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Love and Cleaning

Updated: Sep 20, 2023




Feral House Witch Clean House Scale


Alright. There are multiple levels of house cleaning. I am a feral house witch who is in my house 90% of the time. I live here. I work here. I am raising three cave trolls here. We have a 4+ year old chihuahua, a 1+ year old cat, and a 6 month old Pomeranian mix puppy. 3/5 of us are diagnosed with ADHD in this house. There is a reasonably good chance the other two may have it as well. I generally do not mess with my kids rooms unless I can’t safely walk through them. On a good week I do everyone’s laundry. On an ok week I keep up with the house laundry and my own. On a bad week, we are searching for clean towels. To me, the level of clean in a house I visit is a reflection of how much someone trusts me. If you have me over when your house is at Red, we are die hard family. (Family is what you make it. Blood has nothing to do with it.) You know I love you and give zero fucks about the state of your house. The same goes in reverse.


Generally my house it at Orange. At that state I feel comfortable inviting my second ring people over. (See Circus Rings post…). Yellow is for new people I’m not sure about and the very few judgy people I somehow still allow in my life. Green is not a state I am capable of attaining. To be clear, if your house is always at a Green level, then go you. I literally give no fucks how clean or not clean your house is. That’s the entire point of this post.


Red:

We are fighting demons using peanut butter and jelly…

Everything is covered in something sticky. There are cheerios mashed into the carpet. There is crap covering everything. This state is usually achieved by a bout of the bad brains that makes functioning impossible or a house wide sickness that leaves everyone hugging buckets. This level of mess is safe only with the best of people. Those gorgeous non-judgmental people who will come over and not even see the mess. (To be honest, I will wipe down sticky surfaces if you invite me over. That’s not a judgment. I have sensory issues that will freak the fuck out at touching gooey surfaces. I’m literally skeeving out at the thought. I am aware of my insanity. I could literally be sitting on a pile of laundry or toys and give zero fucks. No sticky. Blegh.)


Orange:

I am hyper focusing on other things right now…

So many half done things. House is mostly clean. Dishes are in the sink. Laundry is mostly folded but not hidden away yet. There is usually at least one all consuming project taking up most of the kitchen table. In my case it’s usually a quilt but it could be any number of things. Maybe it was a beautiful day and playing with the kids outside was more important.

This is a normal state around my house. I prefer to live in my house. I joke that I own every room in the house except my kids bedrooms and the bathroom. It’s not really a joke. The living room, kitchen, and my bedroom all store some of my crafty crap. There is an office in my bedroom closet. I have bookshelves in the living room that are overflowing. An IKEA cube storage system is behind the couch *mostly* containing my craft supplies. Another cube storage system in the kitchen holds my sewing machines. The garage holds overflow fabric. The basement has bins of craft supplies that need to be tossed thanks to some very enterprising mice (BASTARDS!). My shit is everywhere.


Yellow:

Candles cover the smells of life…

Listen. Kids and pets stink. Teens smell like dirty socks no matter how often they shower. Dogs get sick. Cats bomb their box everytime you clean it. This is about as clean as my house ever gets. The floors have been vacuumed within the last week (or since the last time the puppy murdered a toy…). I’ve mopped the floors sometime in the last month or less. Counters are only full of the normal half empty cereal boxes and the 400 appliances we always need. You can see most of the kitchen table. Nothing is sticky. No laundry is in sight. Maybe once a month my sinks have zero dishes (it’s a glorious moment that I actually photograph to remember, it’s the little things). My craft-nado has been returned to its designated spaces. I might even throw a comforter over my bed in the worst imitation of a made bed you’ve ever seen. I usually only clean to this level for birthdays or holidays.


Green:

No one lives here…

You remember cleaning as a kid for a big holiday event? When you had two page lists of cleaning chores? Wiping down baseboards and vacuuming under couches. That level of deep clean where you almost don’t recognize the house when it’s done? All laundry is folded and away. You know, that Good Housekeeping level of cleaning where dust goes to die…

I am almost never at this level. Maybe once a year I hit a hyper focus to clean at this level. It’s usually because my anxiety has sent me down a huge ‘you’re a terrible mom’ shit spiral until organizing under the sink is the only solution. Unfortunately my ADHD eventually loses focus. This is why my socks might be alphabetized but there is still a sink full of dishes. This level of clean is best enjoyed when no one else is in your home. Definitely take pictures to bask in the glow.

The only valid reason to clean to this level is if you are selling your house (or if it brings you joy but that’s totally different). If anyone makes you feel like your house should not display any signs of living, stop having them over. They suck.

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