Attempting to clean my house drives me crazy!! Now that school is out I’ve been busy cleaning closets, files, drawers, etc. and getting rid of clutter that accumulates over the winter. Okay, over a lifetime. I’ll be honest and tell you that I finally threw away some letters and receipts and Christmas cards from 1992. I found lots of things I didn’t even realize I still had. Don’t tell me you haven’t thrown something into a box or file with the thought “I’ll handle that later”. Anyway, THAT kind of cleaning makes me happy. It’s cathartic and final and satisfying. I know that those papers aren’t going to reappear tomorrow. I don’t even think I’ll ever have such a huge task to do again because my attitude toward saving things is different. I throw more things away now instead of putting them in that “handle later” pile. I’m more selective about what has sentimental value and what doesn’t.
It’s the OTHER kind of cleaning that is so frustrating. I’ve been doing a little late spring/early summer cleaning this week- cleaning and oiling woodwork, dusting every nook and cranny, wiping away spider webs, cleaning the tops of the refrigerators, washing every washable surface. It’s pointless! The spider webs I wiped away on Monday were back by Wednesday. The fireplace mantle looked good until Thursday. Each time I walk into the kitchen I see some spot of dirt or grease or slug slime that needs to be washed. Yes, I said “slug slime”! LOL For some reason we have slugs this year. Don’t ask me how they get inside because I haven’t figured it out. And the genealogy library (eighteen miles away) is having the same problem, so it’s not just me, and not just here. I feel like I’m in that wacky movie, Ground Hog Day, where Bill Murray’s character lives the same day over, and over, and over. I dust and clean, dust and clean, dust and clean.
My mother was one of those “move the furniture, bleach all the glasses, mop the floor every other day” kind of housecleaners. If we had ever had the money for silver I’m sure she would have polished it. I just can’t be that person. I guess that’s another reason why housecleaning drives me crazy. It makes me feel so inadequate. I find myself thinking “surely there is a way to organize and clean a bit each day so that everything is always clean”. Magazine editors would like for you to think that. I can’t tell you how many cleaning tips I’ve read that are supposed to make tasks better, faster, and easier. Some of the tips actually work, but the cleaning still has to be done again.
Of course it doesn’t help that I live with two men and two cats. I know that’s asking for trouble. My son is pretty neat, for a guy, and he does his own laundry and generally picks up after himself. My husband is a little sloppier, but I’ve spent years training him, so he takes his dishes to the sink and picks up his magazines from time to time and usually remembers where the laundry hamper is located. But just the fact that there are other people in the house generates more laundry and more dirt and more daily clutter. And cats…don’t get me started! I love them. I’ve always had at least one. But they shed hair, spill food, knock things over, etc. More cleaning required.
I guess my problem is that my standards are much higher than my motivation! I would like to live in a really clean house, but I don’t want to take the time and effort to make it that clean. So I do all the other things that I love and settle for reasonably clean. Otherwise I would truly drive myself crazy trying to reach a higher level. I spent two hours cleaning this morning and I could have spent two more if I hadn’t decided to post my blogs instead. Now aren’t you glad I missed a few spots?