Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rolling Out the Welcome Wagon for Our Good Friend, Clean

Given my already professed love of Free and its close cousin Cheap, it should come as no surprise that my affection also runs deep for Clean and its twin, Organized.

I try, oh my pudding, how I try. Organized is a fickle house guest, hanging out only in a few areas (such as the upper kitchen cabinets the shorter inhabitants can’t reach). She abhors the playroom, no matter how many adorable containers and shelving systems I shove in there. Sigh. At least the furniture is cute. Clean is less opinionated, but more ethereal. Clean is everywhere, all at once, and then just fades away. I’d love for her to stay longer, but I might just be the only person in the house who really cares, and so she moves on too soon.

I suspect the following admission will probably garner the Evil Eyebrow from my mom or my grandma, but my house gets cleaned from top to bottom once a month. On the first weekend of the month, to be exact. That way, my husband can remember Clean is coming and won’t be so surprised when I ask his to participate in the welcoming festivities. My intention is to have the whole house completely done by the end of the weekend, and I typically have to start a few days early because when the house is run by 2 people who can’t tie their own shoes, long stretches of open time do not exist. Let me also say that I’m talking about the go whole hog, dust every nook and cranny, clean where you can’t see kind of cleaning. I try to keep things picked up, straightened out, and feather-dusted in between (but see the aforementioned shoeless rugrats and you can understand the random nature of those activities).

With my control freak nature (a surprise to all of you, naturally), I am solely in charge of the bathrooms and kitchen, because I trust no one else who lives here to clean them how I want them to be cleaned (including scouring behind toilets, wiping cabinet doors and vertical surfaces that don’t look dirty to the untrained eye, washing under the stove top, etc.) – but I invite anyone else who wants to give it a go to come on over and scrub on down! Those are the 2 biggest, most time consuming tasks. I lump the bedrooms and dining rooms together since I can run through each of them with my dust rag like a giant tornado, usually during nap time (I am a quiet tornado).

That leaves the living room and the kids’ playroom. My husband takes on these 2 jobs, and does a reasonably good job, for a husband. I think most of you know what I mean there – I’m not saying anything else or they will become my jobs. It’s a help, and cuts down the time I have to spend. It will shock absolutely no one that these are the last rooms to get cleaned. Husband also tackles the vacuuming (and not just on the big Welcome Clean! weekend, but in between times, too), which is great because I hate vacuuming and I can herd the kids who tend to freak out when the whirring monster comes out of hibernation.

When Clean is here, I can feel my shoulders relax, and I can get a little drunk on that feeling of accomplishment. But I’m pretty sure I’d feel just as good with a professional doing the work.

Write about your cleaning techniques and see if you win.

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