I do in fact kind of like to clean.  The problem is timing.   Some of my issue comes from selfishness, I know.   I am constantly arguing with myself about whether to do work work or house work, seeing as I’m home most of the time.  But when work work time is ‘over’,  I just enjoy making and eating dinner and hanging out with the husband, and I actually feel like I’m ignoring him if I just clean all evening, though it makes me (and him) feel better when things get done.

Ok, so the thing is though, my favorite time to clean/tidy/sort is after 10pm.  10pm to 2am has always been when i go on cleaning binges and get tons of the good meticulous type cleaning done.  The problem is that I usually blare music while doing this (and I like to turn on lots of lights – keeps me from getting sleepy) and that’s just not good when you live with someone who wants to go to bed at a reasonable hour (and not have a sky high electric bill).  Up until now I had been stumped by what to do, thinking of it as an all or nothing situation – but we all know life’s not like that and I’m thinking a part-time situation may help me out. Cleaning late once or twice a week, with the help of my friendly mp3 player and being a good girl and not turning on all the lights.  I also think that days that I don’t exercise will be good cleaning days, since I’ll have all that extra energy.

OK the other big thing in my mind is that since we don’t have kids, I really do have all this wasted free time throughout my day that will totally disappear once there are ‘dependents’ about.   I know the day is coming when the ONLY time I will have to clean is between the hours of 9pm and 6am.   As I was walking around in the kitchen in my pj’s cleaning last night, I just started laughing because I realized that’s what mom used to do (and likely still does) all the time.  Now I don’t KNOW if her reasoning was because she liked to clean at 3am, or because that’s the only time she wasn’t dealing with all of us and our requests.  I have a feeling it’s a bit of both.  When you clean when everyone is asleep you can clean as fast or as slow as you want to, and be as detailed as you want to.  It’s unlikely you would bother to disassemble a toaster oven and completely clean it out if you had kids asking for a snack and needing help with homework.   That is a late night job.  You can listen to whatever music you want, or no music and enjoy the quiet.  You also aren’t ignoring anyone when you clean late at night.  It’s just you and the dirt/clutter/unorganization, one-on-one.

Ok, I realize this has been an entire post about CLEANING, but some of you might enjoy that.  Later.

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