I’ll never win any awards for beautifying my space. I’ll never be better than an adequate housekeeper. While I do not spend more time cleaning now than I did before, my self esteem regarding my ability to keep a presentable house is improving since moving to Texas.
In California it didn’t matter how recently (or well) I cleaned the apartment, it never felt it. It was a dumpy place. Not only was it not nice, but no one respected it: people tromped in an out with their boots on, allowed their children to squash goldfish in the carpet, and didn’t bother to clean up their children’s toys before thy left. (Often these were the same people who offered housekeeping advice.)
The temporary apartment we got out here was brand new. Even when Mt. Laundry was on the couch waiting to be folded and dishes were in the sink it never felt bad. It was a nice apartment. Everything was in working order, there was plenty of light, and people felt comfortable when they came over. Some people even offered to remove heir shoes before I asked. (One woman never removed her shoes despite my regular welcome of “come in! Take your shoes off and get comfortable.” But to have only one person ignore my shoe issues is not that a big of a deal.) Also, because we knew few people and had more opportunities for outside socializing, the apartment was not often ransacked by other people’s children. We were all better able to deal with the messes created by just Red and Blue.
Now that we are in the house, with the space it provides, we’ve lived a not only tidy, but almost spartan existence. When it gets “bad” it never takes too long to set everything right. We’ve got a lot of light, really great flow, and are pleased that this house really works for us and our needs.
Best of all, no one gives “the look” when surveying my home, no one offers cleaning advice, and people don’t come in and immediately tell me what they’d do differently if they lived here. It soothes my tender heart, and I’m starting to feel less like a failure.