We used to clean on weekends so we had the dread and procrastination factors to contend with. Cleaning just never seems like a good use of a weekend afternoon and after 2/3 hours of working on it we always got bored and stopped; happy with the result, but a bit resentful of the time spent.
I decided to try something new.
A ROOM A DAY
Part of the hour a day idea was to try to generally get more done. Clean sheeting the house was always intended to be part of this and I can easily fit my best hobby and some cleaning into one hour, which often leaves me with time to do other stuff during the evening.
In an ideal world I would probably rotate my way around the house, systematically cleaning one room after the other like a shining robot with a built in vacuum cleaner. But in real life I do the room that is getting on my nerves the most because in real life I don’t have every evening free (I sometimes leave the house and see people!)
Some of the things keeping me up at night are a dirty house and not getting enough exercise. Hmmm if only there was some way I could resolve these two in one go…?
You can be as active and vigorous as you like when cleaning so you can easily work up a sweat and there’s plenty of bending and stretching and swinging arm movements you can incorporate (don’t hurt yourself though).
There are some problems that you can’t tackle head on, they are too tricky and allusive. Cleaning is physically active but mentally passive (the same as my best hobby) so sometimes when you are dusting you can make a sneaky approach around the side of the problem, or maybe the solution will just pop up at you while you’re watering the plants. Plus you can scrub that persons face as hard as you want.
If the queen or my sister in law with a beautifully kept house arrive unannounced, ideally they would be allowed to enter every room. In real life I might have to keep them out of the toilet, bathroom or kitchen at any given time.
The benefit of visitors who will be staying the night is that you are compelled to do a deep clean. So invite people. Have sleepovers.
DON'T OVERDO IT
My Mum once knew a woman who was incredibly house proud. She regularly washed her net curtains and mopped her kitchen floor at the end of every day. This same lady used two kinds of chemicals to clean her toilet. The mixture of these two chemicals produced a smell that caused the lady to vomit into her nice clean toilet.
A bit of dust and a couple of crumbs are not offensive. Don’t make yourself crazy. The Queen probably isn’t going to come today.
This one also comes from my Mum and is especially important if you are a renter (we moved a lot as children) or buy second-hand things. If you clean something you really get to know it and you bring it to your own standard. I know our apartment pretty well but there are a couple of disturbing corners that do not belong to us. They belong to the landlord.
Other peoples stains are disgusting. That brown splodge on our carpet I might know to be chocolate but someone else might think Blood! Poo! I have to leave immediately! So just wipe it up ok.
CLEAN = BEAUTIFUL
Why do pictures in magazines look so lovely? Because everything is clean. Massive mess doesn’t even matter, if it’s clean. (Massive mess can even make you seem more interesting if there aren’t any mouldy mugs sitting on those piles of books/records/paintings/whatever.)
My sister in law with the beautiful home also has a beautiful pub. It’s a typical brown Dutch pub. Everything is made of wood, there is memorabilia on the walls and stuff stuck to the ceiling. When you arrive 4pm when it opens the place is spotless. There is no old beer smell, no crumbs in the corners and certainly no sticky tables. When they hand around savoury treats on a tray the cheese is all uniformly yellow, the sliced sausage is moist and the mustard is fresh from the pot.
I want our apartment to be like the pub. Full of character and cosy and clean. So I have started spending a bit of time on cleaning it (almost) every day and I am even beginning to enjoy it…
Co-founder, The Clean Sheet