Rejecting the Impossible Standard of Cleanliness: A Guide to Finding Balance

In our society, we have been conditioned to measure success and fulfillment in part by how a person’s home looks. But for many women – especially those who are working parents – the task of keeping a tidy household often seems impossible. This expectation of a spotless home reinforces feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety over our living spaces, leading us to conclude that one is failing as a woman simply because her house isn’t perfectly clean.

Recently award-winning journalist Sonali Kolhatkar discussed this issue while speaking on her television and radio show “Rising Up With Sonali”. She pointed out that there is no secret formula or quick fix when it comes to cleaning; rather, what is required is having the desire and setting aside time for it – something which often clashes with employment obligations. For families with financial means, domestic help has become commonplace; however, this labor force often lacks sufficient legal protections from exploitation or trafficking.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Yayoi Kusama, an iconic artist whose work focused on organized chaos, inspired Kolhatkar’s journey towards rejecting societal pressures about maintaining cleanliness in favor of meaningful activities with her precious free time. Kusama showed us that a balance between order and disorder can create beauty and harmony if allowed into our lives. In other words, perfection does not always equal success or happiness; instead, perfectionism can lead us away from authentic connection with ourselves and others around us.

So what can we do? Kolhatkar offers some valuable advice: let go of the guilt associated with not having a perfect house, set realistic goals for yourself (i.e., doing one load of laundry per day), delegate tasks (if possible), and prioritize spending quality time with your family instead of obsessing over cleaning tasks every day. Furthermore, she reminds us not to judge others who choose to outsource their housework since these decisions may be based on economic necessity rather than privilege or laziness as assumed by some people in society.

It’s important that we recognize that striving for cleanliness should only take up space in our lives if it brings us joy or peace instead of stress or guilt. By changing our mindset around cleaning expectations we can reclaim our time for something more meaningful like being present with loved ones or engaging in self-care activities such as exercising or reading a book every now and then. Ultimately finding a balance between order and disorder can be liberating once we learn how to embrace the chaos!