Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Contemplating Cleaning


I got up today with cleaning on my mind. I had an early dental appointment to get my tartar-laden teeth cleaned. As I came downstairs I suddenly started noticing things everywhere that needed to be cleaned. This was starting to sound like that instinctive cleaning frenzy that inevitably takes place before childbirth. NOT in my case.

As for the dental appointment, I came prepared with confessions about my failed flossing routine. Cindy just listened knowing all too well what she would see when she looked into my mouth. After lots of scraping and a few bleeding gums, she did the polishing with that pasty stuff that reminds me of silver polish. Then the ultimate flossing that always feels so good because someone else is doing it and because it means another cleaning is over. She simply said, "Maybe you should make a New Year’s resolution to floss more and better." Fair enough. To which I responded, "I do every year, but it just never seems to happen. That’s why I come see you."

Back to the house and its growing need to be really cleaned. Angelina cleans our house every two weeks. But her efforts are more about getting rid of the growing quantity of dog hair and the obvious spills here and there. She never opens the drawers and cabinets where I throw things in an effort to get them out of the way. She doesn’t do anything with the growing piles of things other than move them aside to dust.

I thought about making a list room by room, which might go something like this:

Living room:
Get rid of all the coats hanging in the closet that we never use.
Find some newer photos to put on the mantle.
Clean up the piles of piano music.
Dining room:
Polish the silver.
Find places for things that just got abandoned here.
Find something more interesting to put on the walls than the antique plates that my husband hates.
Kitchen:
Get rid of SO MANY things we don’t ever use.
Clean out the freezer.
Throw away the ridiculously chipped plates.
Get rid of all the Tupperware containers that don’t have tops.
Get rid of the growing piles on the counters.
Etc.

You get the picture. The bottom line is that everything belongs somewhere, and many things belong in the trash can. There are so many things in my house that just linger because nobody has bothered to think about where they belong.

This could be a really big project, the kind I could best take on if I were to retire. But hardly the kind of enticement to make me hurry up and retire. I don’t really intend to return to that anal state I once was in where I could hardly go to sleep at night if anything was out of place. The sad truth is that I really don’t care very much about any of the above things on my to do list and I can guarantee that my husband cares even less.

I can contemplate cleaning without actually having to do it. But then again, maybe over one of these upcoming long holiday weekends, I will actually plunge in and tackle a room or two. It will probably give me that same sense of satisfaction that cleaning the refrigerator or the oven does.

How do you feel about REALLY cleaning? Do you do it or conveniently put it off?

6 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

I put it off because I'm completely OCD about it. I cannot start cleaning without thoroughly tackling the job - I don't just put papers in a pile, I have to sort and file them. Putting away clothes results in a closet purge. I don't just clean the bathroom; I scrub the walls.

Fortunately, I'm pretty tidy from day to day. Just the thought of "cleaning" makes my head spin.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

I never really think about cleaning. I would say that I keep things sanitary, but, beyond that I am not terribly concerned.

I would describe myself as casual. Sofia has another word for it: messy.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah cleaning....that is why Yessica comes every two weeks. However, since I live alone, I am a neatnik! I cannot stand walking in at night to a mess........anywhere in sight. The latter phrase is the operative one. God forbid anyone should open the humongous closet off the foyer or look at the floor of one bedroom closet. The other bedroom closet has shelves as well as racks, sigh. The shelves are chaotic, so is the top of the dresser that I have at the back of the closet: wire hangers to return to the cleaners, sandals I will probably never wear but will not put in the two shoe racks because......I never wear them. Two baseball caps, one of which I only wear to the Nats' games. All of this closet chaos will come to an end sometime in April or May when I will purge for my move West, but for now......I am only reminded of the chaos when someone like my dear friend, Barbara, blogs about it.

:-)

6:29 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I hate it and I only do it as needed. We have someone that at leats does the basics every 2 weeks.

You sound like you're ready for the annual Mew year's Clean Sweep!! (Only you're ahead of everyone!)

11:05 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I must be tired ! I meant at LEAST and NEW Year's..not MEW Year's..everyone knows cats have their own celebration!

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I clean in fits and starts. I hate to dust so I put that off until I find myself naming the dust kitties. But, since my cottage is so tiny, if I don't pick things up and have a place for everything (and occasionally purge), I can't move around or sit down. I have one storage closet - originally a hallway connecting my cottage to the main house - that is shelved from floor to ceiling and curtained off. Periodically I rummage and rearrange in there. Otherwise, vacuuming and washing the floor are weekly chores.

8:41 AM  

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