There are habits and characteristics we take on as adults that we probably don’t realize come from our parents. How many times have you said something to your child and had the immediate thought, “I just sounded like my mother?” My mother has always believed in a spotless house. She can find dust before the dust bunnies. I’m not sure her three daughters caught the “house-cleaning” gene. Don’t get me wrong, we all like a clean house, but we generally aren’t as obsessive about it unless visitors are coming. In addition to day to day straightening, once a month our home gets a good top to bottom vacuum, dust and bathroom clean-up. For me the big house-cleaning-white-tornado comes with visitors or our leaving town. It’s like wearing clean underwear. What if something happened while we were away and somebody had to go into the house?
There have been times that I have been known to literally vacuum our way out the door. In addition to all the preparations there are in leaving for a short weekend trip or a full vacation, I feel it necessary to clean the house. And even if we leave at five in the morning, the beds are made before our departure.
Of all the quirks I could have inherited, this is a productive one and my husband is wonderfully patient with me about it. As I see it there are two good outcomes from this habit.
First, like I said, should something happen and someone need to come into our home while we are away, they will find order and cleanliness. This can only help with the matter that has brought them there.
Secondly, when we come home, we come home to a clean house. We can ease back into reality of work or school without having to do anything around the house. It’s like extending vacation-mode a little longer.