How to Solve Your Love/Hate Relationship with Cleaning

I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. On the one hand, I love a clean house. I mean, who doesn’t? Do you ever look around your clean house and think, “God, I wish it was just a little dirtier”? Didn’t think so.

On the other hand, I hate actually cleaning my house. The only time I don’t hate it is when I’m rage cleaning. Clearly, I’m not alone: I googled “Rage cleaning” and got over 25,000 results. Rage cleaners, unite!

Are you a Rage Cleaner?

Now, there are actually two (or more, but hey, I can only spend so much time vetting my ideas) forms of rage cleaning:

  1. Starting out to clean like a normal person, and then becoming enraged by the state of things. You can read more about that in Katie Bingham-Smith’s hilarious Scary Mommy piece, “From One Rage Cleaner To Another: You Feel Better, Don’t You?”
  2. Cleaning when angry. You can read more about that in Jennifer Ball’s Huff Post piece, “The Rage Clean”.
The Result of My Love/Hate Relationship With Cleaning

For the record, I’m a Type II Rage Cleaner. Unfortunately, I don’t get mad enough to clean very often. Oh, I get mad, just not “rage cleaning” mad. As a result, this means that our house is pretty dirty 95% of the time. Oh, you think someone else could pitch in? Bwahahaha! I live with people who could (and do) step over hairballs the size of armadillos and then claim, “What hairball? I didn’t see it!”

Hairballs add to my love/hate relationship with cleaning
Percy, King of the Hairballers.

The problem with being a Type II Rage Cleaner and living with people who aren’t cleaners at all is that, unlike Type I Rage Cleaners, you have to be angry enough to clean. And unless that happens more than, say, once a year, you’ve got a problem – unless you’re like my family, since none of them even see the dirt. And if you can’t see it, well, it can’t bother you. That’s actually their absurd rationale: “Just don’t look!”

How to Solve Your Love/Hate Relationship with Cleaning

I almost titled this section “How to Get A Clean House After Your Anger Management Course,” but I wasn’t sure how many of you actually graduated.

For those of us who dropped out, here’s the solution: hire someone to clean your house. Yeah, I know, that costs money. But I’m allergic to money, so this works out great for me. Plus, it really doesn’t cost that much. Depending on where you live, I’m going to guess that it will probably cost you the equivalent of two dinners out. And think of it this way:

  • If your house wasn’t so disgusting, you might be more willing to eat dinner at home
  • If you make the mess that comes with making dinner, well, the cleaners will take care of it!

On that note, here’s a pro tip: if you want the cleaning person to ever come back, you can’t actually just leave everything for them to do. That’s where “pre-cleaning” comes in.

The Four Essential Elements of Pre-Cleaning

You may be asking, “Is pre-cleaning really a thing?” Hell, yes! We live in fear of our cleaning person quitting. This means that we have to “pre-clean” before she comes. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pick up the 275 pairs of shoes that are scattered throughout your house. And put them away where they belong! Don’t pile them in the garage/laundry room/anywhere else you might have space.
  2. Go through the 132 pieces of junk mail that have accumulated since the last time the cleaning person came. Of course, this means getting your mail. I know; it’s hard. But you can do it.
  3. THROW AWAY THE MAIL YOU DON’T NEED. No, you’re never ordering from that catalog. Really, you’re not. Own it. You’re not using that 50% off coupon, either, because you’ll either forget the coupon at home or – in the unlikely event that you actually have it with you when you’re at the store – you’ll forget that you have it.
  4. Say a prayer to the God of Cleaning People that today will not be the day that your cleaning person says, “Enough!” and walks out the door for the last time.
How to Find the Right Cleaning Person
  • Get references from people you know. I can’t stress this enough. Preferably, these are people who are as slobby as you are.
  • If possible, make sure they are bonded and insured. We’ve experienced tragedies with cleaning people – broken objects, missing things (!!!). I’d way rather have a dirty house than have to worry that the person(s) I invited into my home are actually stealing from me.
  • Negotiate prices up front. This seems like a no-brainer, right? But I actually know people who didn’t think to ask what it would cost. I’m sure that’s not you, but just in case…


This is not my kitchen. My love hate relationship with cleaning doesn't mean I have a great kitchen, just a clean one.
This is not my kitchen. It is, however, very clean, in addition to being way cooler than my kitchen. My love-hate relationship with cleaning doesn’t mean I have a great kitchen, just a clean one.

So now, you’ve found your cleaning person, done all of the pre-cleaning…what’s left? Nothing! Just sit back and enjoy the clean house, and remember that the next time you feel the urge to rage clean, there just won’t be much to do.

So, what about you? Are you a Type I or Type II rage cleaner, or not a rage cleaner at all? Do you have a cleaning person? Comment and let me know!⧉



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3 thoughts on “How to Solve Your Love/Hate Relationship with Cleaning”

  1. HAHAHAHAHA! #SoulSister.
    I fear my mailman hates me because I rarely check my mail. Mail bothers me “almost” as much as cold calls. #mailallergy
    (I do have a folder in my car for coupons though- which even I can’t believe.)

    1. Thank you! Glad to see some Soul Sisters out there! And no need to wonder about the mailman – take it from me, he hates you. 😉 Thanks again! – Coach Dawne.

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