Real Women clean. And we are good at it.
Sure, there are some of you out there who (lucky ducks) have cleaning services who come to your homes weekly or occasionally. But I won’t believe you if you tell me you don’t lift a finger on the other days. Perhaps you are the type who cleans before the cleaning person comes, which I admit I would be if I had a Service come to my home.
What amuses me is that no matter how much any of us may complain about having to clean, we can be very territorial about how it gets done. Certain parts of the chore can only be done “our” way. You can’t tell me that if you had someone who was not a properly trained family member load your dishwasher, you’d feel comfortable with how it was done. You’d have to re-arrange it, wouldn’t you? Same with folding laundry. We certainly all have our guidelines…. Yet no matter what it is, or how it gets done, it feels good when it is over.
For me, I consider there to be four levels of cleaning the house.
Level 1: Daily Duty. The daily grind of doing dishes, clearing off the kitchen table, and if you have small children or pets, picking up errant toys. This daily duty is partly what prevents us all from being ladies of leisure.
Level 2: Good Enough. The weekly cleaning of bathrooms, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. This is to rid the house of the worst of the grime so you are no longer disgusted and wouldn’t be completely horrified if someone stopped by unexpectedly.
Level 3: Company’s Coming: There’s nothing like the expectation of overnight visitors to kick us into high gear and really clean the house. This is “white tornado” level, usually done at high speed, and bystanders best stay out of the way. My husband once asked for clarification as to whether we were expecting my family to visit, or if I was instead preparing for the President of the United States. He was lucky I didn’t suck him up in the vacuum.
Level 4: Grand Scale: This is the once or twice a year cleaning, (or maybe quarterly for the over-achievers out there), where you hit every nook and cranny. Walls and woodwork washed, window treatments taken down and laundered, ceiling fans dusted, closets emptied and re-sorted, and furniture moved so those scary fuzzy creatures that lurk behind them can be slurped up and you find long-lost toys or tv remotes. This is the level of cleaning that makes you feel like your home has been exorcised of demons and yet you are truly the only one who really notices and appreciates the level of cleanliness when complete.
This weekend I had a goal of completing a Level 4 on my home. However, often when I set lofty goals like that for myself, I tend to forget the time involved (I spent almost 2 hours just on my kitchen on Saturday morning), and the fact that I do have other things in my life to attend to…. Like laundry, errands, cooking, and family activities. So I did not reach Level 4 status. I think I can say that for at least most of the house (with a few exceptions) I hit a solid Level 3. And it feels pretty darn good. In a few minutes I will actually pick up a magazine, put my feet up and watch some tv (besides, my knees and back hurt.)
So please feel free to stop by. We can sit and breathe in the clean smell and appreciate the lack of dirt and dust.
But sorry, I won’t be able to offer you any cookies or snacks. I was too busy cleaning to bake.
So, inquiring minds want to know – are you the type who cleans before leaving on vacation? That always struck me as a tad obsessive but normally I am inclined to that particular obsession. Sadly, this time I didn’t even achieve a Level 2 before we left. It was all I could do not to pull out the vacuum for the 30 minutes I was waiting for my husband to be ready to go. Fortunately my cat was very insistent that he was more important than the vacuum!
Oh, well of COURSE there is the mandatory scurry-around before leaving on vacation to clean the house! My husband still does not understand why I do this. But I know you do.
Me too, Me too!!