Thursday, August 27, 2009

shock and awe...

don't ask me why I was cleaning the bathroom at 11:45 at night on a Wednesday, but I must take a moment to share with the world my distress at discovering the little speckled pattern on the floor of my tub was not actually a speckled pattern, but deep-set gunk and grime in the texture of the molded plastic tub.

I was going along with my cleaning business, putting some elbow grease into the soft-scrub-with-bleach-and-scrub-brush action, when for whatever reason I spaced off and kept at the same 6" circle for a few moments longer than the rest. When I realized that I had been scrubbing the same spot for over a minute, I found - to my horror!- that it was the only all-white spot in the entire tub! Of course I then spent the next 20 minutes scrubbing my shoulder sore to ensure that ALL the gunk was removed.

I also had to repeatedly call my husband to come and see the step-by-step process first hand. "Honey! Come look at this! Our tub is filthy!" ... "Honey! Come see! I scrubbed it all out!" And he, being the wonderful man that he is, beamed with pride at his wife's hard work and told me how much he loved me for scrubbing the specks of grime out of our tub. Now I just hope he remembers that pride and love when I ask him to rub my sore shoulder later...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Housekeeping Gene

I've never considered myself to be a clean freak. Not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I've always been closer to the opposite of such. The housekeeping gene that is so prevalent in certain members of my family was most certainly dormant within me. When I had an apartment in a Chicago suburb during my first two years of teaching it was not uncommon for me to..., I feel the need to pause for a moment before continuing this thought to warn you that what I'm about to write may be disturbing to some readers (my older sister in particular who is a recovering cleaning addict) so continue reading with caution...

...not do dishes until I was out of silverware, sometimes eating cereal out of mugs or tupperware; I would put off doing laundry until I was out of underwear; and I am far too ashamed to admit how much time I would let pass between cleanings of my linoleum floors. Oddly enough, I actually like cleaning the bathroom and would rather scrub a tub and toilet than wash a sink full of dishes.

After two years of only cleaning my house when I had guests coming over, I got married - and I was surprised to find my long dormant housekeeping gene activated. Unfortunately, Seth and I were both in grad school and working a few different jobs during our first two years of marriage which significantly limited the amount of time I had to keep our tiny apartment clean - and, oh yeah, our apartment was tiny... that, or we just had way too much stuff crammed inside it. Either way, no matter how many times I tried to reorganize the office or how many closet shelving units I bought, our apartment never seemed to look completely clean. As a result, I was constantly frustrated by how messy our apartment was and how little time I had to keep up with keeping it under control.

Fast-forward to this summer. Almost more exciting than my graduating with my masters in deaf ed, Seth finishing his seminary classes, and both of us starting new jobs, was the fact that we were going to be moving into a HOUSE!!! Finally, no more sharing walls with strangers! Granted, it's only a rental house, but we're still a good 12-14 feet from our nearest neighbor as opposed to the previous 4-6 inches. Also, our rental house has a full (unfinished) basement - which means that even though our living space is not any greater than our "tiny" apartment in St. Louis, it feels like so much more because of all of the added basement storage.

Now that our basement has freed us from the clutter and I'm no longer spending my time at home writing papers or reading research articles, I am free to embrace my love of housekeeping! Even after coming home from a long and busy day at my new job, I find myself energized by picking up around the house, straightening the couch cover and cushions, vacuuming a few rooms, or - yes - even scrubbing out a few dirty pots and pans. ;-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009