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Like many other people, I hate cleaning.
I do a quick wipe round (wipes may not be sustainable, but they do make it easier to do a minute here and there) after cooking and in the bathroom as and when, but a regular proper clean I’ll put off until I can see things need doing.
Our house isn’t really conducive to having an immaculate house. Of course there’s N (who’s a law unto himself unless I’m up with him at the crack of dawn)…crackers, babybel, strawberries cheese crumbs and pancakes on his help your own breakfast, all eaten on the sofa! Bits everywhere.
Then there’s living on a farm, which means that however well I vacuum and clean, there’s spiders’ webs appearing as soon as I’ve cleared them, and the OH brings in straw, mud, black sock bits and more just from walking into the house. Even with a door mat, and a longer entry rug, it still doesn’t prevent bits turning up all over the house where he’s walked.
For a 3 bed house, it’s pretty large, which means it can take a few hours to clean from top to bottom properly. When I first moved in we were good about sharing the cleaning and would do it on a Sunday morning. But now the OH’s got slack and does nothing except clean the Aga and top of the oven, so it’s left to me. Although I am training N up – at the moment he likes doing vacuuming so I can get him to do 2 rooms at least.
I’ve started doing the Kon Mari method of decluttering (clothes, books, dvds and games are done, just everything else to do now!), so once that’s complete, I shall be lazy and get someone professional in to do a deep clean, and then it’ll be easier to clean regularly.
I guess I’m making it sound like we live in a tip, but it’s not that bad. My focus is always on visitors. If I know we’ve got visitors coming round then I’ll clean. But I’ve realised that even for that I have different standards of cleaning and I bet lots of other people do the same (please tell me it’s not just me!).
The 4 standards of cleaning
Normal everyday living
This is my normal state of cleaning. I clean when things look like they need it, ie the dust is visible, there’s too many bits on the carpet, the kitchen floor needs steaming. The bathroom and kitchen surfaces get the most attention obviously, a quick wipe after using. For me (and now the OH) can live with this. The OH used to say that a house needed daily vacuuming, but then he wasn’t going to do it every day, and as I work and have better more interesting things to do, that view has been withdrawn.
Coffee morning / playdate
Or when visitors are coming for a few hours. This means I can clean the downstairs really well, but I don’t have to worry too much about the upstairs. Unless I know N will take friends upstairs, then I’ll do the stairs and his room. There’s no point rushing round to clean everything if they’re only going to go into a few rooms.
The bonus is if the weather’s good and we’ll likely be in the garden. Just the kitchen, backroom and bathroom to do!
There’s also the difference between a playdate with people you know vs people coming over for the first time ever.
In addition to seeing friends, having visitors, especially overnight ones, it does mean that the house does stay cleaner and tidier for a bit longer. It’s never easy with a child who pretty much refuses to tidy up after himself, but the house might look tidier for at least a few days.
This is when I do a full clean. Every room tidied, spiders webs hoovered away or brushed away, floors cleaned, vacuumed, freshened, dusting, brushing/cleaning off the curtains, cleaning the aga (well, maybe), getting all the washing put away, bathrooms all cleaned (even the downstairs scruffy shower room that’s really only used by the OH for shaving and for hanging up wet swimming costumes). I probably even clean up the utility room to a certain extent, and clean out the fridge if it needs a bit of a wipe down.
It’s never going to be me, although I wouldn’t mind having a house as clean as that. Cleans (properly, not a fleeting wipe of a surface) every day. Usually has a rota, so maybe a room a day, with some vacuuming each day.
Having an immaculate house does make the place feel more spacious but I do begrudge it when it can take a morning to properly clean the house, only to see it destroyed again as soon as N walks in the door with his wellies on, or the OH comes in from the farm.
I’m hoping my decluttering will help make it quicker and easier to clean. Maybe once it’s deep cleaned after the clear out, I’ll get a cleaner again.
In the meantime I can however, be pleased that
a) I don’t clean for a living,
b) that I don’t live in a mansion, and
c) I don’t have to clean huge historic buildings. Check out Karcher’s fun quiz to test your knowledge.
What type of cleaner are you? How do you do your cleaning?
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