When we toured our previous home for the first time, I didn't walk in and say, "Oh happy day, look at all these toilets that will need cleaning!" Or, "Oh my, so much carpet to vacuum and tile to mop, how fun!" I looked at the big rooms and high ceilings and told myself lies. Lies that there were little green clad men, who would show up at night and do my (literally) dirty work.
Let's face it, no men - big or small - are ever going to volunteer to clean the entire house while everyone else is asleep. That's going to happen right after men start trying to figure out how to go through childbirth.
I spent half of this Monday cleaning house. With half a day, I scrubbed both bathrooms, changed the bedding (my absolutely least favorite chore), vacuumed or mopped all the floors, and did a bit of dusting.
Today, two days later, I'm going to clean the kitchen, and however much I can throw lilac scented Ajax and grapefruit scented Method at in two hours, I'll call it enough fruit smells and be done.
The last place we lived was exactly twice as big as this house. It had five bedrooms vs. two, four bathrooms vs. two and a few extra rooms we don't have (or need) here.
The end of Monday felt great because
#1 I COULD clean most of our house in part of one day
#2 I didn't feel lazy and undisciplined
#3 Everything smelled fruity and looked wonderful and I could take pride in a job well done
#4 Now I was free on Tuesday to do whatever I wanted to, completely guilt free
When we began considering the decision to major downsize, we knew there would be a lot of things we'd have to do that would be hard. Cub Sweetheart gave away or sold almost all of his thirty years of garage accumulation of tools, etc. We gave away or sold entire rooms of furniture, including the beat up kitchen table our kids had eaten their cereal at for their entire growing up years. I got rid of most of my craft supplies (crafts have a propensity to ooze and claim space). We gave away half of our clothes (that we didn't wear anyway). We gave away most of our kids' old toys, and that's okay since the baby is now 34, and they all have babies of their own. (Yes we did send a few of the most special ones their way.)
But almost any hard decision, once made, has its upside. Our utilities are about half of what they were, there is virtually no yard work which blesses our backs, we can already tell our neighborhood is going to be warm and friendly because of the similarity of stage of life we're all at, and I can clean my entire house in a fraction of the time it used to take. CS now has the time to volunteer in our community rather than mow the grass (we sold the mower), or do other, now unneeded, home maintenance. I'm planning to volunteer at a pregnancy resource center near our home. We read more, we take walks, we go to the movies, all because we downsized.
Being honest, while I do prefer to clean up after myself rather than hire it out, I don't prefer to clean every day either. Any time I've tried to use those cute little cleaning schedules, where you do something every day, I've run out of gas pretty fast. Life has to be more than getting out of bed and trying to get excited about 'today's bathrooms day!' or 'today's dust every flat surface in the house day!'. I'm down to two to three loads of laundry a week now, but I still remember when I did that many loads five days a week. I consider the downside of getting older, i.e., dealing with chin hair, to be worth the upside of only three loads of laundry a week. That's if I act like a grown up and change the bedding.
Changing the bedding is never going to be my favorite, but this week's house cleaning only took a fraction of the time it would have taken me at our previous home, and it only took one Aleve and a hot soak in the tub to deal with the after effects. Not bad!
We're seeing the blessing of 'less is more' and it's feeling better all the time.