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Friday, September 24, 2010

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The road to hell is paved with dust bunnies

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I decided to clean my house the other morning, after determining that it would be marginally less trouble than setting it on fire and finding a new place to live. I'll just finish this coffee, I thought, and then I'll get started. In the meantime, what would it hurt to google housecleaning? It's possible great strides have been made in dusting techniques since I last picked up a Swiffer.

Indeed, there were many techniques, technologies, and suggested schedules to be considered and compared. Daily cleaning routines. Weekly cleaning routines. Seasonal cleaning routines. Those ones always make me feel guilty. Does anyone really do spring cleaning, where you wash all the windows and flip the mattresses and descale the coffeemaker and beat all the rugs? Or is it like flossing--something most people just pretend they do regularly?

By lunch time I was thoroughly up to speed, and ready to get started. I'll just make a list of supplies, I thought. This, too, required exhaustive online research. I better see what I have on hand before I go running off to buy new cleaners, I decided, emptying both bathroom closets and the kitchen sink cabinet of various chemicals. After another hour of consolidating half-empty bottles of window spray and carefully hand labeling everything with a permanent marker as to its purpose (in case I forget the bottle with the Glass Plus label on the front is for "FOR GLASS"), I was ready to go to the store to fill in the inventory gaps. Better check to see if I have coupons for any of this, I thought, going to the drawer where I keep the Sunday paper supplements going back to last spring. Thirty minutes later, potential savings of $1.50 in hand, I checked the time. I had an hour before it was time to pick up the kids. No problem.

In the cleaning products aisle, I was torn between feelings of self-satisfaction at the idea of saving a few dollars, and self-satisfaction at the idea of saving the planet. After a long struggle, I up-sold my motives, and left with fifty bucks worth of disinfecting wipes made with herbal oils, and scandinavian hardwood floor cleaner made from the happy, ph neutral tears of grateful reindeers.

I glanced at the clock on my phone. Holy crap. No time to go by the house now--school was out already.

"What's in the bags?" my son asked, climbing into the van.

Mommy's good intentions, I thought about saying. On the sliding scale where cleanliness is next to Godliness, you'll find them and me on the opposite end.

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12 Comments:

Blogger katandkarl said...

i set reminders on my phone to clean a certain area of the house daily.... so everyday at 5pm it dings "Clean the green bathroom!" or "Pick up the kitchen." It took me a long time to set up all those stupid reminders and I happily and easily DISMISS.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Amen.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I doubt the girls from FlyLady would let me in their club. Which is a huge relief.

Gonna go read a book now.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Readily A Parent said...

My day was simlarly spent - though I did get the bathroom clean. But the rest of the day I spent planning my attack and writing up labels for storing summer clothes, organising winter clothes and sorting through our possessions to downsize.
I got all kinds of mental organisation done. Strangely enough, the house is still a pigsty.

7:19 PM  
Blogger michelle said...

"scandinavian hardwood floor cleaner made from the happy, ph neutral tears of grateful reindeers"...Man, Kyran, you crack me up!!! Thanks for the chuckle...I needed it. :)

9:12 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

the art of procrastination is strong with this one...

Good to hear no reindeer were hurt in the making of this post :D

6:00 AM  
Blogger Mariellen said...

Welcome to the sisterhood; google is *such* a help in sustaining membership, I am a big fan.

I got a garden shed that everyting falls out of when I open the door, dead spiders included - any sugestions?!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Jeffrey Boone said...

I love that in the upper right of the very orderly cleaning basket picture the floor is dirty.

1:13 PM  
Blogger suzyQ said...

this is hilarious. you are hilarious. ah, i love it.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Brit said...

ph neutral tears of grateful reindeers......

Can. not. stop. laughing.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Jomama said...

One thing that is helping us get better at this is recruiting the little mess-makers to help. Turns out my oldest boy doesn't mind the grossness of cleaning toilets in exchange for increased allowance. And my youngest enjoys vacuuming. They are easier to train than my spouse, actually...

5:23 PM  
Blogger berit_k said...

i am soooo jealous of your organized kit...

12:46 PM  

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