I did make sure that vacuuming, floor mopping, dusting, bathroom cleaning and all that goes with a clean house was done at least once a week. When the kids were small there were always toys all over, dishes waiting to be washed (before the days of dishwashers especially), meals cooking, baking, not to even mention my crafting, sewing and needlework projects in the process of being worked on. Add a cat and dog in the house to the mix and sometimes it was utter chaos. But it was clean under all the clutter.
My second husband hated clutter, especially if it wasn't his stuff. Know what I mean? And since it was just the two of us, and I did not work outside the home anymore, I made a special effort to keep my clutter picked up as much as possible. But he could be reading the newspaper and lay it wide open on the edge of the couch, and it could stay there for days and that did not bother him. (sigh) But that is another story for another time. After he passed away I was still doing okay with the housekeeping. I kept very busy separating my things from what was my husband's before we got married as his daughter was coming five months later to pack up her dad's things and have them moved to California where they live. I didn't expect any problems with that, but I did want to make sure it was all separated before they got here as I knew she had no idea of all the things that were mine. And she didn't, but again, another story for another time. At least she did not argue about those things and it all went very well.
I was handling things fairly well through all this time. But then, I got an email from her husband a year later saying they had decided to sell the house and I would have to move out. I knew when we got married that his daughter would inherit the house and I was fine with that as I was moving into his home. Everyone that knew him thought he should have given me life estate in the house so that I could stay living there. But I know deep in his heart that he thought his daughter would want to come back and live in that house as it was her childhood home. Unfortunately he was the only one that thought that. Now I was being kicked out and not enough money to buy a house, though my son suggested I try to buy the house from them, which I really didn't want to do for various reasons.
Then I find out they already had a buyer and an agreement with them. The buyer had even contacted the step son-in-law at the time of my husband's death! He had hinted to me in a strange way that someone was interested right after the funeral, but we all thought he was bluffing, plus he said they would never put me out of the house. That just put me in a tailspin as the last straw of all that I had been through in the last 2 years. I went into a depression and finally had to get medication, but it still rendered me helpless. I could not make myself clean or start packing to move, but just sit at the computer and play games.
I did have six months to find another place so started looking for a house to rent, and there are very few of them in town. But I did find this small one bedroom house with rent that I could afford. I
moved in with the help of the good people of my church and one of my daughters. They had me totally moved within 1 1/2 hours! And all I did was stand and direct people while my daughter was at the new house directing people as to where to put things. There were even some ladies from the church that came and helped pack a couple of days before the move. Another story for another time.
Condensing 6 large rooms plus bathroom and kitchen, and a full basement, into 4 rooms plus small bath and no basement is not easy! I feel like I am stuffed in here using a shoe horn. And that is after I got rid of as much stuff as I could. If I had money I would get rid of everything and buy furniture to fit the house, but I can't do that. I do keep trying to declutter all the time, and I do get rid of stuff quite often. But it is still cramped as far as I am concerned. There is a difference between being cozy and being cramped. :-)
Back to the housekeeping. Ever since I moved I still can't get into a pattern of cleaning here. I don't know why. Part of it is because my body doesn't move as fast or as well so it takes me so much longer to get anything done. My back gives out and I have to sit and rest every few minutes, plus I think I was born with low energy levels and now I run out of energy so much sooner. But those are excuses. If you have ever watched Dr. Phil you know that he is always saying, "No buts!" I really don't have any excuse for not keeping my house comfortable and welcoming.
I need to listen to what Stedman Graham said, "If you keep doing the same thing every day and getting nowhere -- then it is time to change what you do." So I am working at it. Things won't change overnight but I have made myself accountable by writing it all here. And I have made some progress already. I just need to continue what I am now doing and add more to it. I can use some prayers that I might have some success in this area.