Helpful Housecleaning Hints

If you are one of those people who like to clean, then this is not the entry for you.  You can just grab your Swiffer and go dust something.  This entry is for those of us who LOATHE cleaning with every fiber of our being.  Personally, I would rather have my eyeballs eaten by maggots as I’m awake than clean the house.  Be that as it may, there are times when cleaning is unavoidable.  Say, for example, when one’s mother is coming for a looooooong stay.  Then, one must suck it up and clean.  Fortunately, I did a semi-thorough cleaning before I visited Kel last month, so the house wasn’t as horrendous as it could have been.  Unfortunately, due to my complex feelings for my mother at this moment, I kept putting off the actual cleaning.  It was as if I could forestall her visit by not cleaning.  Childish, I know, but I never claimed to be mature.  So, I put it off and put it off and put it off until I absolutely could not procrastinate any longer.  I have a very unique way of cleaning, and I thought I would share some tips with you in case you’re ever caught in the same situation.  You’re welcome.

First of all, this weekend has been hot here.  Eighties/nineties, and for me, that’s hot.  I usually keep the AC at eighty degrees, but I turn it down to seventy-eight when I clean.  Still, even with that adjustment, I get damn hot.  As I am a tad OCD, once I start cleaning, I put my back into it.  And, I don’t stop.  I get heated during any kind of activity, so I sweat like a pig when I clean.  To that end, I prefer to clean in the nude.  Now, however, I wear a pedometer, and I feel damn guilty if I am not counting my steps.  I tried to clip the pedometer to my nipple and to my glasses, but neither worked.  So, I kept on the boxers (South Park, yo!) and ditched the top.  Then, I pulled my hair into a high bun because I hate that sticky feeling on the back of the neck from perspiring under my long mane of hair.

Then, to get myself in the mood to clean, I put on some music.  It has to be blood-pumping music.  This is one of the best songs to get me revved up to clean.  It’s called Here Comes My Baby, this version is done by The Mavericks, and it was written and originally performed by Cat Stevens (h/t Steeplejack from BJ).  I love the whole feel of the song, plus the outrageous go-go dancers.   After I listened to this song a time or ten, I was ready to clean.  Now, because of my aforementioned affinity for cleaning in as minimal clothing as possible, I usually wait until the sun goes down before I clean.  I live on a golf course, and I don’t want to distract them from stroking their balls, if you get my drift.  Besides, it’s cooler at night.  Therefore, it’s a better time to clean. Here are my helpful hints to make housecleaning as painless as possible.

DO start more than two days before said visit.  Normally, I would start at least four days before a parental visit, but I just wasn’t feeling it this time.

DO clean the refrigerator before cleaning the rest of the kitchen.  I always make the mistake of doing it the other way around, and I end up messing up MY CLEAN KITCHEN as I make the fridge inhabitable–er, clean.  at least I leaving mopping until the very end, so splashing dirty water onto the floor was no big deal–until I slipped on said water and bashed my knee into a cabinet.  Am I the only one tempted to sit in the fridge after cleaning it?  There are only two things stopping me from climbing in and closing the door.  One, even though my brother assures me that the door can be opened from the inside, I am not convinced.  And, as I highly doubt he has tested that hypothesis, I am not going to just take him at his word.  Two, I just spent hours cleaning the house and the fridge.  They might be clean, but  I sure as hell am not.  Therefore, it would defeat the purpose of cleaning the fridge to then dirty it up by climbing into it.

DO take cold showers and drink ice coffee to perk yourself up.  I can guarantee that doing the former followed by doing the latter will be enough to keep you going for another hour.  And, when I say cold, I mean cold.  Not tepid or cool or lukewarm, but cold.  It’s also good for really shiny hair after shampooing, so that’s an extra tip for free.

DO take breaks every now and then.  Go outside with your favorite adult beverage or a smoke or a cup of tea or just to enjoy the crisp night air.  The breaks will focus your mind and give your body time to recoup a bit.  I tried to power through vacuuming the main floor, and the world started spinning.  This is NOT a good thing, and it’s your signal to take a break–or a nap, as is what I did.

DON’T spill coffee, diet pop, and water on your ass cheek.  No, I didn’t do that as I was cleaning, but it’s still something you will want to avoid.  And, yes, I spilled all three on my right ass cheek today.

DON’T run over your mouse cord with the vacuum cleaner because that will kill the mouse.  I learned the hard way that computer mouse cords do not take kindly to being sucked into a vacuum cleaner.

DO groove when you can.  I put on Ozomatli’s Don’t Mess With the Dragon while I cleaned the fridge and danced as I cleaned (the videos are from that album).  It really helped to pass the time by dancing as I cleaned.

DO NOT walk into the corner of anything with your hip.  It hurts.  What’s worse, it bruises. Ouch!

DO try to get as much done at one time as you can.  If you are anything like me, once you start, you cannot stop.  Now, some people would mumble something about OCD and roll their eyes, but you might as well put this to good use if you have that kind of single-mindedness.  I do.  Therefore, I can clean for hours upon end as long as I take my breaks.

DO use it as an opportunity to get rid of all the shit you’ve been hoarding.  Don’t think, “Oh, I will read those eleven billionty magazines one day!”  You will not.  You will keep them until you feel guilty enough to toss them in the recycle pile.  Skip the middle section and go straight for the last bit.  Trust me.  You won’t read them.  And, in the same vein….

