Is this 'busy work' or does it really need doing?

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KT67
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22 Feb 2021, 10:27 am

Week one into living alone for the first time... Aged 32. I have a house which I've been sharing with my mum & her dog for a couple of months.

Do I genuinely need to do stuff like sweep under the sofa every week or was mum just creating busy work?

I know I need to:
1 clean bathroom
2 sort dishwasher at least once daily and put stuff into dishwasher every meal
3 do laundry
4 vac or sweep every floor
5 clean the kitchen sink
6 (she didn't mention it but I'm assuming) clean the toilet

But nobody sees under the sofa, so is this really a weekly job?

I'd appreciate help from someone whose specialist interest isn't cleaning & who's been living away from home for a while (at least a few years) & who's autistic.

Tbh as NTs might say, the whole thing of cleaning all the time is 'getting on top of me' a bit.


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29 Mar 2021, 8:23 am

If you're living with your mom, you're not really living on your own.

Your mom probably isn't creating busywork; she might be trying to get you to pull your weight. If she's neurotypical, she might be testing you to see if you will take care of her when she is old. Neurotypical people do stuff like that a lot, they do things that mean other things.

If I were you, I would do the chores, but I wouldn't allow her to nag me about them. I would write out a schedule for each chore on my calendar and show her that I can do these things, but I wouldn't tolerate nagging or demands. This is how to show her that you will take care of her, but that you are also an adult who won't be bossed around. Only refuse chores if she is being abusive or entitled, and only refuse them for a certain amount of time, or until she apologizes.

If chores become a regular battle, consider a housekeeper as a possible solution to the problem.

A lot of autistic people have problems living on their own, but so do many elderly neurotypical people. She might need you as much as you need her, and she won't always be able to do these chores herself.



Fireblossom
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30 Mar 2021, 9:27 am

Clean under the sofa? Well, that depends. Do either of you have asthma or some other condition that's symptoms can get worse due to dust? If yes, then it certainly doesn't hurt to do it weekly. I used to have a roommate who had asthma, and she was really strict about cleaning away all the dust and such because of it. If not, then it's probably not necessary, but it's good to negotiate about who does what housework and how often when living with another person.

Personally, I've made it a habit to vacuum my whole place weekly. There might actually not always be the need to do that, but I know myself well enough that I know I'd just keep pushing it to "next week" if I didn't have a schedule. So when I do, I also vacuum under the sofa the little I can. (It has really small legs and it needs to be moved if one wants to clean under it properly, but that's not something I do weekly.)



Fnord
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30 Mar 2021, 9:47 am

Genesis 3:19 (KJV): "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

That is why I do not dust under the sofa.

It might be someone either coming or going.


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idntonkw
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17 Apr 2021, 11:16 pm

KT67 wrote:
Week one into living alone for the first time... Aged 32. I have a house which I've been sharing with my mum & her dog for a couple of months.

Do I genuinely need to do stuff like sweep under the sofa every week or was mum just creating busy work?

I know I need to:
1 clean bathroom
2 sort dishwasher at least once daily and put stuff into dishwasher every meal
3 do laundry
4 vac or sweep every floor
5 clean the kitchen sink
6 (she didn't mention it but I'm assuming) clean the toilet

But nobody sees under the sofa, so is this really a weekly job?

I'd appreciate help from someone whose specialist interest isn't cleaning & who's been living away from home for a while (at least a few years) & who's autistic.

Tbh as NTs might say, the whole thing of cleaning all the time is 'getting on top of me' a bit.


Mold releases spores which affect our brains, mold spores can make some people have a 'brain on fire' for example, that's you clean under the bed. Same with dust and chemical particles released from things we own inside the home. You clean them, then you feel better because you are not affected by them as much.

Not having clutter and dirt, and having things organized and neat decreased the visual load for the brain to process what it sees in front of it, so in a clean room, your brain works better because it can process cleaned and organized objects much easier.



nick007
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26 Apr 2021, 10:05 pm

I'm not sure what area you live but in some hardcore conservative parts of the US(like the deep south) there can be a lot of emphases on traditional gender roles. Some women are raised with the expectation that they will be housewives. They may have real jobs that they go to & earn money but they are taught that their #1 priority is taking care of their house & family. One of their regular household duties is keeping things clean & tidy. They can put a lot of pressure on themselves & their daughters & granddaughters to make sure everything is cleaned regularly & yes that can very well include cleaning underneath the sofa every week. It is something that likely looks like busy work to most men & nontraditional independent women. That is the way some women are raised thou & they pass it down to the next generation of women when they have kids. That very well may not be what is going on with your mom KT but I am originally from the deep south & that did happen with women in my family. Me & dad thought that kinda stuff was busy work & we didn't care that much about things being cleaned that often. My dad worked in very messy environments(construction doing carpentry) & it was a lot of work for my mom to clean up behind him when he came home covered in sawdust & mud. She often got mad at him for dirtying the house up when he got home. After all she did put a lot of work into cleaning it on top of mom having a real job of being a teacher but me & dad felt like she was bringing it on herself since she was the one who was wanting things that clean. My grandma was like that as well except taking care of the house & 4 kids was her full time job. 3 of the kids were girls so my grandma had them help out with the cleaning & the obsession with cleanliness was passed down to the younger generation of women. Also there is a conservative religious saying that goes "cleanliness is next to godliness".

Another possibility KT is that your mom has OCD. Being an obsessive cleaner is an OCD stereotype.


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