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Old 02-05-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Cleaning house

Oh, dearie me. What a subject. I live in an old (1854) house that seems to grow cobwebs and dust bunnies. Most of my friends also live in old houses. Last year I had a friend who had a medical emergency. I've always considered myself a bit of a slob, then realized that most of my friends consider me a neat-nik. But going into this friend's home unexpectedly made me re-think my own house cleaning habits. Husband and I have gotten lazy in recent years. We had a tendency to scrub the place top to bottom when we were having company, and lazy in between. After helping this friend settle in, I realized that I don't want anyone to see my house looking like hers did that day.

So, I bought a vacuum cleaner (remember that line?)(Hoover won the test, and I'm happy with it)(the old Oreck went to the upstairs for cleaning those rooms without having to lug a cleaner up & down). I'm just trying to get better at maintenance cleaning rather than what hubby and I joked as "white tornado" cleaning; that is to say: let everything go to hades and spending a day scrubbing everything when we know someone is visiting.

What is your housecleaning concept? How often do you do what, when?


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Old 02-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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We have a cleaning lady come in once every two weeks. While I love her dearly, she prefers rearranging my furniture and perfume bottles to cleaning. She also does a nice job of hiding the vacuum cleaner attachments, dusters, and bathroom rugs in creative places. I have forbidden her from doing any of the electronics like the TVs. Smear City. Believe it or not, she is the best one of 4 over the years.

I do the kitchen daily. Took the knobs off the stove and soaked them in a bleach solution, and sprayed and wiped everything down yesterday. Of course, I was unable to find the glasstop stove cleaner, as Melanie hid it somewhere. Will have to check the linen closet.

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Old 02-05-2012, 02:35 PM   #3
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I am the most dreadful housekeeper. Too many years of working the nighshift and really not having a decent time to do the heavy cleaning. You can't just haul out the vacuum at 2 in the morning in an apartment complex. Gets the neighbors up in arms. No dust bunnies here, we have dust elephants...

We do the "white tornado" cleaning.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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Kitchen is clean as you go. The living room and dining room gets vacuumed once a week and the 1/2 bath on the main level is wiped down as you go and gets a deep clean once a week when the vacuuming is happening. We have 4 bathrooms so cleaning as you go, has to happen or you have 4 dirty bathrooms needing to be cleaned.

The bedrooms see less traffic, so once a month vacuuming and dusting is all they need, with weekly bedding changes.

I don't like having to spend my day off cleaning, it is easier to not let it get out of hand, and if company shows up, I don't feel embarrassed.

I do need to get down and clean the baseboards, I hate that job!
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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I tend to be a bit lax in my cleaning and I live alone so I don't have anyone "encouraging me" to do things.

I have found two very important things.

The first is to ruthlessly edit my possessions. I still keep too many things but, I put things in storage and then rotate them. (I continue letting things go but it take time to get my head around it.)

The second, I noticed that my apartment always seemed to stay at a certain level of cleanliness so I concluded that if I put a push on and raised that level then it would take no more time to maintain that higher level than it did to maintain the lower one. It works!

Every day I force myself to complete a series of little five minute jobs to keep things in check. It is amazing to me how quickly things can slide if you do not stay with it.

If all else fails invite some folks over, that will provide inspiration!
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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I've always stuck to some sort of routine/outline for my housecleaning.

Kitchen, in a way, is clean as I go, but I regularly deep clean the stove and oven (self-cleaning). Oven usually done on days when the house has a bit of a chill so I can utilize the heat that results. Otherwise, I have a once-a-month schedule of cleaning tops of appliances, especially refrigerator, wiping down cabinets, cleaning the crevices in and around cabinets, top of exhaust hood, all those lovely places cooking film likes to accumulate.

Both bathrooms get thoroughly cleaned once a week. We faithfully use Clean Shower, so we never really see any shower film build-up. Showers/tubs get deep cleaned on or about the first of each month. In June all shower doors and any removable bathroom stuff goes outside for a good scrubbing on sawhorses.

Whole house gets vacuumed at least once a week, sometimes more often. Dusting, ditto. Dusting includes baseboards and the tops of the woodwork over doors and windows, windowsills, wood blinds, electronics, as well as the tops of tall furniture and light fixtures.

On a quarterly basis, the return vent in the front hallway is opened and vacuumed, then washed. The filters in the vent are washed, dried and put back.

