I've heard of people who clean their houses every week from top to bottom. These organized souls have a routine--bathrooms on Monday, living room and dining room on Tuesday, and so on--and they stick to it.
Then there are people like me, who clean their houses once a year, whether they need to or not.
Yeah, okay, I'm exaggerating. I clean bathrooms quarterly and mop my kitchen floor when I just can't stand it anymore, which is at least once very six weeks. But a big, thorough clean? It takes a parental visit to make that happen, and we usually get one a year.
If it makes any difference, when I finally do get around to cleaning, it's a two-week job, so let's revise my cleaning estimate. I spend 2/52nds of the year cleaning my house. The the other 50/52nds I tidy and do laundry. I cook and carpool and recycle and vacuum. I tidy some more.
That's the problem, I think. By the time I get done tidying up--making beds, picking up papers, hanging up coats, wiping down counters--I'm too pooped to do the serious cleaning.
But I have to say it's a joy to have a truly clean house. To walk in my laundry room and find a dryer with a surface free of lint, to amble barefoot through the mudroom and not pick up any mud on the soles of my feet. To look in streak-free mirrors (okay, that's a lie--hard as I try, there are always streaks on my mirrors and windows).
You know what the big drag about having company is? You spend two weeks cleaning for them, and then while they're there, you don't have time to tidy, and so instead of having a clutter-free, dirty house, you have a cluttered clean house.
And that's the rub. My preference is for tidy. In a perfect world, I could have both--tidy and clean. But as Yogi Berra said, "Even if the world were perfect, it wouldn't be." Or put another way, even if the world were perfect, I probably still wouldn't have enough money to hire a household staff. So tidy it is. Streak-free mirrors? Not in this lifetime, girls.
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