Tuesday, November 5, 2013
My House is Never Really Clean
Well, ok, if I'm expecting company, I clean house, but otherwise not happening.
I say that with all honesty, but it's not what you might expect. It doesn't mean there is never any cleaning at my house or that I have someone else come in and do it (although I surely would if I could afford it).
When I say I never clean house, I mean I do not, on one specific day, set out to clean my house from end to end, or top to bottom. My cleaning is a piecemeal thing that happens on an ongoing basis. In a given week, all parts of my house pretty well get cleaned. It just doesn't all happen at once so I never have that "Ah, my house is clean" moment.
I can remember growing up that Saturday was house cleaning day. Mom dusted and vacuumed and we had our little chores to help out. There were piles of laundry to be done, including the sheets that had to be stripped from the beds. We welcomed the new week on Sunday with a sparkling home smelling of furniture polish.
When I started out with a home of my own, I followed that same routine. I set aside a time every week to clean my house and feel that fleeting sense of accomplishment. But I didn't get the house cleaning gene that apparently runs in my family. Although my grandma cleaned homes for a living when she was a teenager and my mom seemed to keep a clean house despite two kids and a mechanic husband, it just didn't work for me. My daughter picked up the duster in her teen years and took over housecleaning duties and I paid her to do it.
Now, well, it's up to me and I can't say I welcome Sunday or any other day (except Christmas because the family does come on Christmas Eve), with a clean house.
I realized that the other night when I cleaned the bathroom at about 10 p.m. after taking a shower. I noticed the shower was due and that soon expanded to include the sink and toilet, wiping off dust, etc. I went to bed that night with a clean bathroom, but that was the only room in the house that applied to.
I knew I'd cleaned the kitchen surfaces the night before when the crockpot dinner experience had resulted in more of a mess than anticipated. So there were two rooms down mid week.
The living room typically gets its shot at clean on Monday. I try to tidy up from the weekend before the girls arrive to undo it all.
And the playroom? Well I make them pick up in there on Fridays at least, because otherwise I can't walk.
I may clean the bedroom today because I think it's a good time to wash the sheets. Maybe. Or I may go back in a bit and make the bed and let it go another day.
So as you can tell, I don't clean house with the systemic method I'm accustomed to. Which means I sometimes feel like I don't do it at all.
The only thing that consistently happens is vacuuming, and that's only because I don't do it. Years ago, when I was still making a good salary,I purchased an iRobot Roomba -- one of those robotic vacuum cleaners. I'm oh so glad I did, because I can count on that little piece of machinery to make its rounds a couple of times a week and keep the floors swept.
I think I'm on my third or fourth one because honestly, they don't last. Had it not been for buying the extended warranty with the first one, I don't know how I would have kept myself in Roombas. Luckily, with a little research, I bought my second from Hammacher Schlemmer, which offers a lifetime warranty on the items it sells. For the difference in price and a small handling fee, I've been able to trade in the ones I kill for new models, no questions asked.
That meant, horror of horrors, that I had to buy and use a regular vacuum. I did buy an el cheapo model and it handles the dog hair and kiddie leavings on the rug just fine.
Other than the floor, which is all important with crawlers and toddlers, and children in general who don't mind sitting where the urge strikes them, my cleaning is subject to whim and time. A little here, a little there, and a nose smeared window when the urge strikes me.
So if you're looking for a clean house, be sure to call ahead and give me plenty of notice.
Otherwise you'll find a home where children and dogs obviously live happily and none of us really care whether the house is clean or not.