Saturday, June 09, 2012

the big muck-out

There are so many things I would rather do than clean my house. Still, every 2 or 3 weeks I look around and say, "Ye-gads! how did it get like this?" Then I either have to do something, or go away for a couple of days. Today, I have to do something about it. But first, I will sit in my pajamas for 10 more minutes and post my blog. My friend Louise would call this, "positive procrastination," I think. That's when you are consciously procrastinating by doing something of value other than that thing which you have committed to do. Other forms of positive procrastination may include: tooth flossing, muffin baking, phoning a parent or friend who is owed a call, reading the serious sections of the newspaper, checking your bank account online, watching the weather report on the news and eating, if you have not eating in the past 3 hours.

After I complete this positive procrastination I will get dressed and clean up. I will be thinking about my original question (how did it get this way?) and understanding that I know exactly how it did:
  1. People live in this house.
  2. People bring things into the house.
  3. People shed skin cells, hair cells, muck and guck from the outside world.
  4. A cat lives here too.
  5. We cook and eat.
  6. We wear clothes and sleep in beds.
  7. We use toilets and sinks and the bathtub/shower.
  8. We make trash.
  9. Other related organisms co-exist, living, eating, sleeping, shedding, toileting and procreating, mostly at a microscopic level.
  10. There is buildup from all of the above activities.
Buildup, here I come.

My technique for cleaning up is pretty standard. I make a list and cross off the accomplishments as I make them. This gives a bit of validation for this work of cleaning, that is almost immediately undone as fast as I can do it (darn buildup!) I mix up small actions that make a big difference, like picking up the shoes and putting them back in the shoe rack in the closet, with big actions that make a small difference, like washing the kitchen, dining room, hallway and bathroom floors.

My least favourite chore is changing the kitty litter box. My most favourite is cleaning the bathrooms. Wow, it is nice to have a gleaming bathroom. It always goes more quickly than I thought, and WOW, what a difference! Good thing I do it every 2-3 weeks. In between, I might give a quick wipe to the worst surfaces and take out the trash. The real scrub-up actually only takes place every 2-3 weeks. So now you know my secret.

While I clean up, I prefer to have everyone out of the way. I like it when Andy goes out shopping or to work in the yard, so I can zoom around the house cleaning up without having him have to lift his feet or jump out of the way of the vacuum cleaner. I also really don't mind moving the kids' shoes, bags, papers etc., but I prefer to do it while they are not around, which increases the chance that they will come home and say, "Hey! what did you do with my tuba?" So I can say, "I put it in the tuba closet, Silly-Billy!"

My standard every second or third Saturday muck-out (which is about to begin as soon as I finish procrastinating) includes: bathrooms, floors (vacuuming and floorwashing), kitty litter, picking up, dusting, wiping end and coffee tables, putting out fresh candles and assorted other decor items, kitchen, windowsills, dining room table and computer tables. By the end of the day, the place should look and smell reasonably clean, and I will feel like I have imposed order on a little corner of my world, which is the real reason I ever clean at all.

So here goes nothing. Buildup, look out!

question: what do you clean and when do you clean it?

mompoet - clean, clean, clean

No comments: