When I was little, I was one of six people living in a HUGE house. We all made messes...in our rooms, in the kitchen, in the living rooms...and cleaning was ALWAYS mandatory. My parents did a great job of keeping us busy. We always all helped clean. My mom always expected us to help her, and as much grumbling as we did...it still got done. We didn't clean with incentives, but just because we all live in the house and its our responsibility (this is an approach Jon and I have used with our kids).
I always hated cleaning. Especially my room.
I'd shove everything in my closet and under my bed. Then my dad would come in to inspect it and take everything back out. He'd say that cleaning didn't mean shoving everything in the closet and under the bed. I always hated it.
Because our house was so big, my dad worked full time and my mom had her hands full raising the four of us, we always had a maid come in and clean. It was every two weeks or more...and ironically we had to pick up because the maids were coming. They were always there when we were in school...and when we'd come home, the house smelled amazing and everything sparkled.
I loved it.
I remember even from an early age LOVING an incredibly clean house. It is by far the most relaxing environment to be in. This has most definitely translated into adulthood. I am literally unable to relax completely unless my house is clean. Sitting on the couch knowing that my house is completely and unbearably trashed is nearly impossible for me.
Now, I'm not nuts about it. My bathrooms aren't always immaculate. My floors don't get vacuumed as nearly as they probably should. There are always toys around and always laundry to be done. But at the end of every day...I don't lay on my couch and wind down until some room in my house has been cleaned entirely, usually my kitchen.
I like to think of it as a gift. I don't stress over it...don't worry about it...I just do it. Life is better in a clean house...as long as it doesn't interfere with life itself :)