Monday, April 28, 2008

Why Spring Clean Anyway?

I don't clean.


I gave it up when I went to grad school a few years ago. Between being a soccer mom and wife and working a 40+ hour a week job, something had to give and that something was housecleaning.

We had a cleaning lady for a while. She was nice, but she talked a lot and didn't do a good job when she was in a hurry. After the first few months she was always in a hurry. Sometimes she brought her teen-aged son and daughter to help clean. They didn't do that great a job. When I lost my job, we let her go.

But no, I didn't start cleaning again when I lost my job because I immediately immersed myself in starting Swimming Kangaroo and still didn't have time to clean.

We use the daily shower spray in the bathrooms, automatic bowl cleaner in the toilets and vacuum occasionally. My daughter, who likes to dust, every once in a while will run through the house with the feather duster, or one of us will get tired of looking at the dust and will go after it with furniture polish. I seldom cook so the kitchen isn't really an issue. If we are going to have company over, my husband and I spent an hour or so attacking the big picture. Anybody who notices the dust bunnies under the bed is poking their nose where they shouldn't anyway.

If I had time would I clean? Probably not much more than I do now because I can always find something I like to do better than clean. If I had money would I hire another cleaning lady? Possibly. Supposedly I pay my daughter to clean for me, but since she seldom actually does it, I seldom actually pay her.

I used to spring clean every time we moved, and when we were newly married, we moved a lot. However, we've been in our house for 17 years now and haven't seen the backs of some of our closets since we moved in. Somehow we've survived without knowing what's hidden in their murky depths. When we do finally move- probably to our retirement home, we'll probably have one heck of a garage sale. Either that, or we'll just shift the boxes from the closets in our current home to the closets in our new home. After all, since we've managed without whatever is in them for 17 years, we probably don't really need it.

So there-- you wanna know the best way to handle spring cleaning? Just don't do it. Now that we've gotten that out of the way we can talk about cooking-- oh, right, I don't do that either. Laundry? Uh, no. Grocery shopping? Yard work?

What do I do when I'm not working on Swimming Kangaroo and my day job, you ask? Hey, just ask my shar-pei. I am a dog walker par excellence- and taking Wrinkles for a walk is more important than housework could ever be!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Order and Disorder in the Scheme of Life

As Lea speaks about cleaning, it brings up one of my concerns. Why do opposites attract? Why would a person who loves order find a partner who thrives on chaos? Mine won't put any tool away while working on a project because he's afraid he won't be able to find it again (he only has to look in my toolbox to find a duplicate); not even if the project lasts a month or more.

I like order. I like being able to find something when I need it. Although, besides a man who operates on chaos theory, there also seems to be a house gremlin here who grabs and hides what I need most and only lets it go when that item is no longer needed in order to snatch the next item I desperately need. However, as much as I love order, I do not like achieving organization. Something one of my best friends once told me a long time ago has stuck in my mind: to get organized you must first get thoroughly disorganized. The cure sounds worse than the disease.

Another good friend who was dying of cancer once asked, "Why as a young wives and mothers do we clean and sweep so much? There were so many better ways I could have spent that time. " Which gives me leave to go watch the daffodils bloom.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Baby Steps to Spring Cleaning

Wow, April and my spring cleaning has begun...NOT! I need time so since TIME is not on my side I'll have to devise ways of spring cleaning my house in other ways.

Now, let's see:

Leave the windows open to remove any lingering odors inside. Okay, can do that and it won't take any time. Will need to remember to close the windows otherwise Noah's ark will be needed with the rain we've been getting lately.

Buy plastic plates and utensils. Hey, that works!

Buy more garbage bags to place plastic plates and utensils inside.

Have visitors wear a Swiffer rag under their feet and make them do a clean sweep around my living room once. Saves me sweeping and vacumming for at least...oh, whenever. doing laundry...shove them in the machine then pop them in the dryer.

Ironing...hate it...spray the wrinkled shirts with some water then pop them in the dryer for a few minutes and hang them right away.

Cooking...Kelloggs, frozen dinners, bread and water, soup and crackers...oh wait, that's the prisoner's list...shoot! Okay, I have to cook. What kind of a mom would I be if I actually fed my kids ONLY Kelloggs...hmmm...

Okay, I'm out of ideas here. You guys have any quick tricks to spring cleaning?