Grandmother Mary Jean would be proud of what I'm about to write.
I've had my house cleaned by a number of different cleaning crews in the past. Only at various times, like when I was in a cast for ten weeks. Four different times, by four different agencies (I'll call them agencies...every cleaning "crew" is different). It never felt right when I did it. It still doesn't. But I'm running out of hours in the week and my house is getting pretty scary, so it's time to get serious about finding a permanent house cleaner.
And here's the thing.
NOBODY FREAKING KNOWS HOW TO CLEAN A DAMN HOUSE!!!
Whew, I feel better.
Maybe it's because I learned at the knee of my Grandma Mary Jean. She was notorious for vacuuming and dusting every day. Every other week she would deep clean the cabinet doors.
She was downright military-like when it came to teaching me to clean a house.
And I've slacked over the years. Oh, my, how I've slacked.
I'm ashamed at the level of slacking.
Kids...work....volunteer work....friends...exercise....maturity (which has taught me that a clean house should come last on the list when compared with spending time with my kids or my friends....all of these have intruded on my "used to be" clean house).
I simply don't have the time or the desire anymore and most of my friends use someone.
But it never works because the basic tenets of house cleaning, which were damn near biblical to my Grandmother, are being neglected. Unless I can find someone who understands and appreciates how you clean a house I'd rather it stay dirty and I'll get to it when I can.
Here are the basics:
1) When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.
2) When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.
3) One more time, in case you didn't fully understand numbers 1 & 2: When dusting, remove every item from the wooden surface you are dusting and dust underneath said items.
4) Dust the items you removed, even if it's just a quick swish. And dust the sides of the cabinet...and the front of the cabinet...and the doors of the cabinet. What's that? Yes, all the way to the bottom. Yes, I know, it's laborious. But it's important.
5) Wipe the dust cloth across the tops of frames. Every frame. It doesn't take long, I swear. Just do it when you walk by them. But do it.
6) If it has a glass surface (like the two huge doors on my antique cabinet in a, oh, I'd say fairly prominent position on my landing) then clean it. With glass cleaner. Please.
7) If it's a toilet, get on your hands and knees and clean the floor around the base of the toilet. Yes, all the way up to the wall and the baseboards. I know, I know...it's kind of gross. But it's part of CLEANING THE FREAKING TOILET.
8) While you are at it, wipe down the entire bowl and the base and back of the base. IT'S PART OF CLEANING THE FREAKING TOILET. And not just for one toilet. For ALL of the toilets.
9) When mopping a wooden floor, vacuum under pieces of furniture. Then mop the same area. You know, it's very obvious when someone is on the floor playing with their pets if a massive pile of dust and pet hair is growing under a buffet or a cabinet as if in a petri dish. It is fully expected that these surfaces get the same love and attention as the rest of the hard wood floors.
10) Look for cobwebs and destroy them. Sometimes, they are easy to spot. Like on the wall, eye level. You can use your vacuum to suck them up or the dusting cloth you just used to wipe of the top of the frames I mentioned. Just don't ignore them. Please.
It's bad enough that we live in a world where we no longer mop the kitchen floor on our hands and knees. My Grandmother is screaming from heaven and disturbing the angels because of this, I'm certain of it.
I fear that, along with the sewing/quilting, the printed newspaper, actual paper books, in person human interaction and phone calls, the art of housecleaning has disappeared.
My children are in for a looooong weekend. House cleaning boot camp is about to commence.
Oh, and if you happen to know any cleaning services that are run by a Depression Era, World War II Grandma? Send me the info. I'll pay anything.
p.s. Photos are from AFTER my house was recently cleaned...by a crew of three. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, give me strength.