Monday, September 12, 2005

The Chemistry of Housework

Every routine task or chore that comprises the general collection of "housework" seems, for me at least, to have a rate limiting step. You know, the step that determines the rate at which the whole process can proceed.

With the dishwasher, it's unloading the clean dishes. I don't like dirty dishes, so once they're in there, I've got no problem running it. And if the dishwasher's empty, I'll load the dishes as they come. The sticky step is unloading the clean dishes - I mean, can't I just use those dishes as I need them? The answer is most decidely no. Because the dirty dishes that start to accumulate in the sink as the clean ones take up residence in the dishwasher generate a intolerable mess (and sometimes stink after about two afternoons of full sunshine).

With laundry, likewise, it is folding and putting away the clean clothes. I don't leave wet clothes in the washer and dirty laundry sits neatly in a hamper. It's the piles of clean clothes to be folded and put away that live like displaced soldiers around my room. Sometimes I'll leave the pile on the other side of my bed and sleep next to them (it's comforting to feel their weight next to me). Other times I'll have various staging areas for different loads in the folding process. A month or so ago, I finally buckled down and folded all of them - it took an hour of nonstop folding. A sure sign that I have too many clothes.

Vacuuming doesn't so much seem to have a rate limiting step as it does a boiling point. Not having any pets, I tend to let the dust accumulate until I just absolutely can't stand it anymore and then I'll go on a vacuuming spree at midnight one night (I'm sure my neighbor loves this).

Sinks, toilets, showers, and mopping are done when necessary - which pretty much means whenever someone else is going to see them besides myself. I seem to have inherited the gene that requires me to clean my house before anyone else sees it - friends, family, and strangers alike.

All right. Enough stalling. I've got clothes to fold.


At 11:33 PM, September 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then there is the ironing basket, or do you not have one of those? Things can live in there for a long time. Do you remember outgrowing something that was in the ironing basket?


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