I’m spring cleaning – well sort of

Feather duster, dustpan and broom, and upright...

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I enjoy having a clean home. And I used to enjoy housecleaning.  Until now. Maybe it has something to do with getting older, but I’m now at a point in my life where I feel like I should be out seizing the day  instead of doing mundane tasks like dusting. After all, I don’t have that much time left. I figure 30-35 years at the most, and the last 10-20 of those will probably be wasted going to early bird specials and taking bus trips with other old people at some “retirement community.” Depressing. So I feel like I should be getting as much out of life as I can right now, and  that no longer includes dusting.

Yet, the house gets dirty, and I want it clean. What to do? I could hire someone to clean, and I did try that for a while. It seems that the cleaning company’s idea of clean and my idea of clean did not quite mesh. The “cleaning lady” could clean my whole house in three hours, while it takes me six.  Plus, I keep thinking,  “I could be doing something FUN with the money I’m spending to pay someone to sort of clean.” That whole seize the day idea again. Maybe if I hired an illegal alien to clean, instead of an American from a cleaning service, I could get more for my money and get them to clean exactly the way I want it done, but hey, I’m above that.

So, back to cleaning. I’ve resorted to the age-old method of cleaning that college students and a lot of other people use – clean when you’re having company. That works okay, but you either have to have company a lot, or put up with a dirty house. After all, we only have so many friends. I’ve also tried guerilla cleaning, or blitzing. Notice my use of sports and war analogies related to cleaning  – it IS a war on dust after all. My husband and I buzz around the house as a team, picking up, me dusting, he vacuuming. It works, but again, you need some motivation and the time to do it. You can’t be out hiking the Rockies, and say, “Gosh, better stop now, have to go home and clean.”

So today, I’m trying a new tactic that’s called – “hurry up and dust, move furniture and vacuum, because the carpet cleaning guys will be here in an hour” method of cleaning. The principle is this: everything needs to be dusted. And it’s time for the carpets to be cleaned. But I don’t want to be dusting furniture and risk pushing the dirty dust onto the newly cleaned carpets. So I’m dusting the lamps, tabletops, pictures, etc now while I’m also moving the smaller furniture out of the way before the carpet cleaning guys get here. The carpet guys will come, clean the carpets, and when I move all the freshly dusted things back – voila’ – the entire room  will be clean. Brilliant. Except it only works when I’m having the carpets cleaned. And it doesn’t take care of the rooms that don’t have carpeting. And it’s exhausting to be running around like a madwoman, while being tired from all the seizing the day I did yesterday, and trying to get all this done before the carpet guys get …

Sigh. Never mind, they’re here.