Seeing as how it’s been so long since I’ve actually written a post, I figured featuring myself as a Monday Guest Post would be entirely appropriate.

I’m coming up with a new form of marriage counseling. It’s going to make me millions.

There are those couples out there…you’ve seen them. The ones who seem like they’ve got it all together. They appear to communicate with the greatest of ease, agree most of the time, and never have any stressful nights on the homestead.

Send them to me, and I’ll have someone install wood floors in their home. I’ll even give you a few bucks as a referral reward.

Seriously, I love our new apartment. The kitchen is huge, the abundance of windows makes it bright and open, and the wood floors make the place look kind of classy.

They also get really dirty, really quickly. Since the floors get so dirty, the rug gets a little dirtier than your average carpet. Living in an apartment that gets dirty quickly can lead to cleaning-related irritability (that’s totally a technical term).

If you know Paul and I well, you’ll know that we’re not terribly organized when it comes to cleaning. If it seems super-dirty, we’ll clean it. We try not to let the dishes get higher than the Capitol Building, and we sweep the kitchen when it gets gross. That previous cleaning system is just not going to work in our new apartment. We need a new plan of attack. One that involves communication and organization.

So, let’s talk about communication, shall we? After living a couple weeks in an apartment with wood floors, I’ve learned:

-If you feel like you’ve done more cleaning than is fair, you should probably just say something. Getting quiet and then exploding like a hormonal, man-eating hippo is never productive.

-If your partner/spouse does something you don’t like, you should tell them. The key here, however, is how you tell them. Simply saying, “Hey. I’m not trying to be an A-Hole here, but this bothers me,” is usually more effective than throwing out a “Soooo…did you decide that the measuring cups should just live in the middle of the floor? Or…?”

-If you see something that needs to be done and you’ve got the time, just freaking do it. This is an area I need to work on. Both of us are busy, both of us are tired, and both of us would sure appreciate not having to do something because the other one did it. That was convoluted, but I’m not changing it, because it makes sense.

So how do we make all of this work? Getting organized. Paul and I had to sit down and create a cleaning schedule. I realize that all of this may seem ridiculous to some of you clean-freaks out there, but I know there are plenty of partial-slobs in the world, and this stuff is helpful to keep in mind.

After our few days of starting a cleaning schedule, I’ve learned:

-To be realistic. Know your schedules, work-loads, and what you’re capable of handling. For us, saying “Every Saturday shall be a deep-clean of the entire apartment!” is pretty unrealistic. Saying, “Twice a week we’ll Swiffer the whole place, and we’ll sweep the kitchen floor every night,” works a lot better for the Bonk family.

-To disperse daily work evenly. Rather than designating dishes, sweeping, and vacuuming each night to one person, we switch off. One person washes dishes, the other does the floors. This way, no one feels like they’re doing all the work.

-To forgive slip-ups. It’s like exercising. If you miss a day, or get off-schedule, just shake it off and keep going. It’s the only way to stick to something.

Marriage is awesome. Paul makes me a better person. But, hey, you know what? Marriage is hard, too. Anytime you encounter someone who tells you your wedding day is the day you have to stop working, slap them, hand them a broom, and send them to me.

How do you guys deal with keeping the house clean while keeping your resentment in check? You don’t have to be married, either…college roommates, life-long partners, and office-sharers all have to figure out how to mutually keep their spaces clean!