Cleaning for 3 Hours a Day, What Fun!

Cleaning for 3 Hours a Day, What Fun!

In this week’s popular peptalk “7 Ways to Have More Free Time,” I explain how I find the time to spend 3 hours a day working on this blog, which, I said, is the creative outlet that enables me to remain a happy and pumped JewishMOM. So, I was pretty surprised when I received the following comment from Sara Gallor of Seattle who explains that what enables HER to be a happy and pumped JewishMOM is dedicating 3 hours a day to cleaning her house…

Sara wrote:

I think that, for me, I am happy and calm and a great mom when my house is clean. But mainly, when my house is clean and I do the cleaning, and no one else. I need to know that I can do everything myself.

Once in awhile my husband chips in and cleans the bathroom or vacuums and yes the house is clean, but the fact that it wasn’t me who did all the cleaning, just doesn’t make me as happy.

I need to see a clean house, washed laundry, no dirty dishes and know that I did it all:) And that’s my special thing that keeps me sane. And if I didn’t have these 3 hours all to myself to do housework (after the kids are in bed) I’d feel yuck and horrible.

So what do I do when the kids are in school? I either take care of my 14-month-old year old (who won’t let me do anything while he’s awake) or I eat and read or I just sit and breathe because I’m alone – finally! But I really, really do enjoy doing housework!

What about YOU JewishMOM? How do you feel about cleaning (cast your vote in the poll below)? If you enjoy cleaning, what do you enjoy so much about it? Any tips that could help the rest of us housework-challenged JewishMOMs love cleaning too?
[polldaddy poll=5668043]


  1. Sara, I have to say your house is always impressively clean!
    I do enjoy cleaning as well, but just a few months ago I finally gave in to my husband in his request that I allow a cleaning lady to do the bulk of the “intensive” cleaning by coming twice a month.
    In the evenings I really need to recharge my batteries with reading, yoga, and writing. I spend about 20 minutes doing maintenance cleaning after the kids are asleep, but I can’t do 3 hours post-bedtime!
    I found that I was using time while my children were awake to clean the house when I should have been concentrating on them instead. I look at it as paying someone to clean my house rather than paying someone to play with my children (while I clean)…which will I remember more 30 years from now?

  2. My house is actually not that clean. It’s organized but it’s usually a mess during the day. Which goes to show — loving housework still doesn’t get you a clean house!

  3. I spent 2 hours this morning really cleaning- meaning moving sofas chairs on tables and puring 2 gallons of water /bleach and detergent on the floor and getting into every nook and cranny- it really does give me the best feeling to just know that the house is disinfected- really clean and not just mopped over and things stuck under the sofa/chest of drawers…Its great but I do get carried away- I mean thank G-d my kids have to be picked up by 130pm becasue I would just reorganize and sprng clean thruout all 4 seasons…and I get exhausted and really upset about the spills and accidents on the day I went “all out” so I have to keep reminding myself that its ok for it not to be perfect all the time…I have my moms tips which are – never start cleaning the house before putting something on the stove that can cook while your cleaning- and also a load of laundry–so its all about multitasking…and also learning to ask for help- I think I am not the only Sara who has issues with this- I have 2 other friends who are also sara’s that just cant deligate whole heartedly…(control freaks..jk) I also know that if you clean for you-for your peace of mind-it makes all the difference… the midrash says “dira na’a marchiva daato shel adam” “a pleasant home broadens(expands) the mind of man”- meaning there is more clarity of thought- potential for progress, development etc.. coincidentally the midrash cites that “eesha na’a” a pleasant woman” does the same good do we feel when we are put together- little make up- sharp outfit- even if we are at home- it just feels better and it influences those around us-the people we care about most and want to see develop the best way- progressing in the most healthy way.. it motivates those around us- to be put together- clean, organized and looking like a mensch! I think when woman (including myself at times)associate housework as a demeaning type of job vs the dignified careeristic working mom…that in itself creates the negative attitude towards maintaining the biggest firm I have yet to work for…we also have to reward oursleves once in a while with a massage or something special that you seriously deserve!

  4. Rachel Shifra She saved my housework! I don’t always have a shiny sink but a day is never any good without those laced up shoes! One of my fav. cleaning ways is to get a laundry basket, set the time and go into one room and throw everything in the basket that does not belong then but the basket away. I takes way less time than I think. Usually about five mins. The timer is good to because I have to stop. I really enjoy five mins on the bathroom because five mins finishes that place off!!!

    • Hadassah Aber

      also enjoyed that website, though I don’t get there that often. Really good tips there, to help keep clean, organized, and efficient, without having housework take over your life.

  5. when i was in college and had to write a paper, i would do my research and preparations and then head off to clean the bathroom while i mentally wrote my paper. two hours later, i would end up with a spotless bathroom and a mentally completed paper that only needed to be typed up.

    i had this need to keep my hands busy doing something useful while i focused my mind on the paper. my roommate loved living with me during midterms and finals.

    many years later, i don’t mind having to clean. however, over time i have come to the conclusion that i have less and less energy to do everything i would like to do in one day, so cleaning is the first thing i delegate. for me, it is a choice of having either a clean house and tired mommy, or a not so clean house and an attentive mommy.

  6. I lived in South Africa until I was 46 and never did a day’s housework.
    I thought I hated it. Then when we made aliya and I had to do it, I gradually got to love doing it. If my house is dirty, I feel dirty, I get up at 5am and spong the house, I have lots of closets which helpa but the kitchen usually is not the neatest. I use chad paami which helps tremendously. I never iron clothes, this is where I draw the line

  7. Housework is boring for me but I feel good when it’s done. My husband bought me an MP3 player for my b-day and I find that listening to good shiurim while doing dishes, floors, laundry, etc. (but unfortunately not bathrooms) makes the experience not only tolerable but even meaningful and I’m embarrassed to say a but exciting!

  8. Hadassah Aber

    I find that if I am upset over things that I have no control over, it really helps to calm me down and get focused, if I can spend time cleaning up my kitchen counters, stove, floor, etc. It helps me to get out of a low mood if I get busy and see results.

  9. I loved your tip about getting the children to chip in for 10 mins a day. I really believe in all the family looking after our home together, rather than just mom doing it all. Even if it means things not dome to my standard I happy to say my 6 and 8 year old sons are in charge of cleaning the bathroom before shabbat and they love it too!

    One point you made in your pep talk about the woman who you think should use her savings for a cleaner I totally disagree with. People should be encouraged to live within their means, and dipping into savings for daily needs seems to me to be irresponsible.

  10. To each his own that sara loves to clean etc. but how does she feel when she cannot clean? did I miss something? there are going to be times when we can’t get to the housework for a day or so. then what happens to the pple that can’t handle a upside down house with little kids. of course we all like neat homes but I think you have to find the middle road.

  11. Funny to read this an hour after booking daily cleaning help to enable me to increase my hours at work. As another working mother put it, “When I’m at work, I’m cleaning my house.” Really, there isn’t much money left over after that! But that’s how I’d prefer to spend my time.

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