Windows get washed at 6-month intervals, more often if they need it, as do any closed-in light globes/fixtures, which also get "flushed" of any bugs/spiders that have ended their creepy lives there.

All tiled floors (kitchen, bathrooms, utility room) get scrubbed at least once a week. Kitchen much more often.

Breezeway, front and back porches (all concrete) are swept as needed and hosed down about weekly. I usually do the sweeping. Glenn takes care of the hosing.

Our bed, which is the only one slept in at this time, is changed every Friday. The zippered pillow protectors and mattress pad are washed on the first of the month. All pillows, blankets and comforters are hung out on the line to air, as weather permits, each Friday.

Bath towels and washcloths are used for one shower/bath then replaced with clean ones. With just the two of us here, this is not a difficult thing and really doesn't add too much to the laundry task, even though we shower, on average, twice per day.

Our house is fairly large, but it's pretty easy to take care of and, thankfully, when Glenn built it, he constructed it soundly and tightly. We get very little dust, "stuff," from the outside except what we might bring in ourselves. Plus, as I mentioned in another thread a little while ago, our shoes come off at the door, which eliminates a lot of grime we may bring in. The only dust particles that come from the outside appear in the spring and fall when we have the windows open.

If we had any washable curtains, they'd get washed regularly (probably every 6 months), but all we have right now are wood blinds or the fabric roman shades (on 3 windows, that I made).

I've always preferred to keep a "tidy" house and never wanted to get tied to one and I suppose my above description does sound a bit demanding. However, it all seems to go quite smoothly and I never have to worry about what our house looks like if someone should unexpectedly drop in or if something should happen and I might have to be away for a little while.

So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, you'd think that without a job, cleaning would be easier since I have all the time in the world to do it. But, like working out, I hate to do it when my husband is sitting there, watching. The thing is, if I ask him, he'll do it. I'm really trying to get away from making every job a big deal. If I ask him to do it, that's what it is, a BFD. So I try to get him to walk the dog. We are getting better (yes, I discussed the issue with him). I realized a year or two ago that all of my friends want to come to my house .... because it is clean. But it isn't anything like what I was raised to believe is clean.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:21 PM   #8
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my house always looks cleaner than it is. no clutter is my motto. the kitchen is cleaned as i go. usually one big job, micro, counters, floor get done each day. i can't push the vacuum anymore. i vac. the sun room, "cat heaven" every couple days. i have a small one for that, works on the outdoor carpet. i interviewed a gal last week that is coming in once a month. she will vac. and mop and dust. vac and mop part just wears me out. hopefully that will help. i just don't have the strength or energy to keep as clean as i used to. oh well, are you coming to see me or my house??
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:37 PM   #9
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Yes, my friends and I have that theory as well, but I don't want to have to have the EMTs see the mess I saw a few months ago at a friend's house. Babe, as repeated in other lines, you are SO RIGHT. No clutter IS the name of the game. I have a certain amount of stuff, but generally when I buy something, something else goes into the Goodwill bag. Right now the issue is books. I rarely keep fiction, but still am finding books that should go to the library sale in a couple of months.

I have a younger friend who, when she visits, tells me I'm her goal; that is, a house with less stuff. Every picture/painting/print means something to us, it isn't just something we bought to fill a space. When I first started working on my old kitchen, it was funny. One half of the room is open shelves. I thought I would hate them. In fact, they are great. My every-day plates and such are plain white corelle, and I have a small collection of vegetable serving pieces, and the glasses are very plain clear glasses (yes, I have china and crystal and silver, but in a closed cabinet). My (then new, better partof a decade ago) neighbor came in and complimented the room .... then said, "where is the rest of your stuff?" Huh? this is it. Over there is the china cabinet (silver, crystal, china), over there is the pantry. Once in awhile I notice that most of the stuff from the open shelves is being washed because of a party or something, so I just take the rest down and scrub the shelves. This usually happens at my insomniac o'dark-thirty hours, and my husband wakes to dishes sitting around the kitchen and the shelves cleaned. He tosses all the dishes and glasses in the sink and washes them, need it or not, and we put it all back together.

It must be time to have a party, because it's been awhile since we did that!
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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We're "tornado" cleaners except for the kitchen. I try to keep up with that. Dishes and counters get cleaned often. Floor gets scrubbed every other week and swiffer mopped in between for spills. However, DH is a pack rat and unfortunately I tend that way but not like him! I always feel better after watching hoarders! I can look past his clutter for a certain amount of time but then it gets sorted.

I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
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