Growing up I used to think that my mom was SO annoying with her constant cleaning. I never understood why she needed to sweep and mop at least 2 times a day. I never understood why she would get frustrated with my dad when he would not hang a kitchen towel correctly after using it. I never understood why she would wipe the kitchen counters 50 times a day… until I started living on my own.
It started innocently enough. I would sweep and mop every 2-3 days at first, and then every day. I would do my laundry once a week, fold it just so – and admire my color-coded piles of neatly folded clothes before putting them back in my closet. I would organize my closet by colors, and sleeve lengths… dresses and shirts… casual to formal. All this neatness was so great.
I didn’t have a problem, did I?
My friends would always comment about how immaculate my place was, and joke about my OCD. I used to joke right along with them. I always just pinned it on the fact that a clean and organized place was just easier to live in. Isn’t it? I used to spend my whole Saturday cleaning and re-decorating my place. I would select pieces and accents very carefully, keeping in mind that people would see my place and I wanted it to look like it was straight out of a magazine (without the crazy budget, of course).
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I might, in fact, have a problem with cleanliness. It does not look too bad from the outside, but it’s a battle for me every day. I can’t stand clutter and mess. I can’t stand the idea of possible germs brewing everywhere in our place, and sometimes it takes over.
Let me give you an example: I can’t fix something to eat (for myself or anyone) unless my kitchen is clean. A clean kitchen means: no dishes in the dish rack, no dishes in the sink, kitchen towels put away, a clean kitchen table, a clean stove-top (even if I’m not cooking anything), all the appliances must be clean and put away just so before I can begin, and the sink has to be wiped dry. It means that every time I need/want to make something to eat, I have to make sure everything is in order, just the way I like it before I can start. Otherwise I will clean everything beforehand. As if that was not bad enough, while I cook, I constantly wash my hands, clean the counters, wash my chopping board. It’s great, at least I know everything is clean and germ-free.
But I am starting to realize that it is a bit compulsive. The issues is mostly contained to the kitchen… although I must admit that I do put away all of Sonboy’s toys every night, in his toy box, which then goes to its specific corner of the living room… and not anywhere else. Everything has its place in our home, and when something is out of place… well… it bothers me. It does. To the point that I need to put it back.
I am not sure that it can actually be called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder) because it is not as extreme as for some people who are diagnosed, but possibly a form of obsessive cleaning… or mysophobia (the fear of germs). Whatever it is, it sucks. I don’t like it, it really bothers me… but I can’t help it. Maybe I’m just very particular. I’ll just leave it at that.. for now.