"I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again." Joan Rivers. American comedienne.
You decided to get a divorce (or someone else decided for you) and now your life is a bit of a mess in more ways than one. You are in danger of disappearing under piles of dirty dishes, mountains of unwashed and crumpled clothes, and rather too many empty takeaway pizza boxes.
Add to that lot a table littered with brown envelopes and unpaid bills, a garden that you are frightened to set foot in because it looks like a location from Jurassic Park and it’s no wonder that your life after divorce is not quite what you had in mind.
Re-establishing control after divorce
Apparently there are people out there who enjoy housework. However, for most of us, divorced or otherwise, cleaning the lavatory, ironing shirts and taking out the rubbish come pretty low down on the list of things we want to do. Unfortunately, you are going to have to get used to the fact that a little housework every day is a good thing and is not going to ruin your life.
Mess and clutter is not attractive or conducive to a peaceful and positive frame of mind. So open all those unopened brown envelopes and empty that kitchen drawer full of pieces of string, elastic bands and batteries for things you no longer own, that's the past, this is the future and it's all that matters now.
If you are in a bit of a mess and confusion then becoming a domestic god or goddess will involve rather more than a quick once over with the vacuum cleaner and a flick of the duster across the share of the ornaments that you got as part of the divorce settlement.
Where to start
Prioritise what you need to do and start with the area which you think will benefit the most from a good clear out, invest in a supply of sturdy bags and boxes and a pair of Marigolds and get stuck in. Sort inside and then tackle any outside spaces. There is something strangely therapeutic about a good purging, almost dare we say, enjoyable. Once you have purged don't let things slide again, a little low level maintenance is absolutely vital to keep things clean and mess free.
For the really serious god or goddess
This is a regime that will confer domestic deification upon you as well as admiring comments from friends and family! Take five minutes in your day to keep on top of clutter. Clear tables of books, papers. Always wash dishes and put them away or empty the dishwasher daily. Sweep the kitchen floor every few days and wipe down surfaces daily. Keep the top of the cooker and the sink and draining board clean. Make sure that lavatories are clean and waste bins emptied. Not that difficult so far.
Clean the kitchen floor, wipe down cabinet doors and the fronts of appliances. Clean bathrooms and shower rooms. Using a dampcloth clean window ledges and other surfaces. Change beds and vacuum through entire house.
Spread the following out over a four week period. Polish or wax furniture and floors where appropriate. Turn mattresses. Pull out beds, sofas etc and vacuum behind and underneath them and also vacuum any blinds or curtains. Wipe around light and plug switches, door handles, knobs and skirting boards. Knock down cobwebs. Now this is getting more difficult.
Pull out kitchen appliances and clean behind them. Turn out and clean kitchen cupboards and drawers and throw away out of date packets or other food stuffs. Wash curtains or blinds in the kitchen and bathroom.
Once a year
Wash curtains and cushion covers. Turf out the under stairs cupboard, drawers and the loft, garage and shed. Get rid of anything you have not needed or used in the past year.
Do I have to do all of this to become a domestic god or goddess? Yes, I'm afraid so. Is it worth it? No, probably not. Just keep the place reasonably clean and sort of tidy and get on with your life. There's more to it than a clean kitchen floor.