By in Family

No Housework

Well Kept House

My sister in law who has dementia and has come to live with us, always kept a very clean and tidy house: no dust, no crumbs, dishes always done and put away. Very different from our house. I always used to ask her for her secrets of house cleaning and she swore she never did any housework, maybe got the vacuum cleaner out once a week. This was very hard to believe but she was adamant that she never did any housework.

Secret Uncovered

Now that she has come to live with us and help out with dishes etc, I have realised that she originally meant that she did not specifically set out to do housework, she did it as she went along. For instance, she is very good at doing the dishes (by hand) and as she wants to help, I let her finish off the dishes. She always dries them and puts them straight away, whereas I leave them to drain and put them away without drying later on. We now seldom ever have any dishes lying around in the house because sis in law has dried them and put them away. While she wipes down the table after a meal, she also wipes the table mats and stacks them plus she checks every chair for crumbs and wipes down the edges of the sideboard. With 5 people in the house, there are always dishes appearing at odd times. If we did not stop her, she would wash and dry each of these individually as they arrive, then wipe down the sink area again. She does not specifically do housework as a separate activity but extends her wiping work to other areas of the kitchen. I assume she does this in the bathroom too, as that is always clean when she leaves.

Early Training

She says this was inculcated in her as a child because her mother did domestic cleaning for several houses each day and the ladies of those houses did not want anything left lying around for them to do, so this method of cleaning was passed on to her as a child.

Image Credit » my creation using AI

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