Cleaning kink?

Published February 2, 2012 by livinggraciously

Have you ever talked to dedicated nail biters and had them tell you about the pleasure of holding off for a few days, letting their nails grow while they fought against the urge to bite them, and then their ecstatic pleasure at biting those nails?

Occasionally I’m like that with my kitchen.

Oh, it’s not on the days when I’m cooking. If I’m regularly cooking, then the mess gets cleaned up before I get started. But every once in a while we have a day like yesterday, where I didn’t feel good and we had friends over and Chinese takeout.

The cartons are all over the counters. There are sticky spots. Dishes in the sink. The stove top is a mess because I didn’t clean it up after making pot roast two nights ago. In sum, my kitchen is a giant mess. (Okay, giant mess for me; lots of people are messier than I, I admit.)

Instead of upsetting me, it’s filling me with a strange glee. Right now I don’t have time to clean it up. I have to put out the trash, but then I have other things I must do. So for the moment, the mess remains.

Then when I get my work done, I will get the pleasure of cleaning my kitchen. I will spend at least an hour scrubbing everything down. I will polish, and  sweep, and mop, and then step back, see the places I missed, and go at them again. The whole thing will fill me with a sort of calm pleasure. Afterward, I might even cook something.

Pity I can’t muster the same pleasure for cleaning the bathroom….

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2 comments on “Cleaning kink?

  • I think you’ve described a huge part of the problem for some people who have serious issues with mess. I know a few very well.

    It seems that some get so hooked on the satisfaction of seeing a huge and noticeable change when they clean that they end up letting things go too long. No one congratulates people for just keeping clean spaces clean so the reward is much greater when the space gets dirty first.

    Things can start to spin out of control if they are suddenly struck with illness or disaster that prevents them from doing big cleans while their homes are in a state where that is what it will take.

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