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Stress Cleaning

I might be alone on this, but sometimes I like to clean or de-clutter so I can relax.  I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning (although organizing can be fun), it’s just always been something that has felt good to do.  In high school, after my exams were over, everyone knew to leave me alone for a few days while I cleaned my room top to bottom.  If I was pestered, I got a little bite-y.  I needed that time to clean and unwind.  I’m sometimes compulsive about cleaning because I like to live in a clean home (the air feels fresher, like I’m here!), but also because it’s something I can check off my to-do list.  Having something “done” feels good right now (as I’m sure it did in high school), because my own research and my work as a research assistant are on-going, which can make me twitch a little (must. cross. off. list).  While I don’t enjoy scrubbing the kitchen floor, afterwards I have this ahhhhhh feeling.  I’m so hooked on that feeling, sometimes I forget which things are the priorities (reading) and which are not (precision cleaning the base of the toilet with Q-tips).

I am behind in my magazine reading, as months of subscriptions piled up while I was away, so the other night I was reading my November 2012 Chatelaine.  Canadian choreographer Kelly Konno, who danced for Janet Jackson, said her Dad left her an inspiring note for her one day and the message stuck.  I like the message:

My research is making me feel a little . . . busy . . . right now, so I’ve been repeating this quote again and again.  I love it!  It motivates me.  But, just to take the edge off, I cleaned and organized the front hall closet last night.  I couldn’t help myself (I just crossed that off my to-do list and it felt goood), plus there was a need.  I swear.  I reorganized our coats, short to long (although I really want them colour-coded), to make room for the shoe rack we picked up at Costco the other day (in-store it was only $19.99).  We’ve been on the hunt for a pretty, affordable one for ages.  Another thing to cross of the to-do list (sah-weet!).  Right now it’s filled with Hubby’s shoes, which makes him look like such a clotheshorse.  I’m tempted to leave it like this.

Happy two days free to clean weekend!



  1. Vintage Market Place
    February 15, 2013 / 2:53 pm

    I am so with ya on this one. I usually start like a mad woman at night cause i cant stand going to bed with a messy home. It drives my hubby crazy that i get a spurt and go go go until its clean. I have on my list today the coat closet. After our short winter it is outta hand. It does relieve stress and i too love checking off that darn list :)Happy weekend Amy

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 15, 2013 / 4:53 pm

      Okay, someone as tidy as me!! I will start puttering at night, too, or before we plan to watch a movie and Hubby follows me around asking, "done yet? movie now? sleep now?" but that usually only results in him getting a task! I fell asleep dreaming of taking everything out of our linen closet, painting it a fun colour and putting everything back all tidy.

  2. Katchups
    February 15, 2013 / 8:29 pm

    I totally get that feeling too, but I get overwhelmed by all that needs to be cleaned that unless I can do it all in one go, I just won't do it. I suppose if I just focus on one sector of the house/room, I will get that "ahhh" feeling of accomplishment. What's your method?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 15, 2013 / 10:39 pm

      I prefer to have everything clean at once, but I have learned that my preferred system means a solid few days cleaning, every week and a half or so. I only recently tried to switch to a new system, trying to just do a little bit each day, but by the time I'm done the last thing the first thing is dusty/dirty/disorganized again. I still feel the "ahhhh," but sometimes it's a snowball effect and I feel compelled to clean so much more than what was on my list. So, right now, I'm doing the bit by bit method but trying to find some kind of system within it that works. I also start by what bugs me most (last night, it was the hall closet) and so that makes it so much better. But I hear you, it's so frustrating when some area is clean and others are not . . .

  3. Anonymous
    February 15, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    I would love if you did a post on your method today as well! I was just thinking today about your sparkling clean townhouse while I was vacuuming under my couch! -Mari

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 15, 2013 / 10:40 pm

      Hi Mari, of course I can! I'll think about what I do and try to come up with a post soon. I have some weird cleaning habits, though. I don't even own a full size vacuum!

  4. Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley
    February 15, 2013 / 11:28 pm

    Oh gosh, I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I just got home from work (I teach middle and high school students at an outreach school – not exactly a relaxing job) and we have 5 days off for February break. I plan on celebrating tonight by cleaning my house. I find having a clean, organized space soothes me.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 16, 2013 / 5:45 am

      Oh wow, that sure does not sound like a relaxing job. You definitely deserve a break. So happy to hear you also clean to relax, and happy to hear you'll have some time off for that! Have a fabulous break 🙂

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    March 1, 2013 / 9:39 pm

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