Monday, January 25, 2010

Who cleans up after you?

I love neat and tidy. I love organized and compartmentalized. Magazines like Style at Home, Dwell and Real Simple are like porn for me. And porn is fantasy, an escape from reality, something to daydream about. Because my house is nothing like the homes in these magazines. And that’s okay. I have kids who have developed a magic potion to multiply Polly Pocket accessories and make them go viral on our floors, in our closets, in our beds. I have a wonderful husband who has a very important collection of baseball caps (whatever) that live in the couch cushions, on my record player, the kitchen counter and the dining room table. And I’m not perfect. While I can never find a hair elastic when I need one, on any given day you can see them scattered under couches (getting humped by dustbunnies).

Weekends we do the big de-clutter. Jo calls them whirlwinds. Everything gets put back where it belongs. Children are placed in their rooms to put things away (which usually results in them taking more things out – on Saturday Edie re-discovered her bucket of 1000+ melt beads…..yayyyyy). And the house looks amazing.

But. Oh yes, there is a but. It lacks that pinesol smell. That one chemical smell I like because it means things have been scrubbed, sanitized, purified and cleaned. That smell has be lacking for a few weeks now as we have lost yet another cleaning service. I have gone through so many cleaning people throughout the years, after our last one left us (you know who you are) we have decided enough with it, we can do it on our own. Or can we? Growing up, I always had a cleaning lady. Her name was Doris. Her cleaning days were called Doris Day, haha, get it? So Doris came every Wednesday, she scrubbed and laundered, while I daydreamed and resented her for occupying the t.v. in the afternoon because she watched her soaps while she ironed. So I blame my childhood, which has resulted in me being so adverse to cleaning, and generally sucking at it.

And so, Jo and I are going to start doing it on our own. But cleaning a whole house at once is a daunting task. Our house isn’t big, but there seems to be a lot of space to clean. And so dear reader, I ask you, what is your strategy in cleaning? Do you tackle a room a day? Do you suck it up for 4 hours a week and just give ‘er? Or do you just fork out cold hard cash to someone to do it for you?


Stella said...

Right now my partner and I do a big clean every Sunday while lunch or dinner is cooking. It's the only day we both have time, and it's a nice way to start the week!

Lynn said...

We have cleaners -- I call this my "dirty secret" because I'm a stay-at-home mom, and it seems ridiculous that I don't clean my own house when I'm here at least 90% of the time. However, it keeps our family happy. I love our cleaners -- we have had them for over five years now and they do a great job. I'd recommend them to you but I know they are full up right now.

In the days before we had cleaners (before we had any kids, when we were both working), all of the cleaning fell to me. I got bitter and resentful and thus, cleaners. I feel like I should probably do my own cleaning once our youngest is in school, though, assuming I don't go back to work. We'll see :).

Nat said...

Well, The Man and I are not good cleaners. And tend to do a rotation -- but mainly it's keeping high traffic areas clean (if not tidy.)

(Oh... I have banned Pinesol, it smells like outhouses.)

ramble said...

I just let the mess be and vaccums like twice a month. It is another thing that I generally don't receive any one in my abode:-

The Mindful Merchant said...

I find there is nothing as good as the frantic/panic clean I do when guests are coming for the weekend. In between guests the house isn't that tidy.

XUP said...

I hate cleaning, too. I used to do a big clean once a week. Now I pay my daughter to do it.

Pauline said...

"I have gone through so many cleaning people throughout the years, after our last one left us (you know who you are) we have decided enough with it, we can do it on our own"

What is up with that? You are the second blogger who has had problems keeping cleaning ladies. Very strange. (You'd think in today's economy they would want to stick around)

Anyways, I am the main organizer/cleaner and detest the cleaning aspect! So I pretty much stretch it out and clean one room/day.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Like XUP, our daughter now gets paid to clean parts of the house every week. It is awesomeness. Still not as clean as I'd like it, but beggars can't be choosers.