Wait! Where are you going?? This won't be scary, I promise.

I clearly missed out on the housecleaning gene. My mother is compulsive about it. The other morning before we went shopping she wanted to use my restroom. I'd cleaned everything but the floors, thank God, but she walked past the guest room where things were piled on the queen sized bed - so many you couldn't see the quilt. Oh, dear.

So I spent a good part of last week cleaning house. And you know what? Yesterday when I came home from work, it was so nice to walk into a clean house. Okay, don't get me wrong, it's not CLEAN. I don't think I'll ever keep up with the cat hair and my husband's pile o' stuff has been in the same position for weeks and of course there's the computer mess, but the clothes are hung and put away, the kitchen and bathroom counters are clean, the washer, dryer and hall leading to them are clean.

I used to be a Fly Lady - any of you familiar with her? She said to clean for 15 minutes a day. Well, over vacation I cleaned an hour. I spent three days on the bedroom, three on the guest room, three on the mud room (okay, I cheated on that one a bit. They have all their music equipment in there, and what am I supposed to do about that?) But I cleaned out my closet, got out my winter clothes, swept and mopped the floor, dusted the windowsills. It could probably use three more days, but it'll have to wait till its rotation comes around. The next two days are the kitchen, then the living room and the sunroom.

It only took me six and a half years, but I have a laundry method now. I have three baskets, one for towels, one for whites and one for darks. I sort the clothes from the hampers at one end of the house, then haul the hampers to the laundry room in the garage. After the clothes are dry, I hang up the hang-up-ables on the pole that has been there all six and a half years, and everyone has to come get their own. The rest of the clothes go back in their baskets and sit beside the couch till I sit down to watch TV. It has defeated Mt. Laundry (otherwise known as the quilt rack in the bedroom.)

I also tried some new cleaning supplies. I already love Swiffers for quick stuff, especially going under the couch. I bought Magic Rub Erasers. I cannot believe how wonderful these things are. They remove soap scum. And believe me, in my shower, I needed it. They remove rust stains. They are quite remarkable.

I like those toilet scrubbers that you can flush, too.

Any household cleaning hints you'd like to share?

And here, for enduring this punishing post, have a picture.

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Trish Milburn said...

My big housecleaning seems to come in between writing projects, especially if someone is coming to visit or it's the first really warm day in the spring when I can open the windows and get some fresh air inside. The rest of the time, it's mainly maintenance cleaning.

MicheleKS said...

I clean when I can't stand it. And since I live alone... I'm the only one who has to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Lol on the housecleaning gene, Mary }:)

Although I know what you mean about how good it feels to walk into a clean house.

thewriterslife said...

Hi Mary! I don't have the housekeeping gene either, but I sure went to town on this place today. The Christmas tree is up and everything! Nice blog!

Unknown said...

I'm thinking housecleaning should be illegal! LOL

MJFredrick said...

Huh - I see a decided lack of tips here ;)

Yes, as nice as it is to have a clean house, I hate CLEANING. When I sell, the first indulgence will be a cleaning woman.

I considered asking for that for Christmas. That, or Tivo....hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

I straightened over break after I finished my manuscript and man does it feel better to sit and watch TV in a somewhat clean living room.
I love the Pledge dust grabbers. The ones without Pledge but with a scent.

MJFredrick said...

Mary Beth, I think those are the ones I use. Orange scented, right?

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

My tip was going to be a housekeeper.

We have a cleaning service that does the three bathrooms in full and then dusts and vacuums the LR and DR and does the kitchen floor. The rest we only do when company's coming. :)

But my husband says $20 per bathroom is totally worth it--the rest is icing.

Jill Monroe said...

Mary - every writer I know has a problem with the housecleaning gene. It's one of the sacrifices we have to make.

I have now accepted it. I write...therefore I can't clean.

MJFredrick said...

Natalie, is it a flat rate or hourly?

Bernita said...

House cleaning?
What is that?

MJFredrick said...

;), Bernita!


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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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