DO toss out all the suspicious ‘food’ in the fridge as you clean it.  I had shit in there that I wouldn’t even open–just tossed it directly into the garbage.  Take it from me, a once-a-year cleaning of the fridge is not a bad thing.

DO sleep when you can.  As you all know, I have shitty sleeping habits, and they have been worse over the past month in anticipation of my mother’s visit.  To that end, I have tried to grab a few hours whenever I actually feel like sleeping.  This will all be sorely tested because my mother is a morning person (she’ll be here in two hours!  My brother is picking her up and bringing her here.  I am sleeping until we go to lunch.   Yes, I should be sleeping now, but I am too jacked up from cleaning, the cold showers, and the coffee to sleep); she hates driving, especially since she has cataracts (she had them so bad last year, she couldn’t read the signs on the freeway.  My mom has a tendency to wait past the last moment to have this shit taken care of); she hates doing things alone.  Oh, plus, she doesn’t think a person should sleep past noon, no matter what time said person (me) went to bed.

DO put the kitties in the basement when you are cleaning the fridge and mopping the floor.   It’s mostly for their own sake, but it’s also so I don’t have to scream at them not to drink whatever liquid I’m using to clean.  In the same vein….

DO NOT kill the kitty who plops down his skinny, furry ass onto your JUST MOPPED TABLE and gives you a smug look like he knows you’re about to kill him.  And, no, Kel, he was not just helping me dry said table, given that he wasn’t moving an iota.

DO mutter under your breath and think dark thoughts.  No, it won’t help get the job done, but it’ll make you feel better.

DO know your limits.  There are a few other things I could have, should have done, but let’s face it, I’m not going to do them.  And, had I tried to do them, I woulda seriously wigged out.  So, I didn’t do them.

DO NOT freak out over the kitties having a fight and shedding fur on your JUST VACUUMED FLOOR!  I realized that one reason the housewives of the fifties popped Valium on a regular basis is because it’s impossible to keep anything clean for more than a hot minute.   No matter how thoroughly I clean something, I can see a speck of dirt or a tuft of cat fur not fifteen seconds later.  It’s enough to drive me insane.

DO have a good estimate about how long it will take you to get the job done so you can have a few hours of sleep before said visit.  That way, you don’t have to pull out all your hair.

Well, that’s about it.  I hope you can use some of my tips the next time you have to clean house.  As for me, I’m going to bed.  Happy cleaning!

7 Responses to Helpful Housecleaning Hints

  1. You should’ve gotten a scrip from your shrink for this visit. Jebus.

    You leave my Ravenboy alone. He was helping you dry the table. He told me so.

    I am about to go mop my kitchen floor, but I use a Swiffer Wet Jet because then I don’t re-deposit dirty mop water onto the floor. Ew.

    We always crank out music when we clean too. The kids love it. That’s where Oz’s famous jam to “Viva Lost Bagels” came from – a cleaning spree. My music varies with mood, but I’ll have to check out your recommendations.

    Oh, and P.S. Why the hell are you mopping a table?!

  2. You need to hydrate your right ass cheek a bit more, apparently. 🙂

    If the cleaner is tense, the kittehs get tense. Trust me, as the daughter of a housework Nazi, I know that my frantic cleaning moments were always followed by kitteh freakouts with lots of flying fur. Even with just one cat! And why should you freak out and let fur fly by yourself, when you have a brother to help you?

    I love to clean to music, too. The exact music varies with my mood. But often, Lords of Acid is one helpful choice.

  3. Kat, at least you’ll still have your left cheek!

    Kel, how in the hell could I have cleaned if I got a Valium scrip from my doc? I woulda just been like, “OK, whatever.” Raven was taunting me. I don’t blame him. I would have taunted me, too, if I weren’t the one cleaning. And, oooh, you intrigue me with your Swiffer Wet Jet mention. I shall have to check it out.

    Mopping table: With a cleaning cloth in my hand. Not, take the mop and attack the table. Though, that sounds tempting.

    Choolie, that might be possible. I don’t hydrate my ass on a daily basis.

    I’m not tense exactly when I clean, but I am very very very determined. Oh, and pissed off when I run into things, so that could be it, too. I still think they were just taunting me because I had to clean and they didn’t.

    Lords of Acid is an excellent choice. I will check ’em out next time I clean.

  4. Oooh glad you clarified the mopping the table thing.

    I am so rereading this the next time I clean. I do so twice a year. Really. Although once a month or so I dig out the stinky things from the back of the fridge and dump them. If when you open your fridge a smell of what could be very ripe French cheese smacks you in the face, well, it is time to figure out what it is and toss it.

    And good thing you clean at night. I am imagining those golfers when you, topless, step out onto the balcony for that adult beverage.

    And I only mutter under my breath to keep the others from complaining because seriously cursing and ranting and raving at the top of one’s lungs is so much more relaxing. And helps get the job done. Yes, indeedy!

    Good luck with the visit…. thinking of you!

  5. Jamie, I have a hard time believing that you don’t clean more often than that. Wait a minute, how can you tell if the stinky thing is rotten or just cheese? Hmmmmmm….

    Yes, I clean at night for that very reason. Like I said, I wouldn’t want to distract them from their game.

    You know, I could actually curse out loud if I wanted, but it disturbs my boys when I get too angry. Still…maybe when they are in the basement….

    Thanks for the well wishes; I am going to need them.